On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where over the span of 2 hours other executives revealed exciting new software updates and product launches across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch.
Here are a few major announcements:
Eight months after Apple released iOS 15, the company unveiled iOS 16, which delivers big updates to the Lock Screen, as well as new sharing, communication, and intelligence features.
With iOS 16, Apple is ending software support for the devices released before the iPhone 8 (2017), which includes the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE 2016, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus.
iOS 16 allows for more Lockscreen customization such as color and font changes, as well as support for widgets. Notifications will now “roll in” from the bottom of the screen, while a “Live Activities” API will let developers update notifications in real time.
iMessage users can now edit or recall recently sent messages for up to 15 minutes after sending it, recover recently deleted messages for up to 30 days after deletion, and mark conversations as unread so they can come back to them later.
Similar to how users can set up shared photo libraries in Google Photos, they can now do the same with iCloud Shared Photo Library. This new feature enables you to add up to 5 other people to a library, and everyone in the library can add and edit group photos. Users can choose which photos to share based on a certain start date, or via share photos face detection. It’s also possible to automatically send captured photos to the shared library.
Apple Pay Later
Buy now, pay later services have been on the rise and Apple has decided it wants a part of the $22.86 billion market.
The company announced Apple Pay Later, a new feature for Apple Pay to let users pay for purchases in 4 installments over time without interest or any fees. Customers will be able to pay for installments over 6 weeks; after paying the first payment at the initial point of sale, they will be expected to make the following 3 payments every two weeks.
Two years after releasing the 2020 MacBook Air with the M1 chip—Apple’s custom chip—Apple announced a new version of the MacBook Air with its latest M2 Chip. The M2 chip is said to be 18% faster than the M1 CPU and 35% faster than its GPU.
What’s inside the MacBook Air?
It has a 13.6 inch liquid retina display, TouchID built into the Magic keyboard and 2 USB-C Thunderbolt ports for plugging in monitors and peripherals. The new MacBook Air has a 3.5mm combined audio jack, MagSafe support and will fast charging to get the battery to 50% after just 30 minutes.
Since many activities and interactions are now taking place over video calls, the MacBook Air’s built-in camera offers better resolution (at 1080p) and an improved low-light performance.
Though these new Macs have gone live on Apple product listing site, the tech giant said they can’t be purchased yet until next month. The pricing on the new MacBook Air starts at $1,199 for an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, with a 10-core GPU option available for $1,499.
Apple also announced the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 and set the pricing at $1,299. There are no design updates for the 13-inch model, and it continues to be the only Mac notebook with a Touch Bar.
The new operating system for Apple’s Laptops, macOS Ventura, includes a new Stage Manager tool, updates to Spotlight, Mail, and Safari, and other continuity features that bring the operating system closer to iOS.
Stage Manager gives Mac users a new way to stay focused on the task in front of them while seamlessly switching between apps and windows. Continuity Camera allows iPhone owners to use the iPhone as the webcam on Mac, while the new Handoff feature allows users to start a FaceTime call on their iPhone and easily pass it over to their iPad or Mac.
With shared Tab Groups, family or friends can share their favorite sites in Safari and see what tabs others are looking at live. Users can also build a list of bookmarks on a shared Start Page, and even start a Messages conversation or FaceTime call right from Safari — great for planning a trip or researching a project together.
macOS Ventura will be available to all supported Macs later this year, with a developer beta released on Monday and a public beta testers in July.
Last month, Apple, Google, and Microsoft announced plans to expand support for a common passwordless sign-in standard created by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium.
Apple has already kicked its plans into motion with the announcement that Safari will be able to use “passkeys” instead of passwords. Passkeys are a new system that allows users to log in to websites and apps with biometrics (like fingerprint sensors or facial recognition) without any text-based passwords in the mix.
This feature is a move to strengthen internet security. Password-only authentication is one of the biggest security problems on the web, and managing so many passwords is cumbersome for consumers, which often leads consumers to reuse the same ones across services.