Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is a techy bonanza for developers where they get to learn about Apple's newest and improved APIs to take full advantage of their new features. This makes WWDC a perfect occasion for Apple to talk about what's coming throughout the year. From the latest OSs and features to some mind-boggling hardware, Apple features their bests at the week-long WWDC.
This year, Apple announced their newest OSs for iPhones, Macs, Apple Watch, and TVs, along with their next generation of Apple Silicone for their latest MacBooks.
Even though a newer iOS at this time of the year was to be expected, the changes they made to their most sold gadget, the iPhone, is quite a big leap in terms of design and functionality. The biggest change to iOS came as a completely redesigned lock screen. Android lovers might argue that this revamp feels very close to Android 12's Material You, and they would be right.
The new lock screen on iOS 16 now blends more with the elements and wallpaper, just like with Android's Material You. Messages and notifications now come from the bottom and group automatically for more efficient interaction with the important ones. Widgets like weather, calendar, and activity ring – all can now sit beside the clock, and these widgets, along with the clock and date, can be edited to blend or contrast the background.
To make the lock screen even more dynamic, Apple introduced a Live Weather Conditions lock screen for the newest iOS update. Apart from the big lock screen overhaul in iOS 16, other welcome changes came to the home screen as well.
One of iPad's favourite features, the Quick Note, is also coming to iOS 16 to make taking notes convenient and without having to leave the current app.
The new macOS was announced over the WWDC presentation event as well. macOS Monterey upgraded to macOS Ventura. The biggest change on the macOS upgrade was the introduction of Stage Manager. Multitasking on Macs is now much more efficient as tabs of different apps can now group together, giving the current thing you are working on, the centre stage.
If you are working on a tab with Safari and using the info to make a presentation on PowerPoint, they can now be grouped together while your personal tabs on Safari or Chrome and Note stay behind as another group.
Even though Stage Manager's window management seems insignificant, my one week of using macOS Ventura Developer Beta proved quite well that it makes more difference than anything Windows or older macOS has to offer.
To make things more interesting, Stage Manager was introduced to the recently announced iPadOS 16 as well. The new Freeform Board, made explicitly for iPads is like a whiteboard that doesn't end. A place where you and your peers could brainstorm projects, collaborate on a file and see its progress in real-time.
Messages across Apple devices also got some updates that users have been asking for years. Now, sent messages can be edited and even deleted if users wish to. iPhone users' one of the favourite features, Shareplay, also made its way to Facetime and Messages, allowing file and media shared playback easier and accessible from almost all Apple devices.
Photos app on iPhone, Mac, and other devices now has Shared Library, enabling the same features Android users have been enjoying on Google Photos for years. Users can now create and share a library with family and friends where photos of selected people can automatically upload to that library, giving everyone access to those group photos.
Another big norm-shattering feature was brought to Safari with Passkeys. Passkeys are basically a replacement for passwords that are used on websites to authenticate a user. But with Passkeys, users can now authentic biometrically using Touch ID and Face ID, which are much safer ways to authenticate someone without the risk of a password leak.
WatchOS 9 was also announced at the Apple event this June that includes three new metrics to help athletes and casual burners better understand their performance.
We also got some exciting hardware announcements during this year's WWDC.
MacBook Air, being the most sold mac, is already a favourite, and now with the new M2, it's even more capable of handling more than your average day-to-day tasks. The new M2 now has a 24 GB unified memory. Apple spent a good portion of the presentation explaining how good M2 is going to be for gaming. Apple silicones are getting a boost in both performance and efficiency.
As for the design and hardware changes on the new Air, it now has a slab-like design that mirrors the MacBook Pros of 2021. Apple somehow was able to make the newer mac thinner and lighter, ensuring a solid 20% reduction in volume.
The newer Liquid Retina Display on the MacBook is now 25% brighter, capping at 500 nits, and the 1080p camera is now even more capable with better low light performance.
67W fast charging capable MagSafe was also brought to the new MacBook Air, mirroring new MacBooks in recent years, which is weird considering for the second hardware announcement, Apple somewhat went backward.
Their second most sold MacBook, the 13-Inch MacBook Pro, got an upgrade at WWDC with the M2. It also shares the same design language as other Pros and the new Air. But for some reason, it retained the touchbar above the keyboard that Apple seemingly ditched in 2021.
These newer macs are coming next month, and the newly announced OSs are now available as Developer Beta. More stable Public Betas will be available in July, and mass updates will be pushed around October this year.