The week began with Apple’s WWDC event with both software and hardware related updates. Updates for iOS, MacOS, WatchOS and iPadOS were announced – which see some pretty cool updates that help make multitasking one step closer to MacOS. Apple has announced two MacBooks with M2 chips, but one of the laptops is recycled hardware. MacBook Air gets updated hardwareand it looks spectacular, but before we get down to it, let’s talk about it M2.
M2 MacBook Air gets my vote
Apple has unveiled the successor to the industry-changing M1 chip. M2 sees improved CPU and graphics performance with next-generation 5nm technology. The improvement is about 18% with 35% more powerful graphics, not enough for someone with an M1-powered laptop to do the upgrade. Even then, Apple will continue to sell the M1 MacBook Air, however M2 MacBook Air gets a significant update.
MacBook Air gets fourth generation hardware with a new M2 chip. The beloved wedge design is gone and replaced with a flat unibody look. It looks more like the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, but much thinner at 11.3 mm (MacBook Pro 14 is 15.5 mm). It has an updated Liquid Retina display with the same score as the other MacBooks that include the 1080p Facetime camera.
This new 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 is a very strong entry-level offer for Apple’s notebook range. The return of MagSafe for the MacBook Air is also a welcome change for a laptop that still only comes with 2 USB-C ports and a headphone jack.
13-inch MacBook Pro? new chip, same hardware
Although the MacBook Air got a little love this WWDC, so did the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, launched in 2020, is now equipped with the M2 chip, but it is the only update it receives. We still wonder why the 13-inch MacBook Pro existed when the new Air just became a compelling alternative.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro retains the Touch Bar and the previous-generation Retina
I feel like Apple wants to keep the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s not a real “Pro” but the SD card and extra ports from the larger models. The 13-inch MacBook Pro gets the new chip, and it still comes with an active cooling fan – but the performance benefits between the two are still extremely similar.
Apple has moved on from the Touch Bar, but this laptop has not. So maybe if you’re someone who wants to keep the Touch Bar, then this seems to be the only real reason to have one when the price gap up to the 14-inch MacBook Pro is not much more for the XDR screen, M1 Pro’s extra performance, MagSafe and extra ports .
iPadOS will feel more like working on a Mac
New updates to iPadOS has made it possible to work with an external monitor on M1-powered iPad Pros. And not to mirror the main image, but to have a secondary workspace when connected to an external monitor. This will make multitasking more useful for productive iPadOS users.
IPadOS 16 external display support
There is also a new Stage Manager feature that allows you to resize and manipulate multi-tasking windows on an iPad, which is a great alternative to split screening. This should make the experience so much closer to feeling like you are using a real computer. Unfortunately, Stage Manager and external display features will only be available for M1-powered iPads.
iPadOS 16 Stage Manager
There is now also an official Weather app on the iPad that made many people shout. It takes a long time for Apple not to have released an official Weather app for iPad (just like it has a weather app on the iPhone) until now. But so far, Apple has not seen the need to make one at all.
iOS 16 sees minor updates
iOS 16 was announced, and the most important changes were mostly adding features that Apple’s competitors were already using. This is the part where you tell me that Apple did better – meh, you’m probably right.
One of the most chat-worthy updates is those that come to iMessage, with the ability to delete sent messages and edit recently sent iMessage.
The lock screen gets a significant update on how it works, what it looks like and how you interact with it. Basically, lock screens are now customizable – and you can do many of them – with widgets inspired by Apple Watch Complications, which is a great way to connect it to iOS.
There are also manageable widgets called Live Activities, which honestly are just widgets on the lock screen.
The photo app gets some new sharing features and suggestions for face recognition. Again, iOS 16 gets no major changes, just major changes to small things.
MacOS Ventura and wrapup
I’m a MacOS user, so I see it Center Stage for MacOS Ventura is something that I can see improve how I multitask on MacOS. It looks like it will be more manageable to have over 20 application windows open and not lose them when you enable Mission Control.
A really cool thing was the Continuity Camera, which is the ability to use an iPhone’s main cameras as a webcam and the ultrawide on the iPhone enables “Desk View” which lets the receiver see what you are doing on your desktop using some AI and image distortion to see looks like you’re using an overhead camera.
WWDC with minor updates of MacOS, iOS, watchOS 9 gets some new dials and health features, while iPadOS and iOS get some new UI improvements. The most important announcement in my eyes is the updated MacBook Air with M2 chip – which is again a nice MacBook.
We look forward to seeing what Apple announces later this year in September, focusing more on iPhone messaging and iPhone-related hardware.
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