Apple WWDC 2022 Keynote Highlights: iOS 16, New MacBook Models, watchOS 9, and More

iOS 16 was unveiled at WWDC 2022, bringing improvements to notifications, lock screen, Messages, as well as Health apps.

Highlights
  • WWDC usually sees software launches, but new Mac devices are expected
  • Apple may unveil a new MacBook Air
  • iOS 16, iPadOS 16, tvOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS 13 anticipated

And that's a wrap from WWDC. In closing, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS 13 will be available from this Fall, with developer betas becoming available today, and public betas planned to release in July.

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WWDC 2022's keynote address also saw the unveiling of iPadOS 16, with a focus on multitasking (with Stage Manager coming from macOS) as well as on collaboration. The latter includes the ability to quickly share and collaborate on documents and other content via apps such as Messages and Free Form (a new app coming later this year). Also new is the Weather app, the ability to change file extensions, and virtual memory swapping.

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macOS 13 has been unveiled at the WWDC keynote - and it's called Ventura. macOS Ventura features new multitasking tools, such as Stage Manager, which lets you group windows and switch quickly between apps. Mail is getting an upgrade, with the ability to undo sending a message, scheduled send, and reminders. Safari and Spotlight also gained new features, with Shared Tab Groups and FIDO Alliance-supported Passkeys for the browser, and richer results and quick actions for the search interface. Continuity also gets an upgrade, including the ability to use the iPhone as a webcam, to handoff FaceTime calls from iPhone to the Mac.

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Apple at the WWDC keynote also introduced another M2-based machine - a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro, with no major design changes beyond the processor refresh. Featuring an up to 20-hour battery life, it will be priced at $1,299 (roughly Rs. 101,000).

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Said to be 20 percent faster than the MacBook Air with the M1 chip, the new MacBook Air with the M2 chip brings include two Thunderbolt ports, up to 18 hours of battery life, a fast charging adapter, new beamforming mics, Dolby Atmos speakers, a 1080p webcam, high-impedance headphone jacks, and 4 colour options - Midnight, Silver, Space Grey, and Starlight. It is priced starting at $1,199 (roughly Rs. 93,300).

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Apple at its WWDC keynote also unveiled the new Apple M2 SoC for PCs, as well as the much-anticipated MacBook Air 2022. Featuring a 13.6-inch display and a fanless design, the new MacBook Air is said to be just 11mm thin, and weigh roughly 1.2kg.

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Next up, is watchOS 9, which brings several changes to the Apple Watch ecosystem. New features include new complications, watch faces, notifications, and the ability to pin apps. The Workout app is also getting new features with the release, including new running metrics and heart rate zones. The company has also updated the Fitness app for iOS, bringing new health and activity tracking features to iPhone users without an Apple Watch. Another watchOS 9 health update unveiled by Apple are brand new sleep tracking features in the Sleep app, allowing users to track their Core, Deep, and REM sleeps stages. The atrial fibrillation detection feature will also receive an upgrade, with the ability to track how long the state lasts, and its weekly frequency. Separately, Apple revealed users will also be able to keep a track of their prescription medications, with notifications to take them on time, alerts for possible drug interactions, and the ability to scan prescription labels for details.

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Apple is now talking up updates to its car infotainment system interface, CarPlay, but unfortunately, these changes aren't arriving anytime soon.  The 'next-generation' CarPlay was previewed on stage, showing off new controls and widgets, but it will only ship late next year.

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Other privacy and safety features in iOS 16 include Safety Check, which is meant to help those in abusive relationships secure app access and passwords, amongst other tools. The company also detailed updates to Home, including a brand new, easier to use Home app, as well as support for the new smart home standard called Matter.

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Other updates to iOS 16 were detailed by Craig Federighi, including Apple News getting a new section 'My Sports' section, letting you keep a track of favourite teams. Apple has also revamped Family Sharing to add new parental controls and an easier way to set up a device for children. Other iOS 16 privacy features include the ability to approve screen time requests directly in Messages, and the ability to adjust parental control settings with Family Checklist. Alongside privacy, the company unveiled new iCloud Shared Photo Library - which lets up to six people participate, with smart upload filters to share only relevant photos. 

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Apple Maps is also getting a big update with iOS 16, with the Map Display feature being brought to new countries, 3D View coming to more North American cities, a new multi-stop feature for route planning, and the ability to upload high-res images to locations and apps.

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Live Text is now going to support video, allowing users to interact with text seen in video. Apple is also touting new quick actions so that you can act on the text. Developers are getting a new Live Text API so they can receive text from media. The company also went on to announce Apple Pay Later - the company's new buy now, pay later service that is claimed to work everywhere that Apple Pay works.

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iOS 16 also revamps the Dictation feature, with improved voice recognition that's done on device. An advantage of the new implementation is that the keyboard stays active while dictating, letting users switch between styles of input. The company also touted emoji detection, and a new API for developers to leverage Siri for their own dictation purposes.

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iOS 16 revamps the Messages app, with such features as editing messages, the ability to undo sending a message, and to mark a thread as unread.

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For developers, Apple will be providing a WidgetKit to help develop widgets for the new iOS 16 lock screen. Federighi also detailed how notifications will appear on the new lock screen, as well as a new notification style called Live Activities - for events such as cab status, music player, and sports details.

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Federighi details new personalisation options for the lock screen, from text to a variety of new widgets, and animated wallpapers.

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To talk about iOS 16, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, takes stage. He touted the intelligence, sharing, and communication features of the new operating system, as well as new personalisation options, starting with more customisable lock screen.

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Cook says there are announcements in store for the Apple's technologies and platforms, and detailed developer initiatives like a developer centre and academy programmes. There are now 34 million Apple developers, the Cook added.

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Apple's WWDC 2022 keynote address has kicked off, with CEO Tim Cook taking stage welcoming developers.

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Apple's WWDC 2022 keynote starts at 10am PT (10:30pm IST). Stay tuned for live updates from the keynote address, right here, and in the meanwhile, you can catch yourself up on the latest rumours about the upcoming announcements.

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Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC as it is also known, will kick off today in a keynote address at 10am PT (10:30pm IST). The developer-focussed keynote traditionally reveals upcoming software from the Cupertino-based electronics giant, and this year, we can expect the latest versions of its mobile, tablet, PC, smartwatch, and TV box operating systems, specifically, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16. Other reveals anticipated from the developer conference include new and improved native apps, while some rumours indicate Apple may unveil new Mac devices at the keynote, in the form of the new MacBook Air. Stay tuned for live updates from the keynote address, right here, and in the meanwhile, you can catch yourself up on the latest rumours about the upcoming announcements.

New software, hardware

As we mentioned, Apple traditionally uses WWDC as the stage to unveil the latest versions of its operating systems, and this year, we should get to see previews of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16 before their beta and general public releases later in 2022. 

iOS 16 is expected to bring improvements to such features and apps as notifications, lock screen, Camera, Messages, and Health apps, apart from a new audio experiences, redesigned app icons, interactive widgets, upgraded theme options, and a floating app window. iPadOS 16 on the other hand is anticipated to offer improved multitasking, almost on part with macOS.

As for the company's operating system for desktop and laptop PCs, macOS 13 - rumoured to be codenamed Mammoth - is said to bring incremental changes including design overhauls for native apps. watchOS 9 is anticipated to bring updates to areas related to health tracking, an improved atrial fibrillation feature, other day-to-day activities, as well as navigation.

Finally, while not much has been rumoured about tvOS 16, it may be that Apple chooses to unveil homeOS as a dedicated smart home operating system at WWDC22. We also mentioned that there is a chance Apple unveils new Mac devices at the event, and the latest rumours indicate the company will launch the MacBook Air 2022 in a 14-inch display size, and less likely, it may also unveil the anticipated 13-inch MacBook Pro, both powered by Apple's new M2 SoC.

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