Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off on Monday with a keynote address, and the company used the stage to announce a bunch of new software updates and the stray hunks of hardware. Rather than sticking with the totally virtual event format Apple has been running during the pandemic, this WWDC was a strange hybrid of pre-recorded video played before a live audience assembled at the company’s California headquarters. As expected, Apple went big on the software updates. But there’s also a new MacBook Air and a new M2 processor.
Read on for all the news Apple announced today, and check out the rest of WIRED’s WWDC 2022 coverage.
Hey look, there’s a new MacBook Air. Normally it would be a surprise to see a laptop launched at a software event, but the long-awaited portable was expecting by the pundits. The 2022 MacBook Air has a new case design that’s 20 percent thinner than the previous model, features slimmer bezels around the screen and a smaller notch for the webcam at the top of the display. Also, big news: It has MagSafe. The magnetic charging attachment appears on the new MacBook Air in place of the Thunderbolt charging that Apple has been moving toward lately. The MagSafe addition also frees up the two Thunderbolt-USB 4 ports. Inside, there’s a new M2 chip (more on that below) that improves performance and battery life. Apple says the new Air gets 18 hours on a charge, even while playing videos the whole time. The new laptop weighs just 2.7 pounds and comes in four different colors. The MacBook Air starts at $1,199.
There’s also a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip inside. Apple says it gets up to 20 hours of battery life and can be upgraded with 24 GB of memory and a 2 TB SSD. The Pro starts at $1,299.
The M2 Chip
Apple’s new chip is built on the same proprietary hardware that the company’s been packing into most of its new machines. This second-generation chip has an 8-core CPU that Apple says is 18 percent faster than the M1. The GPU has up to 10 cores, which Apple claims gets 25 percent higher performance than its predecessor. It’s going to be available in the new MacBook Air and a new 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The next version of the iPhone’s operating system will arrive this fall, and it’s coming with a bunch of quality of life updates. The lock screen is getting more customizable. Now, you can make a variety of visual changes without having to unlock the screen. Just press and hold to change colors and typefaces, or activate widgets that let you access things like your calendar, workout apps, and photos. Apple is also tying its Focus app to the lock screen. Set a lock screen for each of your Focus modes, and your notifications and apps will be filtered to show just what’s relevant to your current mode, helping you avoid those constant texts and distractions.
Apple also added some updates to Messages. Maybe more noteworthy is the ability to edit and even delete texts after they’ve been sent. The voice-to-text dictation feature is getting some enhancements too, like the ability to flow between voice and finger input, something that’s enabled by the keyboard staying on-screen while you dictate. Apple’s Live text feature has been updated to let you copy text right from videos, photos, and the translation app. In Apple Maps, a Multistop planning feature lets you plot out up to 15 different stops along your journey.