Apple WWDC 2022: A year of refinements and collaborations





Being a Microsoft-centric site, coverage of Apple’s developer conference might come as a bit of a head scratcher, but the context lies in the dichotomy of presentations to their perceived developer audience.

Both companies took 2022 to sell refinements on their core platforms to their respective developer audience with Microsoft hammering cloud Cognitive Services APIs, machine learning, and converting data through Power Apps, and Apple taking 2 hours to introduce more health tracking, expanded Car Play customizations, and Stage Manager among other features.

iOS 16

Starting with iOS 16, Apple borrows the last remnants of WebOS to offer users further customization options to the iPhone lock screen.

iOS 16 lock screen update

Lock Screen

When it’s released later this Fall, iOS 16 will allow users to set new colors, fonts, and widgets to the locks screen that include weather, activity trackers, calendars, alarms and more.

iOS16 Lock Screen Customizations

Notifications

In addition, iOS 16 will bring notifications to the bottom of the screen, presumably for greater accessibility as well as offer full screen views of media content such as Apple Music or Podcast when engaging with a media notification or widget.

iOS16 Notifications

Furthermore, Apple will also allow users to pin notifications to the lock screen for constant viewability for items such as live sports scores or news.

Moving past the lock screen, Apple is refining its messaging platform by bringing editable text to reality as well as marking messages as read or unread.

Safety Check

Perhaps, the most interesting new feature brought to iOS 16 is the Safety Check platform designed to help protect users in abusive relationships by allowing them to manage access to content on their devices, both on device and remotely.

iOS16 Safety Check

Fitness App

Apple is also bringing a ton of fitness features from the Apple Watch over to the iPhone so users can access a similar level of data and details without having to be tied to an Apple Watch purchase.

Apple Fitness on iPhone

MacOS

Apple took wraps off their new MacBook Air and Pro designs designated for a July release (as of now) while also putting an end to the M2 chip rumors.

M2

Confirmed today at WWDC 2022, Apple is working on its M2 chip which comes with its own nebulous comparison charts and performance benchmarks, but it is a reality nonetheless.

m2 - chip performance

The new MacBook Air now resembles a lighter and slightly more colorful MacBook Pro as it Apple does away with the decades long taper design, and opts for a more uniformed milling process. The prices have increased by about $100 this year with the Air now starting at $1,199 and the Pro at $1,299.

Apple MacBook Air 2022

Stage Manager

macOS 13 will bring its new flagship feature Stage Manager to new and old MacBook’s alike later this year, allowing users an additional way to multitask windows management in the OS.

macOS Stage Manager

While it’s not Snap Assist, it does allow macOS users a way to keep their most important windows visible with some flexibility to which apps get shown in single app mode.

Improved Spotlight

While Microsoft gets ridiculed by some users for testing out a desktop visible search widget on certain Windows 11 Insider machines, Apple has smashed the gas on a similar implementation for its end users.

Spotlight will now be improved with some visual tweaks and context related search data to help macOS users find items such as a musician’s discography, an actors’ films credits as well as files and content on the desktop.

Improved Spotlight macOS

It’s unclear where the new Spotlight will gather its search information from, but this move adds distances for macOS users with one additional step away from Google’s big G search platform and could have a lasting effect on the Search Engine’s algorithm and recommendations for Apple users.

iPadOS 16

There wasn’t a whole lot coming to iPadOS in my opinion but the tablet OS will receive the same windows management as macOS with Stage Manager. The addition of Stage Manager is potentially a big deal for iPad users who have been craving better window management for the platform that includes overlapping windows and finer controls over window sizes.

iPad-OS windowing

FreeForm

Apple is also introducing its new app in FreeForm which offers a similar look and feel to Microsoft’s Whiteboard and Google’s Jamboard. Freefrom is yet another digital canvass that enables collaborative brainstorming like experience where users can add images, written notes or doodles, documents, web links, PDFs and clips from apps such as Numbers, and more.

iPadOS FreeForm App

The Apple twist of FreeFrom comes with the addition of FaceTime video that allows users to video conference with users while real time collaborating.

Misc

Other smaller headlines from WWDC 2022 will include the cut off for macOS Venture beginning with 2017 and later for support, the Google-ification of Photos on iOS, new weather app for iPad OS, full iPad external display support, new Car Play UIs, and new Family Share features, but I don’t see them getting as the same prolonged coverage as the list above.

CarPlay Updates

All in all, Apple’s WWDC keynote followed a similar refinement theme as Google I/O and BUILD to some extent. We may be at peak computing revolution and are easing into a decidedly interesting evolution phase for both developers and consumers.

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