Apple has announced iOS 16 for the iPhone, as well as software updates for the Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad, on the first day of its annual WWDC 2022 developer conference. With a long list of features coming to the iPhone and other Apple products later this year, the developer conference is off to a good start. Apple did not reveal or tease the mysterious mixed-reality headset, but it did reveal the new MacBook Air with the M2 processor. Many of the announcements made at this year’s WWDC had already been leaked or were well-known in the tech community. However, there were a few surprises in store, including the debut of CarPlay 2 and the ability to use your iPhone as a webcam on a Mac. Here’s what we didn’t expect to see at WWDC 2022.
WWDC 2022: Apple CarPlay 2.0
Nobody expected Apple to show off its next-generation in-app car mirroring technology at WWDC. The all-new CarPlay interface goes beyond simply displaying information on your iPhone to actually integrating your car’s hardware. The best part of the new CarPlay experience, depending on what car you own, is how it adapts to multi-display dashboards and screens. The level of customization features and the way you control your radio, adjust your air conditioning, and view car data such as fuel level and speed demonstrate how serious Apple is about getting the software right in cars.
Late next year, the first cars to support Apple’s next-generation CarPlay will be revealed. We don’t have many details yet, but one thing is clear: Apple appears to be interested in demonstrating its in-car operating system to the major automakers. Perhaps Apple will want to build its own car someday. For the time being, Apple is content to use CarPlay to make future cars from major manufacturers “connected” and “intelligent.”
WWDC 2022: iPhone as a webcam for your Mac.
We’re not sure why this wasn’t announced during Covid-19, but the idea of turning our iPhone into a webcam appealed to us. After all, webcams on laptops are still abysmal. Apple’s announcement that we will soon be able to use our iPhones as webcams on Macs was certainly exciting. The best part is that you don’t need to connect your iPhone to your Mac; the computer will recognize it right away. To turn an iPhone into a webcam, you’ll need to update your iPhone to iOS 16 and your Mac to the latest macOS Ventura.
But wait, there’s more. You can also use two iPhone camera lenses at the same time with this feature. One will be focused on the speaker, while the other will be able to concentrate on something else. It’s called “Desk View” by Apple, and it shows the user’s face as well as an overhead view of their desk. It’s excellent for unboxing videos. But, in order for this to work, Apple recommends purchasing a holder from Belkin, an accessory company.
WWDC 2022: New MacBook Air has a $200 price increase.
Let’s be honest: the new MacBook Air looks incredible. The new MacBook Air is the coolest notebook in town, with a chunkier, squared-off look, a fanless body, a new 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, and the second-generation M2 chip. Even with all of Apple’s improvements, the starting price of $1200 is arguably higher for an entry-level machine.
That’s a lot more money than you’d pay for the M1 MacBook Air, which costs only $999. The new MacBook Air’s $1200 price tag alludes to the demise of the sub-$1000 Mac notebook that made the Air so popular among students and regular people. It serves as a reminder that Apple has a variety of MacBook Air plans.
WWDC 2022: MaC’s true AAA gaming
Apple’s push to make its Macs true AAA gaming machines was perhaps the biggest surprise (and the least expected announcement). Apple announced news about the Metal 3 update for Macs at WWDC 2022. The emphasis of the presentation was on showing developers how to use the Metal 3 and MetalFX Upscaling tools to improve graphics, textures, frame rates, and loading times for the M1 and M2 architectures, resulting in a smooth, immersive gaming experience for Mac users.
It may appear that Apple is taking a small step into the gaming world, but if developers start supporting AAA titles for Macs, the impact could be enormous. This year, with games like No Man’s Sky, Grid Legends, and Resident Evil Village coming to Mac, “it’s a new day” for Mac gaming. However, Apple must still find a way to make it worthwhile for developers to port their games to the Mac.
WWDC 2022: Apple’s version of digital whiteboard apps is called Freeform.
Because so many people nowadays use a whiteboard for remote meetings, online collaboration, and presentations, whiteboard applications are hot right now. We weren’t aware that Apple was quietly developing a whiteboard app while we were expecting a major update to the iPadOS. It’s called Freeform, and it’ll be released later this year on iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura.
Freeform is a note-taking app with collaboration capabilities and native FaceTime integration. Users can add notes, photos, doodles, or PDFs, as well as view and edit the contributions of others. The best part is that when using the iPad, Free Form supports the Apple Pencil.
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