This Week @ MacsWest Teaching, Helping, Learning and Having Fun!
•MONDAY, JUNE 5, 2023
10:00 AM to NOON –Room C open for free The Mac U Video Training.
NOON to 2:00 PM – New Monday Afternoon Genius Bar.No need to make an appointment. Just walk into the Palm Ridge Rec Center Computer Lab Room C and have a one-on-one session with a “Genius” and get all the help you need.
•TUESDAY, JUNE 6, 2023
10:00 AM to NOON –Room C open for free The Mac U Video Training.
• WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7, 2023
10:00 AM – GENIUS BAR: No need to make an appointment. Just walk into the Palm Ridge Rec Center Computer Lab Room C and have a one-on-one session with someone there to help you. We will be there to help solve your Apple device and Apple app problems. Be sure to bring your list of IDs and passwords (you do write them down somewhere safe, don’t you?)
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM –Genealogy
• THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2023
10:00 AM to NOON – Laura and Judith will be in Computer Lab Room A to discuss genealogy and help you with the Ancestry app—which we have on one of the iMacs
NOON to 2:00 PM –Room C open for free The Mac U Video Training.
• FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2023
1:00 PM – MacsWest REGULAR MEETING: Every Friday we feature a Presentation about some aspect of Apple life: Mac, Watch, iPhone, iPad, Apps. in Room D @ Palm Ridge Computer Lab, until 2:00 PM.
Every year there is a major update to macOS, the Mac operating system, followed by smaller updates bringing fixes and new features in the months that follow. In 2022 Apple previewed macOS Ventura at WWDC in June and then, following an extensive beta testing phase, released the final version to Mac users on Monday, October 24.
If you are yet to update to Ventura, here’s what you need to know about the new features, whether Ventura will run on your Mac, and how Apple’s apps including Mail and Safari have changed. We’ll also discuss details of any issues and flaws people are encountering with the new software
Apple continues to develop macOS even after a major release, so throughout the months since Ventura arrived we have got regular updates bringing new features and fixes. In this article we’ll let you know what the latest version of macOS Ventura is and what new features it brought. And we’ll reveal what features will be coming in the next update to Ventura.
Update May 11 2023: macOS Ventura 13.4 will be here soon–Apple’s beta testers are looking at the release candidate. This followed a Rapid Security Response update that arrived on May 2 and provided important security fixes.
macOS Ventura: latest version
macOS Ventura arrived on Macs on Monday, October 24. As with previous releases, it became available for download at 10 a.m. PT.
On May 2 Apple issued a Rapid Security Response update for macOS Ventura 13.3.1. Apple’s new Rapid Security Response system means it can patch security vulnerabilities quickly, rather than waiting for a larger version releases that can take weeks to test. The patch was for macOS 13.3.1 (as well as iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1). Apple stated that: “This Rapid Security Response provides important security fixes and is recommended for all users.” The update requires the Mac to shut down and restart and is about 310MB. If you have installed this update it will show on your Mac as macOS 13.3.1 (a).
macOS Ventura 13.3.1arrived on April 7, two weeks after macOS 13.3. That update includes bug fixes and security updates including a fix for the pushing hands emoji which did not show skin tone variations and an issue where Auto Unlock your Mac with Apple Watch might not work.
macOS 13.3 arrived on March 27, 2023. It brought 21 new emoji, updates to the Freeform app, changes to the way Photos shows duplicates, extra translation support and keyboard layouts, a fix for an issue with Trackpad gestures and more. There is also an update to the Podcasts app with an improved Up Next queue, episode filtering and the ability to browse by season. macOS 13.3 also includes a number of security fixes. Unfortunately macOS 13.3 also introduced a number of problems including: an issue with Universal Control and Handoff not working, Quick Look not working, and a problem with Home directories saved to an external storage device.
macOS Ventura 13.2.1, arrived on February 13 and included three critical security fixes, including one for a WebKit vulnerability that could lead to arbitrary code execution.
macOS Ventura macOS 13.2 arrived on January 23 and included 22 security updates (many critical fixes) and several new features and fixes including support for physical FIDO-certified security keys that were announced as part of the Advanced Data Protection for iCloud. Advanced Data Protection also comes to users outside the U.S. for the first time.
Apple also used the 13.2 beta to push the first Rapid Security Response updates to the Mac, which will allow Apple to push smaller, targeted releases are for security updates that arrive between full OS updates on Macs, iPhones, and iPads.
macOS 13.1 arrived on December 13, 2022 and brought with it a new app called Freeform and iCloud Advanced Data Protection. Other new features include the ability to use a Mac to make an AirTag to play a sound so you can locate it, an improved Home app, better search in Messages, and fixes for various issues.
That update came just over a month after macOS Ventura macOS 13.0.1, which arrived on Macs on November 9, 2022. The macOS Ventura 13.0.1 update included bug fixes and two security updates. The security updates includes fix for an issue where a remote user could cause unexpected app termination or arbitrary code execution.
Next macOS Ventura update release date
We expect that Apple will make macOS 13.4 ready for download very soon–the beta is in the final ‘release candidate’ version as of May 10, so a release around May 16 or a week later on May 28.
macOS Ventura: Latest beta version
Apple’s beta testers are currently looking at the release candidate version of macOS 13.4. The first release for those with a developer account came on March 28, 2023 and this final version on May 10.
It takes Apple about around six weeks to properly test new versions of its operating systems, so we anticipated that macOS Ventura 13.4 will arrive at the end of May 2023, this is in line with our prediction that it could arrive in the week of May 15 or May 27.
It’s not clear what changes will feature in 13.4 but Apple has revealed some fixes for certain issues including a fix for an issue with a Apple Studio Display firmware update.
There are a number of new features coming to iOS 16.5 that we anticipate will appear in the macOS update, including:
A new ‘multi-view’ sports feature for the TV App, which gains a new Sports tab at the bottom of the screen.
A new Sports tab in Apple News as well as a My Sports score and schedule cards linking to information about specific games.
macOS Ventura: Compatibility
The following Macs are supported by macOS Ventura:
MacBook models from 2017 or later
MacBook Air models from 2018 or later
MacBook Pro models from 2017 or later
Mac mini models from 2018 or later
iMac models from 2017 or later
iMac Pro (all models)
Mac Pro models from 2019 or later
Mac Studio (all models)
This means the following Macs, which were supported by Monterey, have now fallen off the list:
iMac (models from 2015)
MacBook Air (models from 2015 and 2017 models)
MacBook Pro (2015 and 2016 models)
Mac mini (2014 models)
Mac Pro (2013 model – cylinder/trash can)
MacBook (2016 model)
The 2014 Mac mini was sold until 2018, the ‘trash can’ Mac Pro until 2019, and the 2017 MacBook Air was sold until July 2019. We had thought that Apple wouldn’t remove those Macs from the supported list, since people might have purchased the model just such a short time ago. At least they will still be supported by macOS Monterey for at least two more macOS generations. See: This is how long Apple supports Macs. To find out if your Mac will support Ventura read: macOS 13 Ventura compatibility: Can your Mac run the latest version?
As issues and problems arise–and as Apple issues fixes–we will include them here.
Malwarebytes has flagged an issue with Ventura that it claims “disables security software”, which appears to be related to the inability to grant Full Disk Access to the software. According to Malwarebytes “Apple is aware of the issue and has said that it will be fixed in macOS Ventura version 13.1.” Malwarebytes does offer a fix for the problem.
A Wi-Fi bug is reportedly affecting some Mac users running macOS Monterey and Ventura, with M1 and M2 MacBook users complaining of lost Wi-Fi connections, slow internet performance in general, and dropped Zoom calls. This is according to San Francisco-based internet infrastructure provider Meter. More information here: Pesky Wi-Fi bug in M1 and M2 MacBooks is likely related to AirDrop.
macOS 13.1 fixes an issue that causes some notes not to sync with iCloud after updates are made.
macOS 13.1 fixes an issue where you may lose keyboard and mouse input in some apps and games.
Continuity continues to evolve with the introduction of Stage Manager – a new way to manage your desktop clutter that reminds us a little bit of Spaces, because it allows you to organize working areas and hide them away, albeit at the side of your screen, rather than the top. Here’s how to use Stage Manager to organize your windows.
Another continuity-related feature allows you to use your iPhone as a webcam as well as Handoff a FaceTime call from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. Continuity Camera is a great way to benefit from the superior camera on the iPhone. One really impressive feature is Desk View, which displays two views to the person you are calling – your face and your desk. Using the iPhone camera means that Mac users can benefit from features like Portrait mode and Centre Stage and the new Studio Light feature. Read about how to use your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac.
iCloud Shared Photo Library
You can now set up an album in Photos that lets you select up to five people that can all add photos and videos and quickly share them with each other. Here’s how to set it up on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Advanced Data Protection for iCloud
In macOS 13.1 Apple added more than 20 data categories protected using end-to-end encryption, including iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos.
Apple’s method to search your Mac – Spotlight – also received a revamp. Quick Look allows you to preview files and you can search photos by location, objects, people, and more. Live Text improvements mean that you will be able to search text within images and videos. Users will even be able to create a new document, start a timer, or more, from within Spotlight. More information here: How Apple has improved Spotlight search in Ventura.
In macOS Ventura, Apple has added several new features to make Reminders more helpful. You’ll be able to see your reminders grouped by time and date, you will be able to pin a list and save lists to be used as templates. Read about the new features in Reminders here: Reminders in macOS Ventura.
Expect gaming on the Mac to truly take off (well Apple does anyway). Apple says that every new Mac will be able to run AAA games “with ease”. Improvements in Metal 3, MetalFX Upscaling, and Fast Resource Loading API should benefit game developers.
In macOS Monterey and earlier, users didn’t get to control much of the AirPod’s settings, but that’s changing in Ventura. When Ventura launches users will finally get access to the full complement of AirPods settings, just like in iOS. Read more here: Full AirPods settings coming to your Mac.
macOS Ventura: App updates
Over the years at the same time as Apple has updated the Mac operating system it has also made changes to various apps that ship with the Mac, and we can expect more this year. Several new features are coming to Safari and Mail along with updates to Weather, the Clock, new accessibility tools (such as Live Captions).
This is a brand new app that arrived in macOS Ventura 13.1 in December 2022. The Freeform app is a whiteboard app for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac that lets you work across devices and share sketches, notes, files, web links, documents, photos, video, and audio in real time.
In macOS 13.1 Apple redesigned the Home app and improved performance.
Mail now has improved search, but probably the most anticipated feature will be the ability to cancel delivery of an email after clicking send (we imagine there is a time limit here) and also schedule sending an email. Both are features offered by third parties, but it’s good to see them coming to Apple’s email software. Read How to unsend and schedule e-mail in Apple Mail for more information.
There is some confusion over the inclusion of the Hide My Mail feature, which should mean that it isn’t a requirement to share your email with third parties. Initially, Apple referred to the feature, but this has since been erased from the webpage describing email features in Ventura, at least in some countries. Hide My Email isn’t new to Ventura – it arrived in Monterey in 2021, but in Ventura Apple was expected to extend it to third parties.
Like its iOS counterpart, Messages on the Mac will allow users to edit a message once sent and recover accidentally deleted messages.
In macOS 13.1 Apple improved search in Messages allows you to find photos based on their content, like a dog, car, person, or text.
In macOS 13.1 Apple improved collaboration in Notes by adding Participant Cursors so you can see live indicators when others are making updates in a shared note.
Passkeys will be generated as a more secure means of identifying you and are associated with Touch ID or Face ID. These will replace passwords. Apple claims that “Passkeys are unique digital keys that stay on the device and are never stored on a web server,” therefore they are more secure because it is impossible to leak one, or for anyone to phish one from you.
Of the big Apple events of the year, WWDC is the most reliable: In each of the past 16 Junes, like clockwork, Apple has held a big get-together for its developer partners and announced a raft of important software updates. The September iPhone launch and the March/April spring event seem almost unpredictable by comparison.
In this article, we list the major announcements (and some of the smaller titbits) you can expect to hear about at WWDC 2023 this June. Some of these–updates to the five big Apple operating systems, most obviously–are as predictable as the timing of the event. But we reckon Apple will spring a few surprises too.
WWDC 2023 will kick off on Monday, June 5 and the entire conference and its workshops will be held online. Apple will have a “special in-person experience” for some developers and students to watch the keynote live at Apple Park—but the event will be streamed live for the world to watch.
macOS Ventura 13.3 arrives with new emoji, Trackpad fixes, security updates
Will the next major release of Ventura coincide with the launch of a new Mac?
Following several rumors from credible sources that claim Apple is preparing to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air in April, as well as the looming release of the first Apple silicon-based Mac Pro, Apple has released the macOS 13.3 update.
The 13.3 update follows the general release of macOS Ventura 13.2 on January 23, which included nearly two dozen security updates and support for physical FIDO-certified security keys. Apple released macOS Ventura 13.2.1 in mid-February with three more critical security fixes, including one for a WebKit vulnerability that could lead to arbitrary code execution.
macOS 13.3 release notes
These are the new features in macOS 13.3, as stated by Apple’s release notes: This update includes more than 30 security updates for your Mac, which you can find below:
• 21 new emoji including animals, hand gestures, and objects are now available in emoji keyboard
• Remove background option in Freeform automatically isolates the subject in your image
• Photos duplicates album expands support to detect duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library
• Transliteration support for Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu keyboards
• New keyboard layouts for Choctaw, Chickasaw, Akan, Hausa, and Yoruba
• Accessibility setting to automatically dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected
• VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app
• Resolves an issue where Trackpad gestures may occasionally stop responding
• Fixes an issue where Ask to Buy requests from children may fail to appear on the parent’s device
• Addresses an issue where VoiceOver may be unresponsive after using Finder
macOS Ventura 13.3: How to install
Click on the Apple menu and select System Settings.
Select General in the left sidebar.
Select Software Update in the main section of the window.
Your Mac will check online for any available updates. If the update is available, a description will appear. Click on the Update Now button to start the installation. The update will download to your Mac and the installer will run. The Mac will need to restart to complete the installation.
iOS 16.4 is out now with new emojis and critical security updates
With iOS 16.4 you get several new features in addition to bug fixes and security updates.
After a delayed arrival of the first beta that didn’t arrive until February 16, more than three weeks after iOS 16.3 arrived, it appears that Apple is ready to release the latest version of iOS 16 to the masses. There are several new features in the latest update, along with standard bug fixes and security updates. Here’s everything you can expect when it arrives on your iPhone, likely on Monday, March 27, or Tuesday, March 28.
Update 3/27/23: Apple has released iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4.
iOS 16.4: New features
Here are some of the significant changes and additions in iOS 16.4. We will continue to update this section as more changes are discovered.
New emoji: This release adds the emoji that are part of the Unicode 15.0 standard. They include a shaking face (side to side, like “no”), several heart colors including a pink heart that was strangely absent until now, left and right pushing hands, several new animals (moose, goose, jellyfish), and a few food items and musical instruments.
Web push notifications: This release adds support for web push notifications. Web apps saved to the home screen can send system notifications through the Push API, Notifications API, and Service Workers by using the standard HTML5 Web Push API. Websites have to ask for permission just as apps do, and it has to be in response to a user action (like tapping a “subscribe” button or the like).
Home architecture upgrade: The Home architecture upgrade that was pulled from the iOS 16.2 release is back in iOS 16.4. This is an under-the-hood update of the Home architecture; the Home app itself was updated in an earlier release.
Voice Isolation for cellular calls: A new setting in Control Center will prioritize your voice and block out ambient noise around you while on calls.
Podcasts app: The Podcasts app across iPhone, iPad, and CarPlay improves the Up Next queue and adds features like episode filtering and the ability to browse by season.
Widgets: A new Wallet widget to easily track orders.
Books page-turning animation: The page-turning animation, where the corner of the page folds up, is back in Apple Books after being removed in the first iOS 16 release.
New beta requirements: If your device is registered as a beta tester, you can open Settings > General > Software Updates and a new menu allows you to select whether you want no beta updates, Developer Beta updates (if applicable), or Public Beta updates. Also, developers will now need an authorized developer account to install updates rather than just a profile.
Apple ID for beta access: Apple is cracking down on loading beta versions through third-party sites and profiles, requiring verification of an Apple ID enrolled in either the public or developer beta program. With iOS 16.4, you’ll be able to designate an Apple ID with beta access that is separate from the one used for the rest of the device’s features.
Executive Editor, Macworld MAR 26, 2023 7:12 am PDT
Assuming Apple follows the same schedule it has for as long as we can remember, macOS Ventura 13.3 will arrive on all supported Macs on Monday or Tuesday. It’s not a huge release—the most notable new feature is a handful of emoji—but it could mean something else that is huge is on the horizon.
Back in January, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the Apple silicon Mac Pro was running macOS Ventura 13.3 while the rest of the world was still on 13.1. It’s not surprising that the Mac Pro would be running a newer version of Ventura in testing, since there are likely several hardware features that are exclusive to the machine and require optimization and compatibility tweaks to macOS.
Nor is it surprising that Apple used macOS 13.3. The point-3 version of macOS has typically been the biggest mid-cycle release, so it makes sense for Apple to test it on the Mac Pro since it’s likely that future Ventura updates will be focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and security updates. So now, with that version set to release in just a few days, does that mean the new Mac Pro could arrive at any moment? Possibly.
Even if it arrives running macOS 13.3, however, the next Mac Pro will almost certainly have its own initial version of macOS. For example, when the M2 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro arrived last June, they were running their own build of macOS Monterey 12.4, which had arrived for existing Macs on May 16. Then, when macOS 12.5 landed on July 20, the M2 Macs were updated with the rest of the Ventura-compatible devices as normal.
So if the Mac Pros in testing are indeed running macOS 13.3, Apple could launch a new model sometime between when macOS 13.3 launches next week and the arrival of macOS 13.4. Following Apple’s usual timeline, that would give Apple until mid-May to unveil the new model.
So it’s not a stretch to say a new Mac Pro will arrive sooner than later, probably before WWDC. Even without the Apple silicon transition, the Intel model would be ancient by now, and if Apple hopes to convince its highest-end users of the advantages of Apple silicon, it needs to start yesterday.
As March rolls along, we’re still on the lookout for any sign of a spring event. While last year’s event was held in March, the 2021 event wasn’t until April 20, so Apple could still send out invitations over the coming weeks.
But is there enough to fill a full keynote? What was once expected to be a major unveiling of Apple’s next big thing now appears to have been pushed back to WWDC or the fall. We already got the new spring iPhone color, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and a 2nd-gen HomePod. And it’s unlikely that the Mac Studio and iMac, 2022 and 2021’s big spring announcements respectively, will be updated before 2024.
But the Mac Pro could still make a splash this spring along with the other rumored products that aren’t an AR headset. On the Mac side, there’s the 15-inch MacBook Air. Just this week, a surprising reference to an unreleased AirPods model number and case was spotted in iOS 16.4. And a new Mac Pro will almost certainly be accompanied by an upgraded Pro Display XDR.
Of course, it’s possible that the Mac Pro isn’t actually worthy of an event, and Apple issues another round of press releases announcing the new computer and its M2 Ultra chip. But either way, you can start the countdown once macOS 13.3 arrives.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He’s still waiting for that to come back in style tbh
Apple pushed out a stealthy security update to macOS this week
There’s a new version of the XProtect antivirus utility. Here’s how to get it on your Mac.
Apple recently updated XProtect, the software built into macOS that protects the operating system from viruses and malware. The update, version 2166, was issued on February 22, and was installed automatically, which is the usual method for XProtect.
A recent blog post by Howard Oakley points out the new version, and although Apple doesn’t issue security notes about the update, Oakley says that XProtect was updated with new Yara definitions for two exploits, MACOS.KEYSTEAL.A and HONKBOX_A, B, and C. Oakley also says that Apple usually obfuscates the identities of the exploits in its definitions, but this time Apple used their recognized names.
To see if the update was installed on your Mac, you can use the System Information app that’s located in Applications > Utilities. Once you launch the app, look for the Software section in the left column, and click on Installations. In the main section of the window, a list will appear, and if it’s sorted by Software Name, you can click the header to reverse the list (or scroll to the bottom) to see the entry for “XProtectPlistConfigData”. The update is version 2166, and is available for versions of macOS starting with El Capitan.
The update should install automatically, buy you can force the installation by using one of the utilities Oakley has created: SilentKnight, which checks if macOS’s security has been updated, or LockRattler, which checks if macOS’s basic security functions are working. These free utilities can be downloaded from Oakley’s website.
Be sure to check out Oakley’s blog, which is a terrific mix of Mac technical articles and posts about painting. Oakley is a longtime Mac developer who has written several great Mac utilities.
Roman has covered technology since the early 1990s. His career started at MacUser, and he’s worked for MacAddict, Mac|Life, and TechTV.
Apple releases iOS 16.3 for iPhone alongside updates for iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac
The latest software updates for Apple devices include support for Security Keys and the new HomePod.
Apple on Monday released several software updates for nearly its entire suite of hardware.
The updates don’t include many new features, but they do include support for using Security Keys to secure your Apple ID, support for the second generation HomePod, and Apple’s latest Unity wallpaper in support of Black History Month.
For those keeping track, Apple released iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, WatchOS 9.3, and MacOS 13.2.
Currently missing from the list of available updates are HomePodOS 16.3 and tvOS 16.3.
Apple Releases iPadOS 16 With Stage Manager, Weather App, Desktop Class Apps and iOS 16 Features
Alongside iOS 16.1, Apple today released iPadOS 16.1, with the update coming after several months of beta testing. This is the first version of iPadOS 16 that has been available for Apple’s tablets, as iOS 16 was released on its own back in September. iPadOS 16 was delayed in order for improvements to be added to the Stage Manager feature.
The iPadOS 16.1 update can be downloaded on eligible iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Those who have already updated to iOS 16 will be familiar with many of the features introduced in iPadOS 16.1 as the iPadOS 16.1 software adds the Mail, Messages, Safari, and other app updates that first debuted in iOS 16.
It introduces iCloud Shared Photo Library for easier sharing of photos and videos with friends and family, plus it brings Stage Manager. Stage Manager is compatible with the A12Z, A12X, M1, and M2iPad Pro and iPad Air models. Stage Manager was originally limited to M1 iPads, but during the beta testing process, Apple was able to expand it to additional iPad Pros.
As a result of the expansion, the feature that allows it to work with a connected display has been removed and will be reintroduced in a later update. When that feature is re-added, it will only be available for the M1 and M2 iPad models.
Today’s update brings the Weather app to the iPad for the first time, plus it adds new Maps, Game Center, and Safari features, such as Passkeys. It also includes desktop-class apps with customizable toolbars, menus with better context, Find and Replace availability across apps, and more. Apple’s full release notes for the iPadOS 16.1 update are below.
iCloud Shared Photo Library – Separate library for seamlessly sharing photos and videos with up to five other people – Setup rules allow you to easily contribute past photos based on start date or people in the photos when you set up or join a library – Library filters for quickly switching between viewing the Shared Library, your Personal Library, or both libraries together – Shared edits and permissions let everyone add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos – Sharing toggle in Camera lets you choose to send photos you take straight to the Shared Library, or enable a setting to share automatically when other participants are detected nearby using Bluetooth
Messages – Edit a message for up to 15 minutes after sending it and recipients see a record of edits – Undo send allows you to recall any message up to 2 minutes after sending it – Mark as unread makes it easy to come back to a conversation later – SharePlay in Messages lets you enjoy activities like watching movies, listening to music, playing games, and more with friends while messaging – Collaboration provides a simple way to invite others to collaborate on a file via Messages and get activity updates in the thread when someone makes an edit to a shared project
Mail – Improved search delivers more accurate, complete results and provides suggestions as soon as you begin to type – Undo send allows you to cancel delivery of a message within 10 seconds of hitting send – Scheduled send for sending an email at a specific day and time – Follow‑up surfaces sent emails that have not been replied to, to the top of your inbox so you can quickly follow‑up – Remind me lets you schedule a date and time to be reminded about an email
Safari and Passkeys – Shared Tab Groups let you share a set of tabs with others and see the Tab Group update instantly as you work together – Tab Group start pages can be customized with different background images and favorites for each Tab Group – Pinned tabs in Tab Groups enable you to pin frequently visited websites for each Tab Group – Safari web page translation adds translation for web pages in Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Polish, Indonesian, and Dutch – Passkeys offer support for an easier and safer sign‑in method to replace passwords – Passkey syncing through iCloud Keychain makes your passkeys available across all your Apple devices while keeping them end-to-end encrypted
Stage Manager – A new way to multitask on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later) and iPad Air (5th generation) – Overlapping and resizable windows allow you to adjust the size of your apps and arrange your ideal workspace – Recent Apps arranged on the left of the screen allow you to quickly switch between apps – App groups allow you to create sets of apps that you can quickly get back to
New Display Modes – Reference Mode delivers reference color for popular color standards and video formats on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Liquid Retina XDR display and with Sidecar, use it as a reference display for your Apple silicon Mac – New display scaling setting that increases the pixel density so you can view more in your apps on iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation and later) and iPad Air (5th generation)
Weather – Weather app on iPad is optimized for the larger display, including immersive animations, detailed maps, and tappable forecast modules – Weather maps show precipitation, air quality, and temperature alongside the location view or in full screen – Tappable modules reveal more detail such as hourly temperature or precipitation forecasts for the next 10 days – Air quality displays a color coded scale for air quality, level and category, and you can view air quality on a map to see related health recommendations, pollutant breakdown, and more – Animated backgrounds represent the sun position, clouds, and precipitation with thousands of variations – Severe weather notifications let you know when a severe weather alert has been issued near you
Game Center – In-Game Dashboard Activity shows you what your friends are accomplishing in this game, and what they are playing and achieving across all games in one place – Game Center Profiles highlight your achievement and leaderboard activity across all of the games you play – Contacts integration shows your friends’ Game Center profiles and lets you see what they are playing and accomplishing in games
Live Text – Live Text video support allows you to interact with text in a paused video frame so you can copy, translate, lookup, share, and more available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models – Quick actions let you take action on data detected in photos and videos with a single tap, so you can track flights or shipments, translate foreign languages, convert currencies, and more, available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models
Visual Look Up – Lift subject from background isolates the subject of an image so you can copy and paste it into apps like Mail and Messages, available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models – Visual Look Up adds recognition of birds, insects, spiders, and statues in your photos available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models
Siri – Easy Shortcuts setup makes it possible to run shortcuts with Siri as soon as you download an app with no upfront setup – A new setting allows you to send messages without Siri asking you to confirm before sending – “Hey Siri, what can I do here?” helps you discover Siri capabilities in iPadOS and apps just by asking, available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models – Call hang up option for ending Phone and FaceTime calls with Siri by saying “Hey Siri, hang up”, available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models – Emoji support lets you insert emoji using your voice when sending messages on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models
Dictation – All-new Dictation experience supports using your voice along with keyboard or Apple Pencil to enter and edit text, available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models – Automatic punctuation inserts commas, periods, and question marks as you dictate – Emoji support lets you insert emoji using your voice available on iPad (8th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later) and iPad Pro 11-inch all models
Maps – Multi-stop routing supports adding up to fifteen stops along your driving route in Maps – Transit fares show you how much your journey will cost in the San Francisco Bay Area, London, New York, and more
Home – Redesigned Home app makes it easier to navigate, organize, view, and control your smart home accessories – Home tab now integrates all your accessories, rooms, and scenes into a single tab for a whole-house view, allowing you to see your entire home at a glance – Categories for lights, climate, security, speakers and TVs, and water let you quickly access all the relevant accessories organized by room, and displays more detailed status information – New camera view displays up to four cameras front and center in the Home tab, scroll to see any additional camera views in your home – Redesigned accessory tiles feature more visually recognizable icons that are color-matched to their category, and new behaviors for more precise accessory controls – Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, is supported enabling a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across ecosystems
News – My Sports enables you to easily follow your favorite teams and leagues and watch highlights right in the News app – Favorites give you easy access to the channels and topics you read the most, in a consistent place near the top of your Today feed – New homepages deliver visually updated and easier to navigate topic feeds for local news locales, sports teams and leagues, and more
Family Sharing – Improved child account setup makes it easier to create an account for a child with the right parental controls, including age‑appropriate media restrictions – Device setup for a child lets you use Quick Start to easily set up a new iOS or iPadOS device for your child with your selected parental controls in place – Screen Time requests in Messages make it even easier to approve or decline requests from your child – Family Checklist gives you tips and suggestions like updating a child’s parental control settings, turning on location sharing, or just reminding you to share your iCloud+ subscription with everyone
Desktop-Class Apps – Customizable toolbars allow you to add the features you use most often in your apps – Menus provide additional context for actions such as close, save, and duplicate, making it easier to edit documents and files in apps like Pages and Numbers – Find and Replace is available in apps across the system, including Mail, Messages, Reminders, and Swift Playgrounds – Availability view in Calendar shows availability of invited participants when you create meetings in Calendar
Safety Check – Safety Check is a new section in Settings to help people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations quickly reset the access they’ve granted to others – Emergency reset lets you quickly take action to reset access across all people and apps, including disabling location sharing via Find My, resetting privacy permissions for apps, and more – Manage sharing and access helps you review and customize which apps and people can access your information
Accessibility – Door detection in Magnifier locates a door, reads signs and symbols around it, and gives you instructions for how to open the door – Live Captions (beta) automatically converts audio into text for users who are Deaf or hard of hearing to follow along more easily with calls and media content – Buddy controller helps users with cognitive disabilities get support from a caregiver or friend while playing a game, by combining inputs from multiple game controllers into one – VoiceOver is now available in over 20 new languages and locales, including Bangla (India), Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese – Voice Control spelling mode gives you the option to dictate names, addresses, or other custom spellings letter by letter
This release also includes other features and improvements: – New Watercolor, Monoline, and Fountain pens in Notes – AirPods Pro (2nd generation) support, including Find My and Precision Finding for the MagSafe Charging Case as well as Personalized Spatial Audio for a more precise and immersive listening experience, also available on AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro (1st generation), and AirPods Max – Handoff in FaceTime allows you to move FaceTime calls seamlessly from your iPad to your iPhone or Mac, and vice versa – Memoji updates include more sticker poses, hairstyles, headwear, noses, and lip colors – Translate camera lets you translate text around you using the camera in the Translate app – Duplicate detection in Photos identifies duplicate photos so you can quickly clean up your library – Pinned lists in Reminders helps you quickly navigate to your favorite lists – Search on the Home Screen enables Spotlight to be accessed directly from the bottom of the Home Screen, making it easy to open apps, find contacts, or get information from the web – Rapid Security Response gets important security improvements to your devices even faster, as they can be applied automatically between standard software updates
This release includes even more features and improvements. For more information, please visit this website: https://www.apple.com/ipados/ipados-16/features/
Some features may not be available for all regions or on all iPad models. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
iPadOS 16.1 addresses a long list of vulnerabilities, including a kernel issue that Apple says may have been actively exploited. More information is available in Apple’s security support document.
Additional information on all of the new features that are available in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 can be found in our dedicated roundups.
iPhone 6 is now considered a ‘Vintage’ product by Apple
iPhone 6 will certainly remain in the memory of many Apple users as it was the company’s first smartphone with a considerably larger display than its predecessors. The phone was discontinued a few years ago, but it still gets security patches and technical support from Apple – perhaps not for much longer. Apple has now added the iPhone 6 to its list of “vintage” products.
iPhone 6 is now ‘vintage’
As noted by Aaron on Twitter and now confirmed by Apple itself, iPhone 6 is now a “vintage” product. In Apple’s definition, a product is considered vintage when it was stopped being distributed for sale more than 5 years and less than 7 years ago.
The company still provides parts and repair services for vintage products for up to 7 years after these products are no longer officially distributed. Interestingly, the larger iPhone 6 Plus was already a considered a vintage product before the iPhone 6. This is because Apple continued to sell the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 for longer in some regions after discontinuing the iPhone 6 Plus for good.
Both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were introduced in September 2014 with iOS 8. The devices were discontinued in 2019 with the release of iOS 13, which requires an iPhone 6s or later. Even so, Apple still provides security patches for devices running iOS 12, which includes not only iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus but also iPhone 5s.
iPhone 6 is equipped with a Retina HD display, a single 8-megapixel rear camera, and the 64-bit A8 chip with 1GB of RAM. iPhone 6 Plus has similar hardware, but with a Full HD display and rear camera with optical stabilization (for the first time on an iPhone). These were also the first iPhones with NFC and Apple Pay.
Earlier this year, Apple also added the first generation MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to its list of vintage products. After a product has been stopped being distributed for more than 7 years, Apple considers it obsolete – which means it no longer has hardware service.
Apple Watch Series 8 Review in Progress: My Thoughts After a Week
So far, it’s hard to tell how it compares with the Apple Watch Ultra — or upcoming competitors. But I decided against testing the car-crash feature, for obvious reasons.
This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.
The Apple Watch Series 8, starting at $399 (£419, AU$629), joins the temperature sensing wearable pack with a new temperature sensor of its own. Temperature-sensing wearables have been a trend these past few years, from the Fitbit Sense to the Oura Ring, Amazon’s Halo band and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5. A few weeks ago, I got sick and a little ring on my finger let me know my temperature was elevated. So, in my experience temperature reading isn’t just another check-the-box feature.
Also, this isn’t the only new Apple Watch, though. The lower-cost Apple Watch SE and more expensive Apple Watch Ultra make a broad range, going from $249 up to $799 and beyond.
This year, with three new Apple Watches, the challenge is knowing which one to get — if any.
After wearing Apple’s latest watch on my wrist for less than a week, it’s hard to tell. The Series 8 looks identical to last year’s Apple Watch Series 7 and has most of the same features. New to the 8 is its temperature sensor, along with improved gyroscope and accelerometer motion sensors that are now able to detect car crashes and make SOS calls in the event of an emergency.
I didn’t test the car-crash feature, for obvious reasons. And, as of the time of this article publishing, I’ve only just had my nightly temperature data start to appear. Both features could very well end up being useful over time, but how useful remains to be seen.
The best part of the Apple Watch this year is its software improvements. WatchOS 9 adds a number of extras that are really great: a compass app that now tracks your steps via GPS to help you navigate back home during hikes, medication tracking, multistage sleep tracking and a low-power mode that shuts down some functions to extend battery life. But you don’t need a new watch for these; a free update to WatchOS 9 could give you these upgrades and make you feel like you already have a new watch.
Apple’s approach to improving its watch over time has been a steady accumulation of upgrades — an always-on display one year, blood oxygen the next, a slightly larger display and now temperature sensing. Skipping a bunch of years between upgrades can end up adding a lot of new features in one big bunch, but anyone who has a Series 7 will have a hard time justifying the purchase.
Apple Watch Series 8 temperature sensing
Apple’s temperature sensor measures skin temperature, similar to how other wearables work. It also measures air or water temperature (water temperature readings can show up in some apps that use the sensor). The sensor looks at relative temperature change, showing relative increases or decreases in degrees, but not an absolute temperature like a thermometer.
The measurements are collected at night while sleeping, and it takes five days for the watch to collect enough data to establish a starting baseline. (According to Apple, the baseline temperature will keep calibrating over time.) From that point on, the measurements only show up in Apple’s Health App on the iPhone, under Skin Temperature. I could check the chart and see what my temperature changes were, but Apple’s not currently alerting wearers of changes on their wrist, or any other way. The measurements also aren’t being used for any sort of Readiness or Wellness score, like companies such as Fitbit and Oura are already doing. Apple is likely going to spend the next year, at least, trying to figure out how to surface that data more. In the meantime, maybe you want to wait before deciding if the sensor plays into the value of the watch.
One more immediately useful area for temperature-sensing data is ovulation tracking, another new watch feature. Similar to how Fitbit and Oura already work, the temperature shifts are used to track fertility cycles, as well as possible interruptions. CNET will test this over the next few months, much as we have with other trackers. And a word about privacy for this type of data: Apple says its Health data remains encrypted on the user’s account and in iCloud, and if two-factor authentication is turned on, no one else can access it.
Apple Watch Series 8 car-crash detection
Apple’s improved motion sensors on the Watch 8 are being put to use for crash detection, which the iPhone (and other devices) can already do in some instances. Much like Apple’s fall detection feature on its watches, it’s potentially a life-saving feature if it can sense a crash and make an emergency call while someone is debilitated. Unfortunately, knowing how reliable this feature can be is something we just can’t determine yet. I love the idea of watches as safety-monitoring tools, though, but Apple also includes car-crash detection on the cheaper Apple Watch SE.
On a side note, I’m curious what else the more accurate gyroscope and accelerometer could be used for. Would these sensors be able to more accurately track other body movements or activities over time when new algorithms are refined? Or could they be used to improve gesture tracking? Or, as Apple approaches the release of its expected AR/VR headset, would improved motion controls be a doorway to controls for mixed reality? I’m heading down a road of pure speculation, but I’d be surprised if car-crash detection was all they were capable of.
Apple Watch Series 8 battery life
One big missing piece to the midrange Apple Watch is its battery. There is an Apple Watch that can last an estimated 36 hours or more on a charge, but that watch costs $799. The Apple Watch Ultra is big and rugged, and we haven’t even reviewed it yet.
With sleep tracking now a full-featured part of WatchOS and temperature tracking needing a night’s sleep to measure, the Apple Watch is now designed to be worn to bed. That’s a problem when the Apple Watch’s battery life is still only about a day and a half. The watch charges up fully in about an hour and a half, or up to 80% in 45 minutes or so, but when will you charge it? Before bed? In the morning while showering? At your desk?
I wore the Series 8 to bed one night after being fully charged, wore it the whole next day, to bed again, and it was at 34% battery the next morning. You could make it through a day or more without charging, but since the Apple Watch has its own proprietary charger, you’ll have to make sure you’re not stuck somewhere with it running low.
I tend to be a charge-at-night person, or with longer-battery wearables like the Oura Ring or the Fitbit Sense, I wear them for days before needing to worry. It feels like the Apple Watch Series 8 is caught in the middle right now. That low-power mode won’t help, either, because it turns off temperature tracking and heart rate in order to get those longer-life battery gains. Maybe you could flip back and forth between modes, perhaps? Still, I’d place “bigger battery” at the top of my Apple Watch Series 9 wish list.
I haven’t lived with low-power mode much this past week, since I was busy tracking temperature data — but I’m curious to see how it impacts battery life over the next few weeks.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. SE and Ultra: Should you upgrade?
The Apple Watch Ultra has a more durable design, longer battery and better water resistance. Is it the better choice? The SE, which lacks blood oxygen, ECG, an always-on display and temperature sensing, might be a good pick for someone who doesn’t need as much (but the lack of an always-on display isn’t ideal). And will temperature tracking feel useful over time, along with ovulation tracking?
There’s little reason to upgrade to the Series 8 if you have a Series 7, or even a Series 6. But, the Apple Watch Series 8 is the most complete health watch in Apple’s lineup that doesn’t need an upgrade to the Ultra.
The good news about Apple’s new and improved watch lineup is the processors should all be equally fast, but the design and features scale up. Buying last year’s Series 7 if it’s on sale is an excellent alternative, but the 8’s biggest draw over the SE right now is its always-on display, slightly bigger screen and its extra ECG, blood oxygen and temperature sensors.
Check back here in a month or two, and we’ll answer this more clearly. For now, the Apple Watch Series 8 remains an excellent piece of watch hardware with improved software and a health sensor that could be a factor down the road. But first, check your wrist: You may already have an Apple Watch that’s good enough.
The 7 best Macs of all time
Apple has been in the computer business since the very beginning. Over the years there have been some absolute classics, going right back to the company’s first product, the Apple I, in 1976.
Yet it was with the Macintosh line that Apple’s computers really found their feet. They’ve been so successful that these days the best Macs are synonymous with quality, durability, and performance. But even with such a storied history, it’s possible to pick out a few key milestones along the way. These are the greatest hits, a list of the best Macs in history that helped propel Apple to new heights.
That desire was not misplaced. Like the commercial itself, the Macintosh 128K was a watershed moment. Not only did it birth the Macintosh name that is still used for Apple’s computers today, but it totally changed the perception of what a computer could be.
Small and lightweight, the Macintosh 128K was a true home computer, something that could find a place in anyone’s front room. It was affordable, too, lowering the barriers to entry for people who may have shied away from the computers of the past.
And it propagated a range of features that we take for granted today. It was the first computer to popularize the computer mouse, something that had been dreamed up a decade earlier but had never broken through into the mainstream. Its operating system standardized the easy-to-use graphical user interface, with windows and desktop metaphors that competitors sought to imitate. And it showed there was an alternative to IBM, whose products had a near-monopoly on the market.
iMac G3 (1998)
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the company was a total mess. A flailing product strategy, years of poor management, and underwhelming sales had combined to push Apple to the brink of bankruptcy. Yet just a year later, Apple would launch a computer that not only saved the company, but would also revolutionize the entire industry.
Everything that went into the iMac showed it was different to anything done before. It came in bursts of color, a radical departure from the beige boxes that dominated at the time. Its case was translucent so you could see the insides, helping to demystify how computers worked. And it had a carry handle, not because Apple expected you to move it often, but to help overcome the fear many people had of computers and encourage them to touch it.
It was all deliberate and geared toward making the computer approachable, friendly, even fun. That would never have worked if the software was a nightmare to use, but Apple succeeded here, too. Like the Macintosh 128K that came before it, the iMac was famously easy to use.
But it wasn’t just a plaything — it was fast, too, way more so than you would expect given its innocent demeanor. And, perhaps most importantly, it made it straightforward for people to connect to the internet. It was perhaps the first mega-hit computer of the internet era, paving the way for everything that followed, and was certainly one of Jony Ive’s greatest achievements.
iMac G4 (2002)
If the iMac G3 helped Apple take the fear factor out of computing, its follow-up, the iMac G4, established the company as the king of cool. Ditching the bright colors for classy white and silver, the iMac G4 adopted the design language established by the iPod and used by Apple for years to come.
Its origin came thanks to a moment of inspiration. After the success of the iMac G3, Steve Jobs and Jony Ive were struggling to come up with a successor. During a stroll in Jobs’ garden, the epiphany came. Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve’s wife, had planted a profusion of sunflowers. Ive spotted them and excitedly began sketching: With a monitor attached to a moveable arm, the next iMac would seem to be so fluid it could reach for the sun, just like a sunflower.
Unlike the iMac G3 with its CRT display, the G4 introduced flat LCD panels to the Mac range, redefining how thin and light an Apple computer could be. Its LCD panel was a key selling point, but it also excelled when it came to ergonomics. The cantilevered monitor arm was not just pretty, it could be easily manipulated into a comfortable position for whoever was using it. And with all the components hidden in the base, it prompted stunned reactions of “where’s the computer?” from puzzled spectators.
Steve Jobs declared that the iMac G4 “has a beauty and grace that will last the next decade.” Sadly, it in fact lasted only two years before being discontinued. But its legacy has lived on as proof that Apple knew how to combine stunning design with excellent practicality and superb software.
First-generation Intel Mac Pro (2006)
When Apple relaunched the Mac Pro in 2019, it instantly drew comparisons to the 2006 Mac Pro thanks to its “cheese grater” front panel design. But aside from that unusual visage, what else made the first Mac Pro special? As it turns out, quite a lot.
A year earlier, Steve Jobs had promised that Apple would soon switch from PowerPC processors to Intel chips. This promised a huge uptick in performance, and nowhere was that clearer than with the Mac Pro. It was the first Mac to hit the 3.0GHz mark, something Jobs conceded was not possible on the old PowerPC architecture.
What’s more, Apple drove the point home by loading each Mac Pro with not one but two Intel Xeon processors. The chips were 64-bit, and increased the performance-per-watt of the machines. In fact, Apple claimed they offered double the performance of the previous Power Mac G5.
All that power was housed in a chassis that was as striking on the inside as it was on the outside. Once opened, there were no messy cables and fiddly screws. Everything was neatly compartmentalized, with drives simply slotting into place. It showed Apple understood that design was not just about how a thing looked, but how it worked — something Steve Jobs had been preaching since the days of the iMac G3.
First-generation MacBook Pro (2006)
While the 2006 Mac Pro was Apple’s most powerful computer in its early transition to Intel chips, it wasn’t the first. That honor goes to the 2006 MacBook Pro. And it was such a leap forward that it truly earned the “Pro” moniker.
Compared to the PowerBook G4 that came before it, the MacBook Pro offered up to four times the performance thanks to the Intel Core Duo, the first dual-core processor in a Mac. It did that while occupying a thinner, lighter aluminum chassis, and its display was two-thirds brighter than the PowerBook, starting a trend for brilliantly bright MacBook Pro screens that continues to this day.
It was also the first Mac to introduce the beloved MagSafe, which has made a welcome return in recent years. And at the top of the display was the first built-in iSight webcam, something that the PowerBook G4 totally lacked.
The transition to Intel processors resulted in a monumental jump in performance for Apple’s Macs, and one of the places this was most apparent was the first MacBook Pro. It was so significant that it prompted a name change that’s still with us all these years later.
First-generation MacBook Air (2008)
We all know Steve Jobs was a master at the keynote presentation, but nowhere was that more apparent that at his iconic unveiling of the first-generation MacBook Air in 2008. After explaining just how thin and light the device was, Jobs then strolled over to a side table and pulled a MacBook Air out of a manilla envelope, to cheers and disbelief from the audience.
But this wasn’t just bluster. The MacBook Air was like nothing we’d ever seen before. Jobs explained Apple set out to do several things: Make a laptop that was thinner than the competition, yet was more powerful, had a better display, and a better keyboard. And boy, did the MacBook Air achieve that.
At its thickest point, the MacBook Air was thinner than the thinnest point on the world’s previous slimmest laptop — that’s how incredible Apple’s feat of engineering was. Unlike rival devices, it came with a larger 13-inch display and a full-size keyboard. And it had a full-power processor that destroyed the competition.
It was so unprecedented, it elicited stunned gasps from Jobs’ audience on several occasions. Its achievement was that it showed it was possible to build an ultra-thin laptop without the compromises other companies were forced to make.
M1 MacBook Pro (2020)
The transition to Intel processors may have brought enormous gains in 2006, but nearly 15 years later Intel’s chips were becoming more of a hindrance than a help to Apple’s Macs. They ran too hot for Apple’s slimline aspirations, and didn’t run nearly fast enough either. Something had to change.
That something was a complete transition to Apple’s own chips, and it utterly revitalized the Mac lineup. No longer did Macs seems like overpriced underperformers — if anything, they were absolute bargains with the power and efficiency of Apple silicon. The M1 MacBook Air was a great example of this, and yet, it’s the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch that make the list here.
After all, no one had doubts Apple couldn’t replicate the capabilities of an ultra-thin laptop like the MacBook Air. But to replace the performance of a high-wattage CPU and discrete graphics? Now that was a challenge many of us were skeptical of.
And yet, Apple totally pulled it off. The redesigned chassis brought back beloved features like MagSafe and extra ports, while the performance of the M1 Pro and M1 Max were doing things no one had seen before in a laptop of this class.
Yet what was even more amazing was that the MacBook Pro managed to do this while seriously increasing the battery life, something it continues to run circles around its competitors with. If nothing else, these MacBook Pros were proof that Apple’s move to its own silicon was going to pay off in the long run, and in many ways, it’s only just begun.
Here’s everything Apple announced during its ‘Far Out’ event
Apple on Wednesday held an event, dubbed “Far Out,” to officially unveil its iPhone 14 lineup. Apple is also showcasing new versions of the Apple Watch and Apple AirPods.
Broadcast from Apple Park, the company’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California, the event follows a major iPhone milestone: According to Counterpoint Research, the device recently hit 50% market share in the US. The research firm noted Apple shipped 237.9 million iPhones last year, an all-time high.
Here’s a look at everything announced during the Far Out event:
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
Apple introduced the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Plus, the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone 14 starts at $799 and is available on Sept. 16. The iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899 and will be available on October 7.
The iPhone 14 offers a new front camera with autofocus. It has a more advanced camera system for pictures in any light. The camera also offers an Action mode for extra smooth videos.
The new devices also offer the iPhone’s best battery life yet.
They’re powered by the A15 bionic chip and come with crash detection and the new Emergency SOS via Satellite service.
The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus come in five colors.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max feature the new A16 bionic chip.
The always-on display dims the wallpaper for a lockscreen with information that’s readily available. There’s a new “dynamic island” on the top of the display — an interactive place that bubbles up alerts, notifications and activities.
The devices also feature most impressive iPhone camera system yet. The main camera has a 48 megapixel quad lens — the equivalent of four pro lenses at the ready. It captures 4x more information than ever before, and the A16 bionic chip analyzes and perfects every pixel. Now, professional photographers can capture an uncompressed 48 megapixel raw image.
The camera also includes a new Action mode that offers gimbal-like stabilization. It offers 4k resolution and 24 frames-per-second recording
The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999, while the Pro Max starts at $1099. They’re available for pre-order on September 9 and will ship on Sept. 16.
New Apple Watch models
Apple also has new Apple Watch models on tap. Three of them, to be exact.
Apple added menstrual cycle tracking to the Watch three years ago. Now, the Series 8 comes with a suite of advanced cycle tracking features, including valuable information about ovulation — a critical aspect of women’s health.
The Series 8 also offers crash detection. When a car crash is detected, it will automatically connect you with emergency services.
The watch still offers an 18-hour battery life. It now includes a low-power mode, which can give you 36 hours of battery life on a full charge.
The Series 8 is priced at $399 for GPS and $499 for cellular. It’s available to order now and will ship on Sept 16.
The new Apple Watch SE 2 offers all the core benefits of an Apple Watch. That now includes crash detection. It’s available in silver, midnight and starlight. It’s priced at $249 for GPS and $299 for cellular. It’s available to order now and will ship on Sept 16.
The Apple Watch Ultra is a bigger, more rugged version of Apple’s popular wearable.
The Apple Watch Ultra starts at $799. It’s available to order now and will ship on Sept 23.
AirPods Pro 2
The new AirPods offer up to 6 hours of listening time, as well as up to 30 hours of total listening time with the charging case.
It’s available for $249. Order on Sept. 9 for a Sept. 23 launch.
Emergency SOS service via Satellite
The new, game-changing service will be included for free for two years with iPhone 14. It launches in November in the US and Canada.
It connects your phone to a satellite-based network. There are some places, like winding back roads, that cell towers don’t reach. Communication satellites — traveling hundreds of miles above the Earth at thousands of miles an hour — are difficult to reach, but they can offer a lifeline when you are out of reach of a cell tower.
To overcome the technical challenges of reaching a satellite, Apple built custom components and software.
Connecting to a satellite-based network is only possible when the phone is pointing directly at a satellite, so Apple created a unique user experience that shows you were to point your phone to establish a connection. No bulky antenna is needed.
Apple also created a custom, short text compression algorithm to reduce the size of average messages by a factor of three. Thanks to this algorithm, it can take less than 15 seconds to send a message.
After your message is relayed to a ground station, it needs to reach the right emergency service provider. Apple has set up relay centers, staffed with trained emergency specialists ready to get your text.
This service can also be used in more casual, less dire circumstances. Use the “FindMy” app to share your location manually via satellite.
Watch out! These QR code scams are tough to spot
QR codes have been around for some time, but they saw an increase in usage as the COVID-19 pandemic became more serious. For example, the square black and white images made it safer for people to view a restaurant’s menu. Instead of physically handling it, they can see it on their phones.
But with the resurging popularity came a few scams, too. You don’t need a QR code app to follow the embedded links, but that didn’t stop scammers from releasing fake QR code apps.
Now, scammers are placing malicious QR codes in businesses across the country and sending them to unsuspecting victims in other ways. Read on for details on these tricky scams and how to avoid them.
Here’s the backstory
A QR code, or Quick Response code, is a type of barcode invented years ago. The optical label, through random patterns, stores data such as a website’s URL, a link to an app or contact information.
They work by scannning the QR code with your phone’s camera, and a link pops up with a short description. But in most cases, you have no idea where exactly it is taking you before tapping on the URL.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns about malicious QR codes being used by scammers across the U.S. BBB said, “Malicious QR codes direct users to phishing websites, fraudulent payment portals, and downloads that infect devices with viruses or malware.”
Here are some recent QR code scams:
Parking meter payments – Fraudulent QR codes are often placed on the back of parking meters, leading victims to assume that they can pay for parking through the QR code if they do not have change. You’re not paying for parking at all if it’s a fraudulent QR code. Instead, you’ll be paying scammers, and your car could be towed when you return. Cryptocurrency wallets and romance scams – Scammers spend months building a romantic relationship with a victim, ultimately asking for financial assistance through a cryptocurrency exchange or advising the victim on cryptocurrency investments. Believing the scammer is in dire need or has their best interest in mind, the victim follows a provided QR code and transfers the requested amount to the scammer’s digital wallet. Phishing scams – Scammers send malicious QR codes, sending victims to phishing websites or downloads that will infect devices with malware. Utility and government impostors – Many victims have reported they are contacted by their utility company, the Social Security
Administration or the IRS regarding an outstanding debt they must immediately pay in full. The representative claims failure to pay the unpaid bill will result in arrest, additional fines or shutting off access to electricity, gas or water. According to the scammer, the regular payment portal for these services is currently offline. But the victim can submit payment through another portal which, conveniently, they can access by scanning a QR code. The code leads to a spoofed site that will rip you off.
How to scan QR codes with your phone
Remember, you don’t need a separate app to scan QR codes. Your phone’s camera can do it automatically. But you might need to enable QR code scanning on your phone. Here’s how.
Tap Settings. Scroll down and tap Camera. The second to last setting in the first block is Scan QR Codes. Toggle the slider to the right to enable the tool if it isn’t already enabled. It’ll be green when enabled.
Open the camera on your Android phone. Tap the Settings cog. Choose More settings. Enable Google Lens suggestions.
For Samsung phones:
Swipe down your screen to access your Quick Settings and tap on QR Scanner. Tap OK to proceed to the next step.
The Camera app will be launched where you can scan QR codes. Once the QR Code is scanned, you should be able to launch the webpage below. You may need to enable this setting if the QR Code cannot be scanned. Tap on the Camera Settings icon button.
Toggle on Scan QR codes. Now that QR code scanning is enabled, you should be able to open the
camera on your phone and point at a QR code to get the link. It’s that easy.
Avoiding QR code scams
Here are suggestions from the BBB to avoid QR code scams:
Confirm QR code before scanning – If you receive a QR code from a friend via text or a message on social media, be sure to confirm with that person they meant to send you the code to verify they have not been hacked.
Do not open links from strangers – If you receive an unsolicited message from a stranger that includes a QR code, don’t scan it! Be even more cautious if the message promises exciting gifts or investment opportunities under the condition you act now. Scammers use this type of language consistently and rely on their targets to make immediate decisions before taking the time to verify its authenticity. Be wary of short links – Imagine a shortened URL appears when hovering your camera over a QR code. If it does, there is no way of knowing where it will direct you once clicked. Ensure the QR code is legitimate before following short links, as it may send you to a malicious website. Pro tip: Once on the website, look at the URL and verify that the domain and subdomain make sense for the organization that operates it. Scammers often switch the domain and subdomains for URLs or slightly misspell one word to make websites appear legitimate. Check for tampering – Some crooks try to mislead you by altering
legitimate business ads or placing stickers on QR codes. Keep an eye out for signs of tampering and, if discovered, have the business check that the posted QR code is legit. Most businesses permanently install scannable QR codes in their establishments using laminate or placing it behind glass. They will sometimes include its logo in the code, often in the middle.
If you’ve been the victim of a QR scam, report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Information provided may help prevent others from falling victim.
Complete guide to the new AirPods Pro 2
When will Apple’s new AirPods Pro come out? What will they look like? And how much will they cost?
The original AirPods Pro were introduced in October 2019, two and a half years ago. How long will we have to wait for Apple to update the AirPods Pro and unveil its second generation of premium wireless earbuds?
The AirPods are extremely popular products, so it seems bizarre that Apple leaves it so long between updates. The standard AirPods also went two and a half years between their second edition in March 2019 and the third in October 2021 (you may be interested to read our 2021 AirPods review). Could Apple make fans wait even longer for the new AirPods Pro?
In this article, we take a look at how Apple will evolve the AirPods Pro line-up in 2022, and examine the release date, price, tech specs, design changes and new features of the upcoming models which may features a new design, longer battery life, fitness tracking and support for lossless streaming of Apple Music.
Will there be new AirPods in 2022?
Apple introduced a new version of its standard AirPods back in 2021, but the AirPods Pro remained untouched. Will we see new AirPods Pro in 2022? It certainly looks like it, and with the three year anniversary of the AirPods Pro fast approaching, it’s about time. As Bloomberg’s Apple expert Mark Gurman said in a May newsletter: “The batteries are already probably in trouble for some early adopters.”
AirPods Pro release date: When will Apple launch new AirPods Pro?
We expect the next version of the AirPods Pro to launch in the fall of 2022: likely September or October. If Apple waits until October it will have been three years since the original AirPods Pro launched.
The new models have been expected for some time, back in 2021 there were rumours that Apple was working on new AirPods Pro, but due to component shortages and COVID-related delays only the AirPods 3 launched. But Apple is now ramping up to launch new AirPods Pro.
In May 2022, Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo tweeted the following:
New AirPods Pro price: How much will AirPods Pro 2 cost?
Price-wise, we expect the new AirPods Pro to cost $249, which is the same as the current model (although the AirPods Pro are frequently on sale for less than $200). The new Beats Fit Pro retail for $200, so it’s likely Apple will keep the AirPods Pro at $249 to separate the two models.
For comparison, here’s the pricing for the current range of AirPods on the Apple Store:
AirPods 2nd generation: $129 / £119 / AU$219
AirPods 3rd generation: $179 / £169 / AU$279
AirPods Pro: $249 / £239 / AU$399
AirPods Max: $549 / £549 / AU$899
Note that the current AirPods Pro model is likely to disappear when the new one comes out, rather than sticking around with a price cut.
New AirPods Pro: Design changes
With the AirPods receiving a redesign in 2021, we assume that the AirPods Pro will change in order for the differences between the two types of AirPods to be clear.
There is some evidence that this will be the case: Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, for example, believes that the new AirPods Pro will have no stems, in a radical step. He said in a May 2021 report that the new AirPods Pro may not feature shafts, following a similar design to the Beats Studio Buds or the Beats Fit Pro. where the AirPods would fit flush in the ear.
However, 52audio in June 2022 wrote that the design won’t be that different from the 2019 after all. In fact it will take cues from the AirPods 3.
According to 52audio, the biggest upgrade to the AirPods Pro could be the charging case, which will gain a USB-C support for fast charging and a small speaker for better Find My support. This backs up a January 2022 Ming-Chi Kuo claim that the second-gen AirPods Pro could come with a case that can emit a sound to help locate it when lost. There will apparently be a hearing aid mic connection too.
Changes to the charging case would be good news: we do have a few reservations about the current charging case: it’s harder to get the Pros out than other AirPods models, and the hinge feels less robust. (The hinge sits along the longer edge because the Pro models are shorter and wider than before.) Perhaps Apple could tweak the case design in lieu of major changes to the earbuds themselves.
It’s also been claimed that the new AirPods Pro will come in two sizes for the first time. This prediction is based on leaked components, and was made via a tweet by Mr White back in 2020:
He referred to the image as W-chips, but it’s actually the H-chips that feature in the AirPods so we assume that’s a mistake. The components that feature in the leaked images come in two different sizes, suggesting that Apple may have two sizes of next-gen AirPods Pro in the works. (It appears that Mr White has since deleted the tweet, though it’s unclear whether that means it was wrong or just ruffled the wrong feathers.)
Another top request for the new AirPods Pro is a choice of more sizes of ear tips so users can ensure they get the perfect fit. Currently Apple only offers three sizes: small, medium or large, so hopefully there will be more on offer with the next generation. Buy AirPods Pro Ear Tips here.
It’s feasible that we could see a new color option when the next set of AirPods Pro is launched. It would be unusual for Apple to get this far into a product line without offering at least two colors. The AirPod Max, indeed, get five: Space Gray, Silver, Pink, Green, and Sky Blue.
Space Gray (or another variant on black or dark gray) is probably the most likely – indeed there have been rumors that a black pair of AirPods were being considered and there are certainly people who would love black AirPods.
New AirPods Pro: New features
When convincing customers to spend more on the premium AirPods, features are the key. What’s Apple got up its sleeve?
The AirPods Pro could be in line for gesture-based controls. Apple applied for a patentin 2020 called Wearable Voice-Induced Vibration or Silent Gesture Sensor, which describes the use of a sensor to scan the user’s face and detect minute changes in expression, and the muscular movements associated with speech even if not spoken out loud. This could be used to trigger commands, or as a biometric identification tool for improved security.
The limitations of Bluetooth are the main reason why the 2019 AirPods Pro cannot support Lossless Audio (which we will discuss in more detail in the section below). It appears that Apple will rectify this by enhancing Bluetooth in the new models.
Discussing Apple’s new technologies in a February 2022 interview, acoustics VP Gary Geaves said: “There’s a catch, as far as I can see it–a bottleneck that’s been preventing real qualitative leaps in the sound of wireless headphones essentially since wireless headphones came into being. I’m talking about Bluetooth, of course, which almost all wireless headphones, including AirPods, rely upon and which doesn’t have the data rate for hi-res or even lossless audio.”
Geaves added a note of optimism about the possibility of innovation in this space. “It’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there,” he said. “We would like more bandwidth.”
How can Apple get this extra bandwidth? The obvious choice would be for the company to upgrade from Bluetooth 5.0 (used in the AirPods 3 and current AirPods Pro) to 6GHz Bluetooth.
Better battery life
The next AirPods Pro are rumored to get longer battery life and faster charging due to the new USB-C equipped case.
A June 2022 report from 52audio claims the new AirPods Pro will feature an upgraded version of the H1 chip supporting “self-adaptive active noise cancellation”, along with improved Find My, heart-rate measurement, a heavily modified USB-C charging case, and hearing aid functionality. We’ll discuss that exciting collection of new features below, but the H2 chip should brings a number of benefits to Bluetooth streaming.
All AirPods (AirPods 2, AirPods 3, Pro and Max) feature the H1 chip, so this new upgraded version may well be called the H2.
New AirPods Pro: Audio features
Three years on from the introduction of the AirPods Pro, what new audio features can Apple add to its flagship earbuds?
Lossless and 6Gz Bluetooth
Apple launched Lossless Audio and Lossless High-Res Audio for Apple Music in June 2021, but due to the limitations of Bluetooth and the AAC codec, none of the current AirPods are able to stream the higher-quality tracks. However, Apple rumor monger Jon Prosser reported that Apple is working on a new audio codec that would allow lossless streaming over AirPods, which could get an introduction alongside the new models.
In January 2022, Kuo offered a corroborating report (via 9to5Mac) that the second-gen AirPods Pro will bring “support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) format.”
If the AirPods Pro support Lossless, Apple may also need to enhance the Bluetooth capabilities (see above).
According to Bloomberg (in 2021), the next AirPods Pro will focus more on fitness tracking and have updated motion sensors. They may even offer tracking assistance of sorts when you’re not wearing them.
Heart rate sensor
A heart rate sensor could also be coming to the AirPods Pro. While optical heart rate sensors can be uncomfortable, sport-loving users swear by them and they are offered by some rival earbuds. It’s lookiung like this won’t make it into the AirPods Pro 2, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility for the future.
This heart-rate feature will apparently “collect and analyze the wearer’s inner ear data”.
Speaking of health and fitness, improved water resistance would be beneficial. The IPX4 rating currently offered leaves a fair bit of room for improvement. The RHA TrueConnect and Creative Outlier Air headphones, which are the top two choices in our roundup of the best wireless earbuds, are both rated IPX5; the JBL UA True Wireless Flash buds are rated as a ‘stormproof’ IPX7. We hope to see improvements here.
With macOS Ventura, Apple decided to rename and redesign the macOS System Preferences. It resembles the one in iOS, but Apple didn’t completely make the two UIs mirror each other. The Mac and iPhone have different screen and user dynamics, so Apple made interfaces that take advantage of the platform while achieving a sense of uniformity. Here’s what you can expect to see in Ventura.
Apple changed the name of System Preferences in macOS to System Settings to match the Settings app in iOS. It’s still located in the Apple menu under About This Mac.
Why Systems Settings and not just Settings, as it’s called in iOS? It’s to clarify that these settings are macOS settings and there are no settings for any apps on the Mac in this section. Mac app settings are still called Preferences and they are still located within each app’s Preferences menu. In iOS, the Settings app contains both system and app settings, thus the Settings name sans System.
macOS Ventura: New look
Here’s how System Preferences looks in macOS Monterey, and the new System Settings in macOS Ventura. Drag the slider to see how different the two apps are.
The icon grid is gone, replaced by a list in the left column. In the old UI, you clicked on an icon and the window would open to the setting. In the new UI, the setting that you click on opens in the main part of the window. This new layout makes it more efficient to switch between settings.
Apple also made changes to the controls within each setting. They’re similar to what was used before, but Apple did some fine-tuning to make the controls more intuitive and easy to use. The overall look is a lot cleaner, making settings and controls easier to find.
macOS Ventura: Relocated settings
The new look and feel is easy to adjust to, but what will throw some users off is that Apple also moved many settings around from where they used to be located. For example, the General pane has different settings now; some of the settings it used to have, such as Appearance, are now its own separate setting pane, while others are now in a different or new setting.
This is going to take some getting used to. Chances are, though, that the settings you frequently adjust are in Control Center or the menu bar, so you won’t have to hunt for those settings. Apple didn’t take away the search field, however, so you can use it to find what you need.
iOS 16 Supported Devices: Which iPhone and iPad Models Can Run iOS 16
How Apple is making its many devices more alike than ever
Apple isn’t simply trying to look to what’s next, but to fix what’s come before and level the playing field across all its platforms.
There’s this somewhat odd sentiment among some parts of the Mac community that the best release of the platform’s software ever was Snow Leopard. Yes, that’s right: 2009’s Mac OS X 10.6, a release that was famously marketed as having “zero new features” and focusing on bug fixes and enhancements.
That appraisal is, of course, open for debate, but the idea has persisted enough that some people still regularly call for “Snow Leopard” style releases of Apple’s current operating systems—even though I’m sure there would be a general cry of bloody murder if the company tried to release updates that really didn’t have a single new feature.
Such an update is decidedly not what we got at this past week’s Worldwide Developers Conference: the platform updates that Apple showed off are fairly brimming with new features. But running down the list it also becomes clear that this was a bit of a search-and-destroy exercise for Apple’s engineers, as they crossed off a whole metric ton of requests and “missing” features that have, in some cases, been lingering for years.
Perhaps these updates are more like “filling gaps” releases, but in any case, there’s a lot here that suggests Apple isn’t simply trying to look to what’s next but to fix what’s come before and level the playing field across all its platforms.
Filling in the gaps
Case in point: though the very first iPhone shipped with a Weather app, a similar program has never appeared on either the iPad or the Mac—until now. Twelve years after the release of its tablet, Apple has finally deigned to bring Weather to the iPad and Mac, thanks in no small part to its acquisition of weather app/service Dark Sky in 2020. Likewise, the Mac also gained a Clock app, which had previously existed on iPad and iPhone, as well as Siri commands for setting timers.
While the addition of the apps is positive merely in terms of having them at one’s disposal, it also shows that Apple is pushing hard on the idea of bringing parity to its platforms. As macOS, iPadOS, and iOS grow closer together (not only running much of the same code, but now even running on the same underlying hardware), Apple clearly wants to be in a position to roll out new apps and features across all of its devices, where they make sense. (The Mac, for example, may not get a Wallet app anytime soon.)
Parity not only maintains the experience when going from one platform to another but also sets the table for future developments, making it easier to add subsequent enhancements across all of its various platforms—which continues to make things easier for Apple in years hence.
Checking off the boxes
Many of the features Apple added this year were ones that have been much requested, a fact that Apple SVP Craig Federighi even mentioned on stage. Messages, for example, got the ability to mark messages as unread, unsend them, and edit them. Mail got undo and scheduled sends, improved search, and snoozable reminders. iCloud finally got Shared Photo Libraries. The iPad got improved multitasking via Stage Manager.
Apple ticked off a lot of long-running feature requests, filling holes in functionality that have often forced users to turn to third-party apps (in cases where workable substitutes existed). More cynical takes on this might point to Apple trying to draw people away from alternative apps, but the simplest solution is usually the correct one, and in this case, it seems to be more about actually removing frustrations from users of these apps—and doing it an Apple-like way that considers how the features work and what users actually want (as opposed to what they often say they want).
Not every “missing” feature was addressed by this year’s updates, of course (my desire to be able to use any emoji as a tapback in Messages, for example, went sadly unheeded), but Apple did an admirable job of balancing those much-requested features with debuting totally new ones.
Classing up the desktop
But nowhere is Apple’s approach to parity more on display in this year’s WWDC announcements than when Federighi discussed bringing “desktop-class apps” to the iPad.
This category of apps refers primarily to apps that one interacts with via a keyboard and pointing device, such as Apple’s own Magic Keyboard, but more generally it’s a microcosm of this whole trend: filling in gaps of things that apps can do on the Mac, but not yet on the iPad. This includes customizable toolbars, file menus with commonly used commands, systemwide search and replace, and improvements to the multiple-selection mode.
The iPad has always sat between the Mac and the iPhone, but these improvements seem to be more about detaching it from the more constrained environment of its iOS roots and bringing into its own as a fully-fledged operating system on par with macOS.
Of course, well-intentioned that such an initiative is, it’s belied somewhat by the fact that many of Apple’s own professional desktop apps, most notably Final Cut Pro and Logic, still have yet to make the jump to the iPad. So it looks like here, as elsewhere across Apple’s platforms, there are still a few gaps left to fill.
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Dan has been writing about all things Apple since 2006, when he first started contributing to the MacUser blog. He’s a prolific podcaster and the author of the Galactic Cold War series, including his latest, The Nova Incident, coming in July 2022.
From iOS 16 to an M2 MacBook Air, Everything Apple Revealed at WWDC 2022
This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.
Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, is where the company shows off the next versions of its operating systems and occasionally notable new hardware to run them on.
Why it matters
Knowing what’s coming for Apple’s popular product lines is essential when deciding whether to buy now or wait for the next model.
As usual, Apple’s WWDC 2022 was jam-packed with something for everyone, from the latest version of Apple’s flagship iPhone operating system, iOS 16, and its latest chip, the M2, to the newest hardware that puts it all in (or on) your hands — in this case, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13. High-profile new features include Safety Check, which is intended to help people in danger of domestic violence.
Want a play-by-play, detailed summary? Check out our archived live blog. Read on for the highlights and links to all our stories.
Watch this: Watch Everything Announced at Apple’s WWDC 2022 Event
The latest version of the iPhone’s operating system focuses on customization. That includes an updated lock screen with selectable fonts and colors, Apple Watch-style widgets and rotating photos. Notifications will also roll in from the bottom of the screen to keep them from obscuring your photo, and Live Activities like music playback can expand to fill the lock screen.
Messages will allow editing, undoing sends and marking messages unread. SharePlay is improved for easier sharing within FaceTime and Messages. Dictation blends with text and touch on the fly so you can use any input type at any time. Similarly, Live Text (Apple’s answer to Google Lens) expands to video, letting you pause on any frame and interact or grab text from the video.
Apple says it will be able to smartly extract images from a background and automatically paste them into apps like Messages.
Changes to Wallet include more partners for wireless keys, such as car manufacturers, tap-to-pay on iPhone for contactless payments and Apple Pay Later, which splits the cost of a purchase across four payments.
You’ll also see cycling, Look Around high-resolution imagery and expanded details for landmarks and especially detailed coverage for specific cities. It will also show transit card balances.
Apple News is getting expanded sports coverage in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. TV Plus gets Family Sharing for up to five members, with parental controls for apps, movies, books and music. Photos also improves sharing — new shared libraries via iCloud let you collaborate — and offers rules and automatic sharing based on proximity.
On the privacy front, iOS 16 introduces a new feature called Safety Check, which can help you quickly revoke access for someone threatening you, sign out of iCloud on all devices and limit Messages to a single, in-hand device.
CarPlay is redesigned to unify car and iPhone screens, including powering your entire instrument cluster.
The Fitness app comes to the iPhone from the Watch as well.
If you use Apple’s Spatial Audio, you’ll be able to use the depth camera to customize it.
Watch this: Apple Updates Privacy Controls in iOS 16
Watch this: Apple Reveals New MacBook Air Powered by M2 Chip
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13
For the first time in ages, Apple has redesigned the Air, and it’s with the M2 chip in mind. It’s still an aluminum unibody, but now it’s uniformly thin at 11mm and weighs 2.7 pounds. Plus, new colors! MagSafe returns, leaving your two Thunderbolt ports available, and it retains an audio jack. It finally gets an upgrade to a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, with 500 nits max brightness and P3 gamut. A 1080p webcam brings it up to parity with its siblings, along with a quad-speaker system (with Spatial Audio support) and three-mic array.
Thanks to the improved GPU in the M2 and a focus on performance per watt, Apple says the Air delivers the same battery life and better performance. It finally supports fast-charging, and the new adapter has a second USB-C port.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro also gets the M2 chip, with better performance thanks to an active cooling system. It hasn’t been redesigned, though.
The MacBook Air starts at $1,199 (£1,249, AU$1,899). The MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 (£1,349, AU$1,999). They both start shipping next month, and both offer a $100 discount for students and educators.
Apple’s keeping the M1 MacBook Air around as well, offering a sub-$1,000 computer ($999, £999, AU$1,499), again with a $100 education discount.
Window management with grouping improves in Stage Manager, which also includes drag-and-drop multitasking. Better Spotlight searching incorporates sports and web image search, full-window search results and more detailed info on music and movies. (In iOS, Spotlight moves to the home screen.)
Search within Mail adds instant suggestions and synonyms, also on mobile. It naturally receives the same updates as iOS for Messages. Safari’s Shared Tab Groups mean you can send friends and family your latest shopping picks. Goodbye passwords and hello Passkeys — Touch ID and Face ID come to Safari for logging into sites. Also on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, naturally.
Improvements in its Metal graphics API include MetalFX upscaling for faster game rendering and added API for faster loading of game assets. Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky are getting ported to the Mac for the first time; Resident Evil Village is coming later this year.
Handoff comes to FaceTime so you can jump from device to device, and Continuity Camera finally lets you use your iPhone camera as your webcam. It will support a split view for straight ahead and desktop views.
Watch this: Continuity Cam Turns Your iPhone Into Your Mac’s Webcam
New watch faces are on the way, including more diverse calendars, the ability to pin apps at the top of the dock, new banner notifications and support for Podcasts for kids with parental controls.
For working out, WatchOS 9 gets a lot more detailed about your running metrics — for instance, tracking how you move up or down to track your form. A new multisport workout can switch between swimming, cycling and running for the appropriate workout and tracking data.
Sleep Stages uses the accelerometer and heart-rate sensor to track what sleep states you’re in and time them. The Watch will be able to track atrial fibrillation history, once it receives clearance from the Food and Drug Administration. Tracking medications in the Health app becomes a little more granular and lets you schedule reminders, so it sounds like a typical full-featured medication app.
The iPad gets the same updates as iOS 16 as well as a new Weather app. In-OS collaboration allows shared document editing and tab groups, launchable from FaceTime, with update notifications via Messages.
We also got a sneak peek at the Freeform app, a virtual shared whiteboard with drawing tools for group meetings, coming later this year. It supports embedding documents, videos and images, and will be included with all platforms.
Like Ventura, iPadOS gets the new Metal API update for gaming, plus it gets background downloading. Game Center adds Activity rivers, and SharePlay (coming later this year, as well as to iOS and iPadOS) will allow group play.
There are a bunch of tweaks to the interface and capabilities to give iPadOS more desktoplike power. It also adds reference color (Reference Mode) for consistent color matching across devices (personal yay!).
On M1-based iPads, you’ll be able to increase the display’s pixel density to fit more on the screen and use virtual memory. And iPadOS, like Ventura, gets Stage Manager, for a far better multiwindow task-switching experience. When you connect to an external display, it takes better advantage of the second screen via Stage Manager and makes it a little more seamless to use touch and Apple Pencil with a Mac.
Pour one out for the iPod, a line of devices that revolutionized portable music more than two decades ago.
On Tuesday, Apple announced that the iPod Touch will no longer be produced. The current model, introduced in 2019, will still be sold while supplies last. It starts at $199 for 32GB. The iPod Touch was the last of the iPod line–essentially an iPhone SE with an A10 processor and no cellular connectivity. It was an iPod in name, but Music was just one of the many apps filling the home screen.
The iPod has a long history, transforming the company when it debuted in 2001. At the time, it was the rare Apple product that wasn’t a Mac—though it did need one to transfer music. The iPod was initially derided for its high $399 price tag, but it would soon take over the world and forever alter the landscape of digital music. The iPod led to broader interoperability with Windows, the iTunes Music Store and later the iPhone, and saved Apple from the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance.
The iPod touch released in September 2007, just a few months after the iPhone arrived on shelves. However, it hasn’t been promoted as a part of Apple’s product catalog in some time, having lost its lone spot in the Music tab when Apple shuffled its site menu last year. The only way to find it now is to deliberately look for it in the Apple Store and few people are likely doing that.
Apple rightly notes that there’s really no need for a dedicated music player anymore (not that the iPod Touch really was one). “The experience of taking one’s music library out into the world has been integrated across Apple’s product line — from iPhone and Apple Watch to iPad and Mac,” the company notes in its press release. “Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound quality with support for spatial audio — there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and experience music.”
Without the iPod touch, the cheapest device for kids falls on the 10.2-inch iPad, which starts at $329.
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I have written about technology for my entire adult professional life – over 25 years. I enjoy learning about out how complicated technology works and explaining it in a way anyone can understand.
Apple releases feature updates to Pages, Keynote, and Numbers with productivity improvements and more
Six months after the last update on the iWork suite, Apple is releasing a new version of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. Here’s everything you need to know about version 12.0.
While version 11.2 brought lots of improvements for the three productivity apps Apple offer, version 12.0 seems more discreet.
For Numbers, Apple is bringing three new features:
Copy a snapshot of table cells without formulas, categories, or hidden values
Edit font size more precisely with up to two decimal places
Create formulas and quickly fill cells with autofill using VoiceOver
For Pages, Apple is bringing improvements for publishing books with larger file sizes and more:
Publish directly to Apple Books with larger file sizes up to 2 GB
Insert page numbers anywhere in your document
Edit font size more precisely with up to two decimal places
Quickly start writing a new document on iPhone — just touch and hold the Pages app icon on the Home Screen
Read comments and track changes using VoiceOver
Last but not least, Keynote also has two new features:
Enlarge slides to a maximum zoom level of 400%
Edit font size more precisely with up to two decimal places
Since Apple just released these updates, it might take a while for you to download them on your devices.
Apple announces WWDC 2022 will again be ‘all-online’
This year’s developers conference will take place June 6-10, and Apple isn’t ready to go back to an in-person event yet.
Apple’s announcement contains the typical language, stating: “Building on the success of the past two years of virtual events, WWDC22 will showcase the latest innovations in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, while giving developers access to Apple engineers and technologies to learn how to create groundbreaking apps and interactive experiences.”
In other words, expect the keynote on June 6 to reveal iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and tvOS 16, macOS 13, and watchOS 9. Apple’s developer conference almost always takes place in June. The image accompanying the announcement is a stylized version of the logo for Apple’s programming language Swift, so we can probably expect some significant announcements to go along with Apple’s Swift and SwiftUI tools.
With the exception of 2006, when the conference was held in August, it has been nearly 20 years since WWDC wasn’t held in early June. In recent years, Apple has used the event to preview the major operating system updates that are coming in the fall, with a beta release for developers following shortly after and a public beta within a month or so.
Other products and services are often revealed at WWDC, often those that cater to developers. In 2019, we got a look at the new Mac Pro and ProDisplay XDR, and in 2017 the HomePod, iMac Pro, and 10.5-inch iPad Pro were revealed. In the last two years, and in 2018, there was no new hardware revealed–though in 2020 Apple did detail its plans to transition away from Intel processors to its own silicon.
While the event is online, Apple plans to host a special limited event for developers and students at Apple Park on June 6 to watch the keynote and State of the Union videos together. Apple says details about how to attend will be available soon. Apple will also once again hold a Swift Student Challenge for budding developers. Students can submit their work for consideration through April 25.
Apple Releases iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 With Security Updates and Bug Fixes
Apple today released iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1, two minor updates to the iOS and iPadOS operating systems released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3.1 come two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.3.
The iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
According to Apple’s release notes, iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 fix an issue that could cause Braille displays to stop responding. The updates also provide important security fixes for the iPhone and the iPad. Apple’s accompanying security support document explains that software addresses a WebKit bug that could allow maliciously crafted web content to lead to arbitrary code execution.
Apple says that it is aware of a report that the vulnerability may have been actively exploited, so it is important for iPhone and iPad users to update to the new iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 as soon as possible.
What to Expect From Apple’s Upcoming 2022 iPhone SE 5G
Friday February 4, 2022 2:08 PM PST by Juli Clover
Apple is working on an updated version of its most affordable iPhone, and the new 2022 version of the iPhone SE could be coming out within a matter of weeks. While not the most exciting refresh, there are some features that are going to be great at the $399 price point that the iPhone SE sells at.
This guide covers everything that we know about the upcoming iPhone SE based on rumors and past release history.
We are not expecting any design changes for the next version of the iPhone SE. It’s going to continue to look like the current 2020 iPhone SE, which is modeled after the iPhone 8. The current iPhone SE is available in black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED, so we could see similar color options for the new model.
It will feature a 4.7-inch LCD display with thick bezels and a Touch ID Home button, making it Apple’s most modern iPhone that still offers Touch ID. All other iPhones have transitioned to Face ID, and there are rumors that future versions of the low-cost iPhone will do so as well, but not at this time.
The back of the device will be made of glass to facilitate wireless charging, but it won’t include MagSafe technology. Like old models, the new iPhone SE will feature IP67 water and dust resistance. We’re also not expecting changes to the battery life given the lack of design updates, so battery life will likely be the same.
5G connectivity will be the major selling point of the new iPhone SE, with Apple bringing 5G speeds to a much more affordable iPhone. At the current time, Apple’s cheapest 5G iPhone is the $599 iPhone 12 mini, but the iPhone SE will be a good deal cheaper if the rumors are accurate.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said it will be the most affordable 5G iPhone available, and in terms of connection speeds, it could be on par with Apple’s iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models. It’s worth noting that with the iPhone 13 models, the fastest mmWave 5G speeds are limited to the United States, and that’s likely to be the case with the iPhone SE as well should it support mmWave speeds.
We haven’t really heard either way if Apple plans to limit the more affordable iPhones to sub-6GHz networks, but it seems unlikely.
The current iPhone SE has an A13 Bionic chip, and the 2022 model is expected to get a newer, faster chip. Apple could opt to go with the A15 chip, putting it on par with the iPhone 13 models, though we’ve also heard a rumor about the A14.
When the 2020 iPhone SE was released, it included the same A13 chip that had been used in the iPhone 11 models the prior September, so we could see the same situation in 2022 with the new iPhone SE adopting the A15.
The current iPhone SE lasts for 13 hours when watching videos, eight hours when streaming videos, and 40 hours when listening to audio, and it is capable of fast charging and can charge to 50 percent in 30 minutes when using an 18W power adapter or higher.
The iPhone SE is expected to feature an updated camera, and it could adopt the latest Wide-Angle camera from the iPhone 13. We don’t know specifics at this time, but camera improvements are planned.
The current iPhone SE features a 7-megapixel front-facing camera and a single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera.
Apple could call the new iPhone SE the iPhone SE 5G to differentiate it from the 2020 version, but it could also just stick with the standard iPhone SE name.
Display analyst Ross Young has said that the iPhone SE could be called the “iPhone SE Plus” even though it’s not getting a larger display, but that seems unlikely because historically, the “Plus” naming has denoted a larger screen size.
The 2022 iPhone SE is expected to be priced starting at $399, which is the same asking price as the current 2020 model.
We’ve heard rumors of another low-cost iPhone possibly in the iPhone SE family that features an all-display design, and this iPhone SE with a larger display and no Home button is expected to come out in 2023 or 2024.
Display analyst Ross Young believes that Apple is working on a version of the iPhone SE with a larger 5.7 to 6.1-inch display and a hole-punch camera slated. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that a larger version of the iPhone SE will launch in 2023, featuring an updated, bigger display and 4GB RAM.
Back in 2019, Kuo said there would be an “iPhone SE Plus” with a full-screen design, no Face ID, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the power button on the side of the device, but such a device did not surface. It’s possible Apple was working on this iPhone SE for an earlier launch, but pushed it back.
The quickest way to sign your important documents on a Mac
You don’t need a third-party app or online service to sign your important documents — there’s a built-in MacOS tool for that.
The easiest way to sign your documents is on your computer. All you have to do is download the right document, sign with your finger and then send the document via email or print it out. It’s a streamlined process, but if you’re a Mac owner, you may be signing your documents the wrong way.
You might be using third-party software like Adobe Acrobat Reader to sign your important documents like lease papers or taxes, but there’s another, easier way to do it. Using the Preview application, which comes built-in to MacOS, you can sign pretty much any document in seconds.
Now playing: How to sign a PDF on your Mac in a few easy steps
The first step is to input your signature on your Mac (more below). Then every time after that you’ll simply select the signature you saved, and your Mac will apply it to the document that needs to be signed. Easy peasy.
How to input your digital signature on your Mac
The first thing you’ll need to do is add your signature to your Mac, which you can do within Preview. To start:
Open the document you want to sign in Preview.
Now, click on the Markup icon.
Next, click the Signature button.
Select Create Signature.
Apple will sync your signature with your iCloud account, making it available in Preview on any Mac you’ve signed in to with your Apple ID.
You have three options to create a digital version of your signature:
Trackpad: Select this option if you want to write your signature on your Mac’s trackpad using your finger.
Camera: Sign a piece of paper and then hold it up to your Mac’s camera. Preview will recognize your writing, then digitize it.
iPhone/iPad: Select this option to write your signature on a connected device.
How to add your signature to a PDF
Now that setup is done, your signature is in the system and you’ll see just how fast it is to sign documents in Preview.
With your document open in Preview, follow the same process we just outlined, except that after clicking on the signature button, click on your signature.
A small box that includes your signature will show up in the document, which you can then drag around and resize. After you’ve lined up your signature, you can save the document and then share it.
I timed how long it takes me to open a document and click the appropriate buttons to add a signature, and I was able to get it done in under a minute, and that includes adding the date by clicking on the add text button in Preview.
Apple’s latest round of software updates is now rolling out to the public. iOS 15.3 is now available to iPhone users with performance improvements, bug fixes, and security enhancements. Furthermore, iPadOS 15.3 is now available to iPad users, while watchOS 8.4 is rolling out for Apple Watch.
iOS 15.3 foregoes new features in favor of under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements. One of the most notable changes here is a fix for a Safari vulnerability that may have been leaking your browsing history and Google ID data to the websites you visited.
Apple’s release notes for iOS 15.3 are short and to the point: “iOS 15.3 includes bug fixes and security updates for your iPhone and is recommended for all users.”
You can update your iPhone to iOS 15.3 and your iPad to iPadOS 15.3 by heading to the Settings application, choosing General, then choosing Software Update. The build number of today’s releases of iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 is 19D50.
Apple is also rolling out watchOS 8.4 for Apple Watch users today. This update also focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements. You can update your Apple Watch to watchOS 8.4 by going to the Settings app on your Apple Watch or using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
The Best iPad Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Start Using Now
Multitask more quickly with these must-use shortcuts and trackpad gestures.
The iPad is a capable laptop replacement in many ways, and iPadOS multitasking features and Apple’s Magic Keyboard take that to the next level. iPadOS differs from iOS in several ways, and includes keyboard shortcuts and trackpad gestures that unlock functionality you can’t get on an iPhone.
First thing’s first: To get started with iPad keyboard shortcuts and gestures, you’ll need to set up a keyboard and trackpad with your iPad—either the official Magic Keyboard or a third-party option. If you want to see the available keyboard shortcuts for the app you’re currently using, press and hold the Command button and choose between the different categories that show up on screen.
Some of the common ones you might see are Cmd+C to copy, Cmd+V to paste, and Cmd+Z to undo the most recent action, for example. These match the same shortcuts on macOS on the desktop, and certainly make it easier to handle text editing—you can use Command+I for italics, Command+B for bold, and Command+U for underlined text too, which you’re probably familiar with in word processing apps.
In several apps, you can use Command+N to create a new file, Command+O to open an existing file, and Command+P to print the current file. Others are more specific, such as Command+R to reply to messages and Command+Shift+F to forward emails in the default Mail app that Apple develops. In Apple Calendar, hold down Command and tap a number from 1–4 to switch between the different views.
The iPhone SE+ 5G will become available in late April or early May, claims analyst
Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young has more information on the iPhone SE+ 5G to dish out. Production of display panels for the new model is starting this month, which means that Apple can unveil the SE+ in late April or early May and it will be able to start shipping out orders in that same period.
The new model will use the old design, according to all the leaks so far. There is some uncertainty as to whether it will keep using the same 4.7” LCD with the Touch ID button on the front. One thing is clear though, the focus of this release will be the 5G connectivity.
The second generation Apple iPhone SE
The 2020 SE model was powered by the Apple A13 chipset and featured a 4G modem (the same configuration as the iPhone 12 series from half a year earlier). The new SE will get a newer chipset and modem – rumors from a few months ago claimed it will use the same Apple A15 chip and Snapdragon X60 modem as the iPhone 13 series.
The iPhone SE+ 5G is supposed to launch alongside the new iPad Air, which will probably be powered by that same A15 chipset. TSMC’s 5 nm foundries have their work cut out for them, considering that the iPhone 13 series is quite popular there are several new A15-based devices incoming.
While conducting the reviews, I started wondering if there wasn’t a better way to accomplish all these goals with one single piece of technology. Do I really need all of these separate apps or are Apple Watch a better does-it-all solution?
I’ll admit that I’m late to the Apple Watch party. In fact, I kept calling it the iWatch for the longest time. But maybe this unfamiliarity is exactly why the Apple Watch kept jumping into my head. Obviously, I knew the Apple Watch existed. I just hadn’t spent time with one. That said, it kept sliding across my mind as the gadget that could accomplish nearly everything a golfer would need.
Let’s jump right into the “for golf” discussion. Obviously, how the Apple Watch works as a golf watch is going to come down to the apps. One search through the Apple App Store and you’ll see there are a whole bunch of Apple Watch golf apps available. Maybe not as many golf apps as there are for the iPhone but there is a whack of Apple Watch apps. What’s cool is that many of the golf apps that you are using currently also have expanded functionality once you add an Apple Watch to the mix.
I was interested in two main categories of apps. First, I wanted to see what was available to use during play. Second, are there apps that could help me play better? Out of the overwhelming number of Apple Watch golf apps available, here are a few that I can see myself using consistently.
TheGrint’s Apple Watch app does exactly what an Apple Watch app should do. It moves the “during play” functionality and interface from the iPhone to the watch. This is not unique to TheGrint but I’m using their app as an example since I have used it on my phone to track rounds played for the past year.
Shifting functionality to the watch makes using the app so much better. It is easier to check yardages and enter scores from your wrist than is from your phone. It really allows you to keep your phone in the cart or in your bag while you play.
The watch app doesn’t do everything that the phone app does. You’ll still need your phone to post scores and to upload scorecard pictures after the round. However, during the round, the Apple Watch has your needs covered, including those looking to play drink-a-hole rounds.
New 27-inch iMac Said to Launch in Multiple Colors
Apple’s upcoming 27-inch iMac will feature a thinner exterior design and be available in multiple colors like its 24-inch counterpart, according to a new report today.
Apple’s 24-inch iMac in various colors
Apple’s larger-screened iMac has been rumored for a while to be similar in design to the 24-inch iMac and the Pro Display XDR, but previous rumors about the bigger all-in-one Mac have suggested it will feature black bezels and have a darker color scheme to differentiate it as a more professional machine, similar to the discontinued iMac Pro (rumors suggest it could even adopt the “Pro” moniker to distinguish it further).
However, the latest report from DigiTimes claims Apple intends to offer the 27-inch iMac in various colors, although whether that means Apple will use the same color scheme as the 24-inch iMac is unclear.
Twitter leaker @dylandkt previously claimed that the new 27-inch iMac will feature a similar design as the 24-inch iMac that launched earlier this year, but with a darker color scheme.
Earlier this year, when Apple revealed that the 24-inch iMac would be available in a range of fun colors, many observers noted the similarity it bears to the original 1998 all-in-one desktop, the iMac G3, which was offered in several colors and paired with a light gray bezel. If the latest report is accurate, Apple is in the midst of a back-to-roots design overhaul for its entire iMac line.
The upcoming Apple silicon-powered ”iMac Pro” is expected to launch in the spring of 2022, perhaps at a spring event. It will replace the current Intel-based 27-inch iMac, one of the last Mac models to still use Intel processors. Today’s report also claimed it will not feature a display with mini-LED but will instead keep the LCD panel previously used. For everything we know about the upcoming larger iMac, check out our dedicated guide.
Apple’s new all-in-one desktops have a completely different look.
Apple announced iMac updates today at its event in Brooklyn, New York. As expected, the updates improve the desktop’s performance with new processors while maintaining the design we’ve known iMacs to have for the past couple of years.
Apple says the new system was designed from the ground up around the M1 system on a chip (SoC), allowing for a much smaller motherboard and cooling system than that seen in the company’s earlier Intel-powered iMacs. The new iMac’s overall volume is down by 50 percent and comes in at only 11 mm thick, with a single sheet of glass across the entire front of the device.
The iMac comes with a 4.5K Retina 24-inch display with very small bezels, resulting in a device not much larger than earlier 21-inch iMacs. The new displays also include TruTone technology, which dynamically adjusts color temperature in response to changes in the surrounding ambient light.
The M1 iMac’s 1080 p camera is also improved, taking advantage of the M1’s onboard image processing and neural engine. Tone mapping increases detail and reduces noise in highlighted areas automatically. Similarly, beamforming on the mic array improves the quality of your voice (and decreases ambient noise) during videoconferencing.
The new iMac includes a six-speaker system, which Apple confidently declares as “the best sound system ever in a Mac.” The system supports spatial audio for both games and movies.
Like M1 Macbooks and Mac Minis, the M1-powered iMac wakes near-instantly from sleep. Apple also says that apps like Xcode, Lightroom, and iMovie are up to 85 percent faster than previous models. Final Cut Pro can now simultaneously edit up to five 4K video streams without dropping a frame.
The M1 processor also allows iPhone apps and games to run directly on the iMac. Phone calls and text messages can also come directly to the iMac, and Universal Clipboard allows copying and pasting directly between iPhone and M1 iMac. There’s also a phone-like biometric fingerprint sensor on the new keyboard.
The M1 iMac offers up to four USB-C ports (two Thunderbolt), a new magnetically coupled power cord with an Ethernet adapter built into the power brick, which passes network traffic through the power cord itself thanks to Thunderbolt.
The new iMacs will be available in four colors and will start at $1,299, and a second model will come in seven colors and start at $1,499. Preorders begin on April 30, with delivery beginning in the second half of May.