5 biggest surprises from Apple’s WWDC 2022 event

The first day of Apple’s annual WWDC developer conference came and went, with the company announcing iOS 16 for the iPhone, as well as software updates for the Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad. Interestingly, the developer conference kicked off a long list of features coming to the iPhone and other Apple products later this year. While Apple hasn’t unveiled or teased the mysterious mixed-reality headset, it has announced the updated MacBook Air with the M2 processor. Many of the announcements that made up this year’s WWDC had already been leaked or known in tech circles. But there were a few more surprises in store, ranging from the debut of the next-generation CarPlay to the ability to use your iPhone as a webcam on a Mac.

Here’s everything we didn’t expect at WWDC 2022.

All-new CarPlay

No one thought Apple would preview the next generation of its in-app car mirror technology at WWDC. The all-new CarPlay takes the in-car interface beyond simply displaying the information on your iPhone to the actual hardware integration in your car. The best thing about the new CarPlay experience is how it adapts to multi-screen dashboards and screens, depending on which car you own. The level of customization features and the way you control your radio, adjust your AC, and view car data like fuel level or speed show how serious Apple is about getting the software right on cars. The first cars to support next-generation CarPlay will be announced at the end of next year. We still don’t know many details, but one thing is clear: Apple seems interested in proving its in-car operating system to the leading automakers. Apple may want to make its own car one day, but for now the Cupertino company is happy to make the future cars from major manufacturers “connected” and “intelligent” using CarPlay.

It’s about to happen: You’ll soon be able to use your iPhone as a Mac webcam. (Image credit: Apple)

Use your iPhone as a Mac webcam

I’m not sure why this wasn’t announced during the height of Covid-19, but yes, we liked the idea of ​​turning our iPhone into a webcam. After all, laptop webcams are still a piece of junk. Apple’s announcement that we’ll soon be able to connect our iPhones to Macs for webcam use in the fall got us excited. The best part is that you don’t need to connect iPhone to Mac; the computer will immediately recognize the device. You will of course need to update your iPhone to iOS 16 and Mac to the latest macOS Ventura to turn an iPhone into a webcam. Hold on, there’s more. This feature also allows you to use two of the iPhone camera lenses at the same time. One will be on the speaker while the other can focus on something else. Apple calls it “Desk View”, to show the user’s face and a top view of their desk at the same time. It’s great for making unboxing videos. But for all of this to work, Apple recommends getting a mount made by accessory company Belkin.

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Freeform is Apple’s take on digital whiteboard apps

Whiteboard applications are hot right now as so many people use whiteboards for remote meetings, online collaboration and presentations these days. While we expected iPadOS to get a major update, we didn’t know Apple was quietly developing a whiteboard app. It’s called Freeform and will be available later this year on iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Free Form is essentially a note taking app with collaboration features and native FaceTime integration. Users can enter notes, photos, doodles or PDFs and view the contributions of others as they add or edit content. The best part: Free Form supports Apple Pencil when using the iPad.

With the new $1,200 MacBook Air hitting stores next month, the era of a sub-$1000 Mac notebook seems to be over. (Image credit: Apple)

A $200 price increase for the new MacBook Air

Let’s face it: the new MacBook Air looks beautiful. A sturdier, squared look, a fanless chassis, a new 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display and the second-generation M2 chip make the new MacBook Air the coolest notebook in town. But the $1200 starting price is arguably higher for an entry-level machine, even if we add in all of Apple’s improvements.

That’s a lot more than you’d spend on the M1 MacBook Air that costs just $999. The $1,200 price tag on the new MacBook Air signals the demise of a less than $1,000 Mac notebook that made the Air popular among students and average consumers. It reminds us that Apple has several plans for a MacBook Air.

Apple has been lazy to get AAA games to Mac, but it looks like change is finally coming. (Image credit: Apple)

Mac and AAA Gaming

Perhaps the biggest surprise (and least expected announcement) was Apple’s commitment to turning its Macs into true AAA gaming machines. At WWDC 2022, Apple discussed news about the Metal 3 update for Macs. The presentation was clearly aimed at letting developers know how to take advantage of the Metal 3 and MetalFX Upscaling tools to optimize graphics, textures, frame rates and load times for the M1 and M2 architectures, delivering a smooth, immersive game. experience for Mac users. For a company accused of not doing enough to bring AAA gaming to Macs, this announcement was nothing short of a shock. Dipping its toes into the gaming world may seem like a small step for Apple, but the impact could be huge if developers start supporting AAA titles for Macs. Of No Man’s Sky, Grid Legends, and Resident Evil Village coming to Mac this year, “it’s a new day” for gaming on Mac. That said, Apple still has to find a way to make it worthwhile for developers to bring their games to the Mac.

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