Before its grand unveiling of the Vision Pro, Apple spent the majority of its opening Worldwide Developers Conference keynote talking about the updates to its current tech.
Every piece of Apple’s current technology— Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, Apple Home, Apple TV, and Airplay received some form of update, either in hardware or software.
Here’s a summary of the updates coming to Apple products.
iOS 17 promises major upgrades to how users communicate. With iOS 17, users can customize how contacts show up during a call, see live transcripts of voicemails and voice memos and leave FaceTime messages when users call someone who is unavailable.
Messages also received some updates; enhancements have been made to the Messages search bar, and a catch-up arrow has been added when you’re behind on group message texts and inline location updates.
A new safety option known as ‘check-in’ will also be available, which auto-detects when you’ve made it home and notifies designated individuals that you’ve arrived safely.
Lastly, Apple introduced easier sharing options, with AirDrop and NameDrop. Bringing two iPhones close together, or an iPhone and an Apple Watch, lets users share contact information, files, and photos with one another. The SharePlay option can also sync music, movies or games when iPhones are in close proximity.
Other updates coming to the iPhone include:
- Improvements to autocorrect using an updated machine learning model.
- StandBy, a display screen option to allow users to read important information from afar when a phone is charging. They can choose to display calendars, weather updates, clocks or other screens.
StandBy gives users a full-screen experience with glanceable information designed to be viewed from a distance when iPhone is on its side and charging.
- A new iPhone app called ‘Journal,’ which will provide writing prompts based on the user’s recent activities.
Other small updates have been added to iOS 17 as well; read about them here. iOS 17 will only be available for the iPhone X or newer.
While widgets have been available on iPad for some time, Apple is introducing interactive widgets to the iPad lock and home screens in iPadOS 17. Similarly, the lock screen personalization options available on iPhone are also coming to the tablet.
Other updates are coming for PDFs, and more specifically, the Notes app. PDFs will have the capability to recognize blank spaces and autofill with necessary information. Users will be able to annotate PDFs in Notes with the Apple Pencil, and collaborate in-real time with other individuals.
Most of the updates iPhone is receiving will also be making their way to iPad apps, including but not limited to iMessage, FaceTime, Health and more. You can read a comprehensive list of iPadOS 17 updates here.
The new watchOS 10 will redesign display, widgets, health, and workouts. As on the iPad, the update will allow for smart stacks on the home screen, making information more scannable for the user. Stacks can include health, weather, news, calendar and more.
For bikers, there are updates to the cycling workout option. Users’ watches can connect to bluetooth-enabled cycling accessories, like power meters, speed sensors and cadence sensors. They can also estimate the user’s functional threshold power and show what power zone they’re working in.
Updates for hikers include new safety protocols: The compass app will generate waypoints (the last place where the user had cellular reception) and indicate where users can make emergency calls.
A map update for U.S. users includes a topographic map layer, and an option to search and filter trails.
Other watch updates include a big push for mental health. The Mindfulness app will let users log momentary emotions and daily moods through their Apple Watch. Paired with the iPhone and iPad updates, users can take logged watch information and use it to identify what is contributing to their state of mind, take assessments for mental health disorders and find helpful resources.
The Apple Watch is also including a way to measure vision health. With watchOS 10, Apple Watches can now log how many minutes users spend outside during the day, with the premise of reducing the risk of myopia.
The update also comes with a new set of watch faces for users to try. Updates will be available to the Watch series 4 or later.
The biggest announcement for the Mac is the 15-inch Macbook Air. Apple boasts the new Macbook has:
- 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display;
- 18 hours of battery life;
- Six-speaker sound system;
- The inclusion of the M2 Apple chip;
- A 1080p HD camera;
- A silent, fanless design;
- All in a three-pound laptop.
With the M2 chip, Apple says its newest Macbook will be 12x faster than the fastest Intel-based Macbook Air. It also comes with upgraded storage capacities, 100GB/s of memory bandwidth and supports up to 24GB of fast unified memory.
This laptop will be available on Jun. 13, starting at C$1,749.
Audio and Home
The second generation of AirPods Pro will have three new features: Adaptive Audio, Personalized Volume and Conversation Awareness.
Adaptive Audio is the melding of the transparency mode and noise cancellation options. These options will change based on the user’s surrounding environment.
Personalized volume is similar to the Adaptive Audio feature; machine learning will learn and understand users’ environments and listening preferences.
Conversation Awareness is a new feature that will automatically lower the volume of an individual’s audio when the user starts speaking, or if someone is speaking to them.
Other updates to AirPods include automatic switching, which should provide a more seamless connection between AirPods and multiple Apple devices. The mute and unmute feature is being added to AirPods Pro, Third-generation AirPods and the AirPods Max; this allows for quick muting and unmuting capabilities.
With tvOS 17, FaceTime will be available through the Apple TV, as will a new control center. Other apps, such as Apple Music, Apple Fitness+ and Apple Arcade will also be available through Apple TV.