WWDC23 Keynote Recap

Watch below as one of Compnow’s resident Apple aficionado’s, Damien Cavanagh recaps the announcements from this year’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference.

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What’s new with Mac.

Introducing the new 15″ MacBook Air, the thinnest 15″ laptop ever made. This sleek device features a headphones jack and two thunderbolt ports for fast and easy connectivity. Enjoy stunning visuals on the 15.3″ screen with 500 nits of brightness and crystal-clear video calls with the 1080p camera and three-mic array. Experience immersive sound with the six speakers that deliver spatial audio. And power through your tasks with the M2 chip, which is 12 times faster than intel. Plus, with 18 hours of battery life, you can work and play all day long. The 15″ MacBook Air is the ultimate laptop for a professional who wants a lightweight device but with the screen size to be productive.

Apple are excited to announce an update to the Mac Studio: the M2 Max and the M2 Ultra. These powerful machines are 25% faster than the previous generation and offer faster rendering in after effects. The M2 Ultra also features 192GB of unified memory, up to 8K and 240fps HDMI output, and up to 6 Pro Displays Mac displays for stunning visuals.

For those who need the ultimate performance and flexibility, Apple have also launched the Mac Pro with Apple silicon. The Mac Pro features the M2 Ultra chip, which delivers the performance of 7 afterburner cards. It also has 8 built-in thunderbolt ports, 6 Gen 4 PCI expansion slots, and a modular design that lets you customise your Mac Pro to your needs. Whether you are a university, a tech lab, or a creative professional, the Mac Pro with Apple silicon is the perfect choice for you.

What’s New in macOS 14 Sonoma, iOS 17

Apple has just announced the latest versions of its operating systems for Macs. iPhones and iPads. Here are some of the highlights of what’s new and exciting in macOS 14 Sonoma and iOS 17.

macOS 14 Sonoma

Widgets will be coming to the MacOS, and are now interactive – plus, get Widgets from your iPhone or iPad on your Mac without installing the app!
This means you can access useful information and functionality from your favorite apps right on your desktop, without opening them. You can also sync your widgets across your devices, so you can have the same ones on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Video calling enhancements will mean better calls on FaceTime and third party solutions like Teams or Zoom, particularly when presenting content.
You can now share your screen or a specific app window with your video call participants, and they can see it in high quality and interact with it. You can also use the new Focus mode to blur your background and minimise distractions.

We’re very interested in the new Safari Profiles support and what it means for using Macs for both personal and work or education tasks.
You can now create different profiles for Safari, each with its own bookmarks, extensions, history, and preferences. This makes it easy to switch between different contexts, such as work, school, or personal browsing.

Support for web apps like Confluence to behave like local apps, even with icons. You can now add web apps to your Dock or Launchpad, and they will open in their own window, without the Safari toolbar. This gives you a more native app experience for web-based tools like Confluence.

iOS 17

Fans of personal branding will love Contact Posters, giving you control of how you and your contact info appear on other people’s devices
You can now create a custom poster for your contact card, with your photo, name, and any other information you want to share. When you send your contact card to someone else, they will see your poster on their device.

Live Voicemail gives you a real-time transcript of the message being left
You can now see what someone is saying when they leave you a voicemail, as it is transcribed live on your screen. You can also reply with a text message or a call back.

Messages sees a range of updates, like the new Check In safety feature to keep loved ones apprised of your movements and custom stickers created with iOS 16’s amazing ‘drag the subject out of the photo’ feature.
You can now send a Check In message to your contacts, which will share your location and status with them. You can also create custom stickers from your photos, by dragging the subject out of the photo and adding effects.

AirDrop has been enhanced with the NameDrop feature to share contact info by tapping phones, and AirDrop transfers will complete securely and remotely via the web if you leave before they’re finished. You can now share your contact info with someone nearby by tapping your phones together, using NameDrop. You can also resume AirDrop transfers that were interrupted by leaving the vicinity, as they will be completed via iCloud.

Autocorrect is now powered by machine learning and works for entire sentences and learns your personal grammar over time.
You can now enjoy smarter and more personalised autocorrect suggestions, as Auto-carrot learns from your writing style and preferences. It can also correct entire sentences at once, instead of word by word.

Continuing on from the Lock Screen customisation abilities iOS 16 gave us, iOS 17 will provide a dashboard-style lock screen to display relevant info and keep you up-to-date – great for those who already keep their iPhone on charge at their work desk. You can now customise your lock screen with widgets that show you relevant information at a glance, such as weather, calendar events, news headlines, and more. You can also swipe left or right to access different widgets.

These are just some of the new features that macOS 14 Sonoma and iOS 17 have to offer.

Now on to iPadOS 17!

Lock Screen customisation has come to the iPad! After its success in iOS 16, iPad users will now have the ability to add widgets, change fonts and use a variety of wallpapers.

PDF support has been greatly enhanced with automatic forms support and enhancements to collaborating editing in Notes – we can see this saving time and hassle in many workplaces and learning environments.

While many of us are still getting used to external display support for iPad, Apple have expanded this functionality with webcam support, more UI tweaks and better multitasking options.

Amongst a raft of AirPlay improvements, we’re particularly keen to learn more about Airplay in hotels. This feature will let you stream content from your iOS or iPadOS device to any compatible TV in your hotel room, without needing to connect to the hotel Wi-Fi or enter any passwords.

Adding yet another way to connect with friends, family and colleagues, FaceTime is coming to Apple TV! Using Continuity Camera, you can shoot with your iPhone and view on your TV for even better conference calls or catchups. You can also join FaceTime links from your Apple TV remote, making it easier than ever to join group calls.

We saw a fantastic collection of updates with watchOS10, with more accurate sensor data and many UI enhancements.

Apple Vision Pro

After years of rumours, Apple have finally revealed a mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro. Bridging the digital and physical worlds with an array of cameras and other sensors, and ready for any task thanks to an M2 processor alongside the new, display-centric R1 co-processor, Vision Pro will give AR and VR their iPhone moments.

The operating system for the Vision Pro is visionOS, and will be familiar to anyone that’s used an Apple device. All the stock Apple apps are there, some with visionOS specific updates, and many third party iPad and iPhone apps are supported by default. Authenticating on the new device will be achieved using Optic ID to scan your iris.

Vision Pro will allow you to place apps or displays anywhere in the space around you. For Mac users, Vision Pro will operate as an external display – or external displays, and you can even use it as a virtual keyboard and trackpad. For gamers, Vision Pro will offer immersive experiences with realistic graphics and sound. And for creators, Vision Pro will enable new ways of making and sharing content with tools like Vision Studio and Vision Clips.

With no confirmed Australian release date as yet, the only negative about this incredible new type of device is not knowing how quickly we can get our hands on one!

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