Daily Authority: 👉 Good and bad from Apple’s WWDC

💪 Good morning! A super busy one wrapped Apple’s new stuff, USB-C for all, a new Pixel feature drop, and more — so let’s get into it.

New Apple stuff

tim cook wwdc 2022 2

Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

Apple’s WWDC22 is a conference for developers, but Apple has a busy enough schedule that it brought out its next significant hardware.

  • Here’s a list of everything Apple launched, which includes a look at what’s new in iOS 16 (lock screen design is getting new options, and better live notifications, CarPlay (big update coming late 2023), watchOS 9 (more fitness stuff), iPad OS 16 (more useful organization of tabs and windows) and macOS Ventura (minor updates but both get “Stage Manager,” which automatically organizes open apps and windows.)
  • You can use your iPhone as a webcam, as Apple admits it can’t make good webcams maybe.
  • And, Apple is delivering a post-password future. It has announced a replacement, called passkeys, which will effectively turn logins into biometric sign-in standards, which also happens to mean ubiquitous FaceID/TouchID. Which is more secure, but also, very ecosystem-tied. More on passkeys.

M2 chip

  • After 2020’s M1 chip, and the following M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips built to the same specs but with variously tweaked cores and performance additions, the M2 chip is here. (Gary Explains took a look at the latest Apple Silicon).
  • We’re in the pre-review/comparison/benchmarking timeline so we need to rely on what Apple said.
  • Two years after the M1, Apple says the M2 has an “18% faster CPU, a 35% more powerful GPU, and a 40% faster Neural Engine,” but probably more important is if the M2 delivers those with better overall efficiency than the M1.
  • A problem is that the M2 is still on TSMC’s 5nm process, not 4nm or 3nm.
  • Rumors suggested Apple would wait for TSMC’s 4nm process to give the processor major improvements.
  • Instead, the M2 is on a “second-generation 5nm technology,” which is likely to be TSMC’s N5P line. Extremely general comparisons suggest a 5% speed gain and a 10% power reduction. Not bad at all! But not exactly a revolution.
  • One theory I like is that It’s possible that M2 should be thought of as the lowest-power chip that is built for efficiency, aiming to provide its tablets and laptops with the best battery life, and leaving the higher-performance aims to other chips (likely to have the same M2 Pro/Max/Ultra names whenever they come out.)

MacBook Air

  • To highlight the M2 chip, Apple is also updating the MacBook Air with the M2 as a redesign, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro will also get the M2 as well.
  • First, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the same machine from 2020, with the touch bar even. Minor stuff.
  • But the MacBook Air is a refresh: it’s going for a thinner shape, a larger 13.6-inch display (with, ugh, notch), and happier updates like a 1080p webcam and MagSafe charging.
  • Both are stuck on 60Hz refresh rate displays, with the 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021) at 120Hz, and both devices will ship in July, so reviews might take a while.
  • The base model Air costs $200 more than the 2020 M1 version (which remains on sale for $999), with the Air at $1,200, though with only 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.
  • Adding 8GB of RAM (which is strongly recommended!) adds $200 more.
  • Adding 256GB more storage (which is less strongly recommended but still very useful!) is also another $200. So, $1,600?
  • Meanwhile: the 13-inch MacBook Pro is a little bit lost?
  • Without spending half a morning on it, I have no idea why you’d get it over the new MacBook Air.
  • Or, pony up for the far better 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro which are both much more “Pro,” across all elements from display to ports.

Roundup

🔌 Wow, the EU did it: USB-C will be mandatory for phones sold in the EU by fall 2024, including iPhones (European Parliament).

🆕 Google’s Pixel feature drop for June update: big thing is “Pocket Operator,” which turns sounds from video into music for newer Pixels, while things like car crash detection roll out to more countries, and more (Android Authority).

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Have a great start to your week!

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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