The biggest news from Apple’s WWDC: iOS 16, macOS Ventura, a new MacBook Air and more

The biggest news from Apple's WWDC: iOS 16, macOS Ventura, a new MacBook Air and more

Tech Highlights:

  • Apple’s AAPL 0.52%▲ Worldwide Developers Conference (aka WWDC) typically kicks off with a laundry list of the new free features coming to iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Macs in the fall. In other words, software. This year’s keynote was a bit different: It also had hardware. No, there wasn’t any mention of the hotly anticipated virtual-reality headset at the Monday keynote, which was pretaped but shown to an in-person audience of media and developers at the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. Nor was there any mention of the next iPhone, which will likely come in September. However, Apple unveiled its latest processor, the M2, and with it a revamped MacBook Air and an upgraded MacBook Pro.

  • Editing and remembering outgoing messages, converting your iPhone into a Mac camera, and other software capabilities will be available this autumn. A pair of MacBooks with M2 processors will arrive sooner. In its two-hour WWDC 2022 keynote, Apple introduced hundreds of new features for the future versions of iOS, iPadOS, WatchOS, and MacOS, as well as a revamped MacBook Air! Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal went to Cupertino and broke down the news for you. Adele Morgan/The Wall Street Journal contributed to this image.

Of course, most of the screen time dwelt on iOS 16, iPad OS 16, WatchOS 9 and MacOS Ventura, the updates expected to be free this fall. Free for those of you with supported devices, that is. (Sorry iPhone 7 users, you didn’t make the cut.) Here are the most noteworthy hardware and software highlights from the event. Everything is now a tech thing. Columnist Joanna Stern is your guide, giving analysis and answering your questions about our always-connected world.

It has a larger 13.6-inch display, up from 13.3 inches. It also has an improved 1080p webcam, up from 720p, surrounded by a notch reminiscent of the latest iPhones. It’s a touch thinner and lighter, though the overall footprint is just slightly larger. (We’re talking millimeters here.) The new MacBook Air starts at $1,199—a $200 price hike. A 30-watt brick is included with the base configuration, but if you pay $20 extra, or choose a pricier configuration, you can get it with either a new 35-watt compact adapter option with two USB-C ports or a 67-watt adapter. Both will also be sold separately for $59. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is getting a processor bump to the M2, but remains relatively unchanged beyond that. It starts at $1,299. Apple said both laptops will be available next month.

The MacBook Air got a new look and the more powerful, battery-efficient M2 chip. It ditches the classic Air wedge for all straight edges, and there’s a new deep-blue color option. One feature that made me double take: The MagSafe charging cable is back. So if you trip on your power cord, that detaches without taking your whole laptop with it. Apple introduced a new 35-watt compact charging adapter option with two USB-C ports, which it will sell separately for $59.

Come this fall, you’ll be able to edit and recall sent messages in the Messages app. The functionality will be available for 15 minutes after you send it. And if you’re overloaded with messages and want to revisit any, you’ll be able to mark them as unread, like an email. The Fitness app, previously reserved for Apple Watch users, will be available to everyone. The iPhone’s motion sensors, which already estimate your steps and distance for the Health app, will show that data in the Fitness app, alongside workouts from third-party apps such as Strava.

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