Apple’s annual developer conference has kicked off. With it, we get to hear what the company has up its sleeve across its different platforms. While it’s a software-focused event, there are some hardware announcements at the Worldwide Developers Conference, too. We’ve rounded up our favorite announcements.
iPhone as your webcam
You have complained or know someone who gripes about the webcam quality on their laptops. Apple’s solution is turning your high-quality iPhone camera into your webcam. There will be a new Continuity Camera feature coming to macOS Ventura, an upcoming update to macOS. This will allow MacBook users to clip an iPhone to the top of their laptops and use the camera to improve video calls, whether using FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.
It’s not the most elegant solution, but it’s the best we can get now. It also just means you don’t have to spring for a new device to get better video quality. Well, you will need to get that Belkin mount or other potential third-party options in the future. (Apple says it’s working with Belkin to create mounts you can buy.) Or just use a tripod stand that you probably already have lying around. Until Apple decides to improve the webcam its MacBooks come with. This is what we’re getting.
Continuity Camera does support features like Center Stage and Portrait Mode. The former can follow you around if you’re the type who does video calls like you’re onstage at an Apple event. The latter keeps the focus on you by blurring out the background, giving you that bokeh effect you can achieve in Portrait Mode. Apple also showed off the option allowing you to use the different camera sensors on the back of your iPhone. So if you wanted to show a table view when demonstrating something, this feature would be helpful for you.
Here’s a feature I’ve found helpful on Gmail, and now it’s coming to iOS devices. iOS 16 is introducing an edit and unsend feature on iMessage. You will get up to 15 minutes to take back or edit a text you sent. After that, we can no longer unsend or edit a message. This feature will only work on iPhones running on iOS 16. If you try to unsend a message to someone running iOS 15 or earlier, it won’t work. And those running earlier versions of iOS will be able to see the messages that have been unsent even if it’s no longer visible from your end.
To edit or undo a message, long press on it in your iMessage conversation and tap on either Edit or Undo Send. This feature will only work with iMessages and not SMS messages, meaning only blue bubble messages instead of the green ones.
Share photo albums
Apple is making it easier for families to share photos and videos. One of the new Family Sharing features is the iCloud Shared Photo Library. All edits, deletions, or additions will be synced across devices. There will be a new toggle in the Camera app that lets you send photos to the Shared Library, so you won’t have to remember to send photos you’ve taken at, say, family reunions. You will also get suggestions to share a picture when it includes people in your Shared Photo Library.
Help protect those in abusive relationships
Safety Check is a feature designed to help those in abusive relationships cut ties with their abusive partners. This iOS 16 feature helps you manage app access and passwords, letting you know who can access your passwords and information. You can revoke access for people on apps and features like Find My, location, data, contacts, etc.
It also introduces an Emergency Reset option that resets access for all people and apps at once across devices synced with your iCloud account. You can also use this feature to review security settings.
M2 on a new MacBook Air
Apple refreshes the MacBook Air line with its new, more powerful M2 chip. The thin and light laptop resembles the 14-inch MacBook Pro with a more squared-off look than its traditional wedge shape. The 2022 MacBook Air gets MagSafe charging with a braided cable that matches the new colorway. You can get it in silver, space gray, Starlight (gold), and Midnight (blue). It’s 11mm thick and weighs around 2.7 pounds.
The starting model gets an eight-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. You can also get an option with a 10-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. You get the choice to boost memory and storage up to 24GB RAM and 2TB storage, respectively. Pricing starts at USD 1,199.
Apple 35W Dual USB-C Port Adapter
One of the more practical announcements at WWDC is a new dual USB-C port adapter from the company. This allows you to charge up to 35 watts, which could mean you could charge an iPhone 13 Pro Max at its fastest 27-watt charging while also recharging another accessory like an Apple Watch.
This supports USB-C power delivery tech with input and output at:
- Input: 100–240V /1.0A
- (USB PD) Output 1 or 2: 5VDC/3A or 9VDC/3A or 15VDC/2.33A or 20VDC/1.75A
In typical Apple fashion, it won’t come with a USB-C cable. But you can get this adapter in a standard or compact version, where the latter hides electrical prongs when not in use. It retails for USD 59.
Which announcement are you most excited about? Let us know on social media! We also want to know what other Cool Tech you’d like to see, so make sure to reach out to us!