Which new Apple products are the most exciting?
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Apple typically has at least two big conferences each year. There’s the main event, usually in September, revealing the latest iPhone and more. Then there’s the Worldwide Developers Conference, usually in June, packed with its own reveals and updates. For this year’s WWDC, Apple opened the show with fresh versions of several Mac lines, followed through with big operating system and application updates and closed with a product that could forever change the way we live our lives: the Apple Vision Pro.
Apple Vision Pro
This alternate reality headset will let you view and interact with both your living and digital worlds like never before, blending both environments into one seamless experience. You can throw everything you might see on a screen into your world and interact with those screens with the flick of your eyes, wrists and fingers. You can also change your reality completely, making everything around you appear to be somewhere else entirely, such as in the mountains or woods. If someone in the real world wants to talk to you, you don’t even have to take the headset off. Instead, a projection of your eyes is displayed on the exterior of the Vision Pro so your friends, family or coworkers can see your unobstructed expressions. It launches sometime early next year and costs $3,500.
Apple announced three new Macs. All three can be preordered, with items shipping starting next week.
- MacBook Air 15-inch: The first big reveal of the conference is a new MacBook Air with a 15.3-inch screen. It’s less than half an inch thin when closed and weighs just 3.3 pounds, making it the thinnest and lightest 15-inch laptop ever. It packs plenty of power with the M2 chip yet still has an incredible estimated battery life of 18 hours. It starts at $1,299.
- Mac Studio: The next reveal is an upgraded Mac Studio, using the brand new M2 Max or M2 Ultra Chips. The Ultra version is so powerful it can support up to six 8K resolution monitors simultaneously. The Max costs $1,999, and the Ultra costs $3,999.
- Mac Pro: The final Mac reveal is Apple’s most powerful computer it’s ever made. The Mac Pro with the new M2 Ultra chip is designed with the most rigorous professional needs in mind, with Apple giving examples of Academy-Award-winning creative work on films such as reigning Best Picture winner “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” It starts at $6,999.
Major software updates
This year’s WWDC introduced a host of exciting changes to the iPhone, iPad and Mac operating systems.
- iOS: When iOS 17 launches this fall, it brings with it a huge list of new features. Some of the best include personalized contact posters that let you choose how you appear on the iPhones of who you’re contacting. Then, “Live Voicemail” analyzes the voicemail being left and displays it in written form on your lock screen. Finally, several new features are coming to iMessage, such as Check-In to let your loved ones know you arrived somewhere safely and the ability to use stickers in numerous new ways.
- iPad OS: Some of the best features of iOS are coming to iPad, such as custom wallpapers and lock screens. The Health app is also coming to iPads. Finally, PDFs are going to be easier to use and share than ever.
- Mac OS: The next version of Mac OS is called “Sonoma” after the wine region of California. Some of its best new features include a gaming mode, widgets that dynamically change based on your current activity and live wallpapers. Safari will even let you share your stored passwords with family and friends.
Minor software updates
Besides the main operating system updates, Apple announced a handful of smaller but no less intriguing software updates.
- AirPods Pro are getting adaptive audio. This dynamically adjusts the strength of the noise-cancellation to your circumstances without input from you, including targeting or ignoring specific sounds.
- AirPlay is getting even easier to use while switching between your and your friend’s and family’s devices. For example, CarPlay lets everyone riding work on the playlist together. AirPlay is also coming to hotel rooms.
- WatchOS is introducing “SmartStack” which lets you cycle through widgets and information by spinning the crown. There are also new display options and improvements to health and fitness apps.
- tvOS now lets you make FaceTime calls, has new control center options, and you can track your Apple Remote with your iPhone.
Best just-announced Apple products
The thinnest, lightest ever laptop is perfect for professionals and students. It can have up to 24 gigabytes of unified memory, up to two terabytes of data storage using a solid-state drive and comes in four colors.
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The M2 Max version of the new Mac Studio comes with either a 30- or 38-core GPU with 32 GB of unified memory and 512 GB of SSD data storage. It also has two USB-C ports on the front.
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The M2 Ultra version of the new Mac Studio comes with either a 60- or 76-core GPU with 64 GB of unified memory and 1 TB of SSD data storage. It also has two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front.
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The tower version of the new Mac Pro is ready for the desktops of professionals with the need for a blisteringly fast and powerful computer. The frame can be fitted with wheels if you need to move it around.
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The rack version of the new Mac Pro is the same powerful computer but with the ability to be rack mounted. It has up to 192 GB of unified memory and up to 8 TB of SSD data storage.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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