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Updated: 30 Jun 2022

8 things that impressed us at Apple WWDC 2022, and one that didn't

Apple has announced the arrival of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, the new M2 chip and MacBook Air. But some iPhone and iPad owners will need new devices - find out more
Apple WWDC event 2022

Apple's WWDC 2022 event promised some exciting additions to Apple products, including awesome new features for iPhone and iPad users. But some iPhone and iPad owners will be left very disappointed.

The worldwide developers conference focused on the launch of iOS 16, which balances beauty and function for iPhone users with a number of personalisation features. iPadOS 16 has been announced too, with some overlap with iOS 16. 

Macs weren't left out. The M2 chip was revealed - a second-generation chip with claimed improvements in both power and efficiency. And to go with the M2 chip is the launch of the new MacBook Air.

Read on to see the biggest announcements that really caught our eye, and discover which iPhone and iPad owners will need to shell out for a new device.

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When will iOS 16 be available?

Apple has announced that iOS 16 will launch in the autumn. We expect it will end up launching just before the release of the iPhone 14, which will most likely arrive in September.

Apple iOS 16 homescreens

1. iPhone lock screens reimagined

Apple's new lock screens have one thing in mind: personalisation. With iOS 16, you can create and switch between different lock screens with customised notifications. If you put the effort into making these lock screens, it can stop any unwanted notifications and distractions at certain times of the day - a bit like iPhone users already have with Sleep Focus.

Your iPhone lock screen can currently get very cluttered if you have lots of notifications, so these will now appear differently. Notifications will be stacked towards the bottom of the screen to keep space to see more of your lock screen.

iOS 16 also sees the introduction of Focus Filters. Similarly to the lock screen personalisation, you can now customise other areas of your iPhone to help you focus and hide anything irrelevant. For example, you can categorise certain tabs in Safari and your calendar bookings. Only the ones relevant to you at that time will appear.

2. iMessage editing has finally arrived

iPhone users have been waiting for this feature for a long time. You will be able to edit and unsend iMessages, helping embarrassing typos become a thing of the past. However, you can only do this up to 15 minutes after sending the message. You'll also be able to mark messages as unread, so it's easier to remember to come back to them later.

SharePlay has expanded to iMessage too. You can use SharePlay to do activities in sync with others over iMessage, like watching videos or listening to music.

3. Dictation revamped

If you rely on using dictation to produce text on your iPhone, you'll know it doesn't always work seamlessly. Apple has brought some upgrades that should help it improve. 

Dictation will fill in automatic punctuation and there are more Siri abilities. You will be able to fluidly move between using your voice and keyboard with iOS 16 because the keyboard will stay open when you're dictating. If there's a mistake, you can highlight text manually and replace with dictation text.

4. Advanced Copying

Perhaps one of the coolest announcements to come with iOS 16 is the ability to copy sections of pictures. For example, imagine a picture of your pet. You'll be able to hold down on your pet in the image and have the option to copy your furry or not-so-furry friend, leaving the background behind, and then insert her or him into messages, for example.

5. The Fitness App comes to iPhone

Until now, you could only get the Fitness App on iWatch. But it will be available on the iPhone when iOS 16 launches. This includes features to keep to your fitness goals and the ability to share your progress with others.

Interested in a new iPhone? Read all our iPhone reviews or check out contract deals on iPhones and more.

6. iPads - iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

The launch of iPadOS 16 delivers features to make collaboration and multitasking easier on your iPad. 

Some of these new features are quite specialised, but iPadOS 16 also sees a few useful crossovers with iOS 16. This includes the aforementioned improved dictation abilities and being able to edit and unsend iMessages. iPad users will be pleased to know too that the Weather App is finally coming to the iPad.

We expect iPadOS 16 will arrive in Autumn 2022.

Want an iPad? We'll help you pick the right one - see which iPad should I buy?

7. The M2 chip - better, faster, stronger

Apple has introduced its second-generation 5nm chip for MacBooks, named M2. Upgrades from the M1 chip include, according to Apple, an 18% faster Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a 35% faster Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). 

If true, and we'll find out once we get it in our lab, It should provide a faster, more powerful performance while being more efficient for a longer battery life.

The chip is being launched in the new MacBook Air and the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. 

8. The New MacBook Air - supercharged power

Apple has announced the launch of its new MacBook Air - two years on from when the previous model was brought to the market. It will be available in the UK in July 2022.

It comes with some notable upgrades. The expanded liquid Retina display gets closer to the edges for a bigger screen without compromising the Mac's overall size. The screen is also 25% brighter than before and supports one billion colours. It's compatible with 67W fast-charging with Magsafe and it has a compact power adaptor. Apple claims this charger can get it to 50% of battery in just 30 minutes. It continues to be super light, weighing only 1.2kg, which is 0.04g less than the 2020 MacBook Air.

This MacBook Air will run on the new M2 chip. This should bring improvements in speed and battery life. However, the M2 chip comes at a higher price, with the new MacBook Air launching from £1,249 compared to the M1 version (starting at £999). So it's worth considering how much you really want the refinements to splurge for the M2 version. 

We've already reviewed the 2020 MacBook Air with the M1 chip and it could drop in price even more once the M2 version launches, so you could potentially bag a MacBook bargain. See if it impressed in our lab and if it's a Best Buy in our Apple MacBook Air (2020) M1 review.

A warning for iPhone and iPad owners

Unfortunately, iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 is not good news for all iPhone and iPad users because the upgrade will only be compatible with certain models. 

For iPhones, iOS 16 will only be available for the iPhone 8, and the iPhone SE 2020, and later. This means any iPhones older than these will not be able to update to iOS 16. 

The real stick in the mud is that this means these older iPhones will no longer be supported with regular security updates, so you should look to upgrade as soon as you can. All Which? mobile phone reviews contain the estimated date for when the phone will no longer be supported by security updates so you can make a secure purchase. These dates are based on typical manufacturer and device-specific support periods.

Here is the full list of iPhones that will lose support when iOS 16 launches:

  • iPhone 6S (released September 2015)
  • iPhone 6S Plus (released September 2015)
  • iPhone 7 (released September 2016)
  • iPhone 7 Plus (released September 2016)
  • iPhone SE (1st Generation - released March 2016)

For iPads, two tablets will be dropped from support and won't receive any more updates when iPadOS 16 comes in:

  • iPad Air 2 (released October 2014)
  • iPad mini 4 (released September 2015)

Also, some of the most specialised iPadOS 16 features, like desktop-class apps and Stage Manager, will only work on iPads fuelled by the Apple M1 processor. This means the fifth generation iPad Pro and iPad Air only.

To find out more about the importance of security updates and to see if your phone is still supported, read our guide - is it safe to use an old mobile phone

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