It was that time again for Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote and this year we saw a whole host of new devices and software announcements. Once again, Tim Cook took to the stage at the event where we had our first look at the new MacBook Air (M2, 2022) and the iOS 16 software that’s going to make a lot of difference to the way you use your iPhone.
iOS 16 was launched, but sadly we didn’t get any information on the assumed new iPhone 14 Pro range coming in September. The key changes were things like: Messages that could be edited or unsent, a new lock-screen that allows widgets and more customisation – it made a huge difference to the way you’re going to use your iPhone.
Furthermore, the M2 chip was a key announcement at this event promising huge power with far lower drain on the battery. That’s a big deal, and could really help push the aforementioned jump into gaming Apple is promising. It’s designed on an enhanced 5nm process, with 5 billion transistors, 100GB/s of memory bandwidth, and up to 24GB of unified memory.
In addition, watchOS 9 is a pretty impressive upgrade, particularly for those who take their fitness seriously. Heart rate zone monitoring finally comes to the Apple Watch, something we’ve been asking for for ages, and there’s auto-transition for triathletes.Your Watch will also get enhanced new faces, and banner notifications that won’t take over the whole screen – along with better tracking for atrial fibrillation and medication monitoring.
iPadOS 16 brought a few key changes to the hardware – one of which is being able to resize windows and move them about on the screen to make it easier to multi-task. We’re finally getting a Weather app in the new devices, and better ability to use it with a second screen. Joint message boards might seem minor, but will actually bring a fairly large upgrade for families.
Garrett Davidson of Apple’s authentication experience team took to the virtual stage at WWDC22 to showcase Passkeys, the company’s “next-generation authentication technology”.
“Passwords are really hard to use securely,” Davidson explained. “All of us know we’re supposed to create strong, unique passwords for every account, but not many people actually do.”
He added: “As you’re designing your apps and websites, there’s this constant trade-off between keeping accounts secure and designing a good experience. And even if your apps and websites do everything right, issues like phishing and password reuse can still lead to account compromise.”
Passkeys – which will come bundled with the upcoming macOS Ventura and iOS 16 – creates a unique, cryptographically strong key pair for user accounts and stores it in iCloud Keychain so it syncs and works across all devices.
Once the pairing has been created, any future visit to the app or website sign-in form will show the ‘Passkey’ option in the QuickType bar. The user simply needs to tap the option, or use Touch ID, and they are signed in. Davidson said: “With Passkeys, not only is the user experience better than a standard password, but also entire categories of security problems, like weak and reused credentials, credential leaks, and phishing, are just not possible anymore. And they are so easy to use.”
Visit Apple’s technical documentation page for implementation information.
On a final note, security continued to be a hot topic at WWDC22, and Apple’s Private Access Tokens is being marketed as a “powerful alternative” to CAPTCHA challenges that help the identification of HTTP requests from legitimate devices without compromising users’ identity. Apple said, “we’ll show you how your app and server can take advantage of this tool to add confidence to your online transactions and preserve privacy.”
Want to find our more? Watch the recap of the 3 day WWDC conference here
Image credit: Apple Inc.