As Apple’s global developer conference kicks off this week, Tim Cook and his team will outline the next steps for the full range of Apple products. Along with updates to the operating systems and development tools, Apple is expected to unveil the M2 Apple Silicon chipset as well as updates to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines.
What does this mean for those waiting to buy a new MacBook? Of course you don’t want to buy now. Here’s what to look for during the keynote to help you decide if Apple’s new Macs are for you.
The obvious thing to watch out for is that Apple does in fact release new laptops. Both the entry-level MacBook Air and MacBook Pro debuted alongside the M1 Apple Silicon (as did a new Mac Mini). With those expectations for the M2 chipset in the air, there’s a good chance Apple will release new hardware with the updated chip as well. If you’re holding off on a new hardware decision, the best comparison is clearly to the new hardware.
While expectations are high, there are no guarantees. There was a strong feeling that the new MacBook Air would debut at Apple’s March 2022 event… feelings that meant nothing.
That could also be the case here. There’s a set cadence for the release of the new Axx chipsets used in the iPhone – the new version of iOS is unveiled at WWDC, there are enough elements in the code to allow educated speculation about the new chipset, and then the iPhone itself is launched with details on all the new hardware elements.
If Apple should take this well-trodden path, then WWDC will see the new version of macOS showing how it will interact with other Apple services; the code will suggest what new hardware is in development, and the putative MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops that will debut the chipset will arrive in the second half of the year.
So, let’s go down this earth and assume that’s the case. What should loyal macOS laptops look out for?
Even if the new laptops are not announced, the next generation of Apple silicon (the so-called M2 chipsets) may be discussed. As well as looking at the performance increase over the existing M1 chipsets, look at the power efficiency of the chipset, the thermals of the chip and how cool it runs.
You should also be aware of any benchmark that compares chip performance to “the leading competition” without typing in hard numbers. Apple presentations are no more than a little hand-waving on behalf of the marketing department.
The next version of macOS is rolling out, and you can expect Apple to unveil the top features we want developers to focus on and the media to know about. Last year was the big pitch for Universal Control; This allowed a Mac and an iPad to share their hardware and be viewed as a single workstation – a shared clipboard, a mouse pointer that moves between the two screens, and the keyboard that works for both devices. It was a wonderful example of Apple bringing the worlds of macOS and iPadOS closer together while trying not to cross streams.
It also took eleven months to actually get out of beta and arrive to consumers. The point here isn’t the lag, it’s Apple showing the direction of macOS and iPadOS. That’s something to keep an eye out for this year as well, as Apple will no doubt continue to expand its online services and hardware interoperability to provide better ways for Apple products to work together (and silently increase consumer engagement across all of its closely related platforms) . ).
Apple could show a new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini. It could release a Mac Pro (the last Mac to need Apple Silicon support). We may get details on the M2 chipset without details on the release hardware. There could be benchmarks of new and old hardware to show Apple’s drive. There will be updates for the different operating systems.
There are many possible combinations that could be seen at WWDC 2022. Whatever combination Cook chooses, it will be a guide to what to expect from Apple over the next 12 to 18 months. This is the information you need before making your own decisions about your next Mac.
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