The last few WWDC's have been pretty well packed with new hardware and software. Apple's 2022 World Wide Developers Conference continued the innovation.
Today's WWDC was long at nearly two hours, the first hour concentrated on the new iOS and its features. When that was done we got on to the new Macs and the new macOS Ventura.
- New M2 chip announced
- New MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 chip
- New macOS Ventura announced
Also good to see Final Cut Pro mentioned and featured on screen more than once during the presentation.
When the first set of M1 chips were announced, there was a lot of speculation about how large the performance increase would be with the next generation. Nobody took into account the Max or the UltraFusion iterations, which gave us the easy way to predict doubling of power.
But the M2 announced today is significant, because with it comes the first set of Apple performance figures we have from second-generation M silicon.
'Second-generation 5-nanometer technology, M2 takes the industry-leading performance per watt of M1 even further with an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine.It also delivers 50 percent more memory bandwidth compared to M1, and up to 24GB of fast unified memory.'
Now, if you have a calculator ready then you can make some good predictions of what is possibly coming in the future with a possible M2 Max and M2 Ultra.
But back to today and that new chip is in two new Apple laptops, the all-new MacBook Air and the updated 13 inch MacBook Pro.
The new MacBook Air has a new 11.3mm thin aluminium case, two Thunderbolt ports and a returning MagSafe! The 13.6 inch Liquid Retina screen is 500 nits which is 25 percent brighter than the previous model.
You also get a 1080p FaceTime camera, four speaker sound system and a three-mic array. It also supports immersive Spatial Audio for music and movies with Dolby Atmos.
But what is it like for editing and image processing? Well, thankfully Apple has provided some benchmark figures.
'For intensive workloads like editing complex timelines in Final Cut Pro, performance is nearly 40 percent faster than the previous generation, and up to 15x faster for customers that haven’t upgraded to Apple silicon.
Applying filters and effects in apps like Adobe Photoshop is up to 20 percent faster than before, and up to 5x faster for customers that haven’t yet upgraded to Apple silicon.'
Pretty impressive for a machine that previously was mainly for email and surfing the web! Also for those curious about possible new versions of FCP appearing in the small text, no luck this time, it was 10.6.2 that was used.
MacBook Air with M2 starts at $1,199 and $1,099 for education. They will be in stores next month.
13-inch MacBook Pro with M2
We are all familiar with the 13 inch Apple Silicon powered MacBook Pro and this update to incorporate the M2 chip is a logical step, seeing as it was one of the first machines to move over to Apple Silicon.
The form factor is the same, but the new chip allows 24GB of fast unified memory, up from the previous 16GB.
Again, Apple has published Final Cut Pro benchmarks
'With support for ProRes encode and decode in the media engine of M2, users can play back up to 11 streams of 4K and up to two streams of 8K ProRes video. And they can convert their video projects to ProRes nearly 3x faster than before.'
The previous M1 version could play 'multiple streams' of 4K and a single stream of 8K in DaVinci Resolve. So the combined information from both the Air and this model makes us think that the M2 has a 40-50% increase in performance whilst using Final Cut Pro. No doubt there will be many YouTubers publishing comparison tests the day the machines are available.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 starts at $1,299 and $1,199 for education. Again the new models will be in stores next month.
Touched on briefly in a sneak peak of iPad iOS 16 was Reference Color. This puts the XDR iPad screen into reference mode which allows the correct display of colours. If you use an iPad Pro as a second display using Sidecar, then this is going to prove to be very useful and should give an accurate output for grading. (Resolve shown as a still image in the presentation!)
Possibly worth a separate article in itself, this is the new version of macOS. (13 if you are counting.) However we are going to touch on two new features that we think are relevant for editors and creative professionals.
The first is Stage Manager that groups open apps and shrinks them down into a smaller angled sized group on the left-hand side of the screen. In the WWDC presentation, we saw Craig Federighi add some titles to FCP by shrinking it back, then dragging the titles from the desktop direct to the timeline. As one who has to add lot of files from different sources to FCP, this looks like a real time saver.
Secondly, we must highlight the ability to use an iPhone as a camera in FaceTime. Not for the quality increase, but the fact that it gives you a desk shot using the wide-angle lens. We can see this being of use when teaching remotely. Very clever indeed.
A chock-full WWDC. Well worth two hours of your time to watch back and take it all in.