Skip to main content

Wrapping up the Mac for 2022: Ventura and M2 shone, but where's the Mac Pro?

It’s been another transformational year for Apple, mainly due to the company bringing out new Mac products and features to keep itself ahead of the competition, and as we wrap up 2022, there’s plenty to look back on.

There have been some surprises in macOS Ventura, such as Stage Manager and the Weather app, alongside a new focus on gaming, but products such as the rumored Apple silicon Mac Pro are nowhere to be seen.

While Apple teased us about a new Mac Pro back in September by telling us to “wait and see”, it looks as though those plans have changed; but that doesn't mean we've missed out this year, with the impressive Mac Studio and the M2 MacBook Air making waves.

With this in mind, we've passed judgment on what the Mac line delivered in 2022 in terms of software and hardware, and what we'd like to see from the platform in 2023, alongside, in true Apple style, one more thing…

Software: 7/10

Weather and Stage Manager in macOS Ventura

(Image credit: TechRadar)

2022 began with macOS 12 Monterey being the latest release for a lot of Macs, and finished with the release of macOS Ventura, a minor but welcome update that brought Stage Manager, a better Spotlight, and the redesigned Weather app from iPad and iPhone.

Since the transition to Apple silicon was announced in 2020, we've seen a growing number of new features that are exclusive to M1 Macs and above, while macOS Ventura has gained features from iOS, such as the Weather app, and Stage Manager from iPadOS 16.

Yet there's been a glaring omission of redesigned widgets on the Mac compared to the iPhone; these could bring a whole new level of functionality to macOS, but for now they're still restricted to a sidebar that pops out when you swipe from right to left on a Mac trackpad.

However, giving a rating for software on the Mac, based solely on Apple's efforts would be a disservice, as third-party developers have created some great apps that take advantage of the new capabilities and features that have come to the Mac in recent years. Apps such as Vivid can expand the brightness of the XDR displays on the Studio Display or latest MacBook Pro, while Focused Work can help you to stay, well, focused on the task at hand.

Even others from the developer community, such as porting games like Unreal Tournament 1999 to Apple silicon Macs, have expanded how you can play games on a Mac, but it looks as though there's finally some commitment from Apple to going beyond what's available for games in the App Store.

Overall, both Apple and third-party app developers have taken Apple silicon and run with it; the question now is whether we’ll start to see new cross-platform features arriving on the platform at the same time as they do on iOS or iPadOS. It took two years for the redesigned Weather app to go from iOS to the Mac – let's see that time-lag drastically reduced for redesigned widgets next.

Hardware: 9/10

Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) on a white desk in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to new Macs and Apple silicon, Apple has continued on the extended home run that it started back in 2020 with the M1 MacBook Air. To think that we'd have Apple’s own ARM chip, a much-improved keyboard and a Retina display in a MacBook Air would have been unfathomable in 2018, but the M2 MacBook Air is a joy to use; it's just a shame we didn't get the same range of colors to choose from that Apple offered for the 2021 M1 iMacs.

However, as we’ve mentioned, the Apple silicon Mac Pro didn't appear, even though Apple uncharacteristically teased it in its September keynote. As Mark Gurman recently reported, the powerhouse Mac has been delayed, and we may now see it with an as-yet-unannounced M2 chip in the first half of 2023.

This would mean that Apple would miss its two-year deadline of moving all of its Macs to Apple silicon, but does it matter? Of course not. The Mac Studio does a great job of filling in the Mac Pro gap, and even the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro beats the recently-discontinued iMac Pro in performance if you need more power.

Overall, the M2, the second-generation Apple silicon chip still impressed with its power, regardless of the fact that, bafflingly, we saw it in a previous generation of a MacBook Pro. It feels like Apple is just getting started here, and that in 2023 the M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Ultra could make a bigger impression than their M1 predecessors did.

Could serious gaming finally make its debut on macOS?

A Capcom developer discusses Resident Evil Village on M1 Macs at WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

I wanted to highlight gaming, as it feels as though Apple has made a more concerted effort this year instead of merely showcasing its latest lineup in Apple Arcade. At WWDC 2022 it was announced that Resident Evil Village, the eighth instalment in the series, was coming to the Mac, alongside No Man’s Sky, which is also on course to arrive on iPad.

Granted, you can currently play Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Bioshock 2 by buying them from the Mac App Store, as you’ve been able to since they debuted in 2017, but seeing recent games on the Mac like these is encouraging.

It looks as though, finally, we'll see more games come to the Mac that aren't just a port of Angry Birds. As our Computing writer Allisa James wrote in October, playing Resident Evil Village on a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro (2020), the frame rate would go from 100fps when running at normal settings to over 200fps with Apple’s MetalFX Upscaling technology enabled.

While it's a shame that Valve's Steam storefront isn't on Apple silicon Macs natively, Valve is already busy making its Steam Deck handheld work with a bunch of games that aren’t currently compatible with it, such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection. This is why there's a great opportunity here for Apple to work with other gaming companies.

Seeing games like Street Fighter 6, Destiny 2, and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth appear on the Mac would be a great next step for the platform, and would further convince users that Apple is serious about bringing these types of games to the Mac.

Before Apple announced Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky for the Mac in June, I would have thought it was a case of if this would happen; now, though, it feels very much like a case of when games like Street Fighter 6 will appear, and I'm now convinced that groups inside Apple feel the same too.

Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Android 12 will bring the end of third-party share menus

Apps like Sharedr will no longer be able to replace the default share dialog. What you need to know Third-party apps will not be allowed to replace the Android share menu in Android 12. You will no longer be able to set apps like Sharedr as the default. Google says it never intended to allow third-party apps to replace the official Sharesheet. One of Android 12 's biggest highlights is the new Material You design language, which brings major changes to nearly every key UI component. Android 12 will also introduce a major change to the way users share links and photos, according to a report from XDA Developers . On Android 11 , Google allows third-party apps and OEMs to fully customize the Android Sharesheet, which is the reason why the share dialog differs from one app to another. It is even possible to completely bypass the official Android Sharesheet by setting an app like Sharedr as the default Sharesheet. In addition to providing a more consistent experience, Sharedr

The new Amazon Fire HD 10 is growing into a viable productivity tablet

An already good entertainment device finally gets productive. Amazon has been busy churning out a whole host of new devices and upgrades to existing devices over the past several months. Earlier this year, I reviewed the excellent Echo Buds (2nd Gen) , and even the fantastic Echo Frames (2nd Gen), have since been updated to include options with sunglass and blue light filtering lenses . In early May, we also learned that Amazon was refreshing the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 8 and that it was even rolling out its first Echo Show for kids . While newer and more novel products like the ones mentioned above often see a faster update cycle, more mature devices like Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets go longer between new versions. In fact, the last update to the Fire HD 10 line was back in 2019, so, understandably, Amazon was ready to reinvigorate its flagship tablet. Not only did it update the specs and colors on the Fire HD 10, but it also gave us a second version in the Fire HD 10 Plu

Google Announces Support for Account Passkeys

Google today announced that it is introducing support for passkeys, providing an easier and more secure login method for Google accounts. Apple integrated passkeys into iOS with the launch of iOS 16 , and it is also available in iPadOS 16.1 and later as well as macOS Ventura . Passkeys are an industry standard developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium, so Google's passkey integration will work on Apple devices as well as on other devices that support the feature. As Google notes: Last year — alongside FIDO Alliance, Apple and Microsoft — we announced we would begin work to support passkeys on our platform as an easier and more secure alternative to passwords. And today, ahead of World Password Day, we've begun rolling out support for passkeys across Google Accounts on all major platforms. They'll be an additional option that people can use to sign in, alongside passwords, 2-Step Verification (2SV), etc. Passkeys are both easier to use and more

Wondershare Photo Collage Studio

Wondershare Photo Collage Studio Studio integrated workshop create albums of your digital photos Yes with this program you can create Albums wonderful from your digital photos and keep them you can create albums stunning so wonderful additions distinctive not imagine it The program supports hundreds of templates and frameworks that can be used during the creation of your album from your digital photos and keep your album in a computer Create beautiful albums and you can add a lot through this program distinctive and you can with this program, add effects beautiful and can set the time to add effects and allows you to program import all image formats and also features a unique interface easier for the professional user and the novice to use this program if you want to view images through your computer, this program will add a great aesthetic touch to browse your photos through this program is a wonderful experience import all image formats