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Apple says goodbye to passwords, Apple Watch gets new look and “feels” plus other WWDC highlights

Apple's Tim Cook with the Apple Vision Pro/Image Source: Apple
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The Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) saw some amazing product and feature launches from Apple. Here we highlight some of the new things for developers and end users to get excited about

Is this the end of passwords?

Apple’s newest software updates—iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma—has a new take on passwords. The updates automatically assign users unique passkeys, tied to their Apple IDs. The aim is so these passkeys can replace individual passwords in accounts across the internet.

The passkey was first announced t this month’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) by Darin Adler, the company’s VP of internet technologies. “With the passkey, you’ll be able to walk up to a non-Apple device and sign into a website or app using just your iPhone,” Adler said at the conference. “We look forward to a password-less future.”

How does Apple’s new password feature work?

When it comes to creating new accounts on websites, Apple has come up with a user-friendly alternative called Passkey. Instead of dealing with traditional passwords, users now have the option to create a Passkey, which allows them to log into their accounts seamlessly. The best part? You can verify your identity using convenient methods like Touch ID or Face ID.

Apple’s Passkey feature goes beyond just one device. It synchronizes across all your Apple devices, including Apple TVs, thanks to iCloud’s keychain feature. This means you can enjoy a consistent and hassle-free login experience across your favorite devices.

One of Apple’s main goals has always been to reduce our reliance on passwords. With this in mind, they have developed a central password manager that generates complex and highly secure passwords. By utilizing biometric tools, such as Touch ID and Face ID, users can easily access these passwords without the need to remember or type them out.

Passkeys aren’t limited to Apple devices alone. Even non-Apple computers can benefit from this innovative feature. By simply scanning a QR code on a website, you can remotely unlock your account on internet browsers like Chrome or Edge. This means you can enjoy the convenience and security of Passkeys across a broader range of platforms.

The Passkey feature is currently in beta testing for MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. This means you can already take advantage of the password-free login experience on iCloud and Apple’s website.

What else was launched at WWDC?

Over the course of Apple’s presentation at the 2023 WWDC Apple unveiled Apple Vision Pro, a spatial computer that blends digital content with the physical world. Three Macs also debuted: The new MacBook Air 15-inch laptop, while Mac Studio with M2 Max and M2 Ultra, and Mac Pro with M2 Ultra are the most powerful Macs ever made. Additionally, new features coming to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, watchOS 10, tvOS 17, and AirPods “enable developers to go even further with their apps, and empower users to get even more out of their devices.”

What is Apple Vision Pro?

Apple Vision Pro is a spatial computer “years ahead and unlike anything created before, scaling beyond the boundaries of a traditional display with a fully three-dimensional interface controlled by the most natural and intuitive inputs possible — a user’s eyes, hands, and voice. Featuring visionOS, the world’s first spatial operating system, Vision Pro lets users interact with digital content in a way that feels like it is physically present in their space.”

Making iPhone More Personal and Intuitive

With iOS 17, updates to Phone, FaceTime, Messages, and more give users new ways to express themselves, share content or contact information, and view information at a glance with a feature called StandBy. iOS 17 also introduces Journal, an app that gives users a way to reflect and practice gratitude, and focus on their wellbeing.

Bringing PCIe Expansion to Apple Silicon

Mac Pro, now featuring M2 Ultra, combines the performance of Apple’s most powerful chip with the versatility of PCIe expansion. The new Mac Pro completes the Mac transition to Apple silicon and, together with the rest of Apple’s pro systems, gives users more pro products.

Apple Watch gets new look and “feels”

WatchOS 10 brings a new interface” to Apple Watch, allowing users to quickly view information with redesigned apps, a Smart Stack to show relevant widgets right when they’re needed, and new watch faces. There’s also some new features to help cyclists and hikers track their activity, while the Mindfulness app allows users to discreetly and conveniently log their momentary emotions and daily moods.

iPad Versatility

iPadOS 17 brings iPad users more ways than ever to personalise the Lock Screen and interact with widgets, and express themselves like never before through Messages and FaceTime. The Health app also comes to iPad with interactive charts, and HealthKit enables developers to create innovative experiences designed for the iPad display.

Mac Experience now includes Game Mode

macOS Sonoma brings a set of features that elevate the experience of the the desktop operating system, including Widgets users can place anywhere. Gaming on Mac includes Game Mode, which delivers an optimised gaming experience.

FaceTime Comes to Apple TV 4K

For the first time, Apple TV 4K users can enjoy FaceTime on their TV with tvOS 17 for even more engaging conversations with family and friends. Center Stage keeps everyone in the room perfectly framed on the screen, even as they move around, while Split View lets users enjoy watching shows or movies with their loved ones during a SharePlay session while also seeing everyone on the FaceTime call.

Transforming the Personal Audio Experience

With software updates arriving this fall, AirPods Pro (2nd generation) will unlock new capabilities to make it easier to use across environments and interactions with three powerful new features: Adaptive Audio, Personalised Volume, and Conversation Awareness. The entire lineup also gains new and improved features that make calls and Automatic Switching more seamless.

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