Mac roundup for 2022: Ventura and M2 shone, but where’s the Mac Pro?
It’s been another year of transformation for Apple, largely as the company launches new Mac products and features to stay ahead of the competition, and there’s plenty to look forward to in late 2022.
There were some surprises inside macOS Venturasuch as Stage Manager and the Weather app, along with a new focus on games, but products like rumors Apple’s Silicone Mac Pro they are nowhere to be seen.
While Apple teased us with a new Mac Pro in September telling us to “wait and see”, it looks like those plans have changed; but that doesn’t mean we missed out on an impressive year Mac Studio and MacBook Air M2 making waves.
With that in mind, we assessed what the Mac lineup delivered in 2022 in terms of software and hardware, and what we’d like to see from the platform in 2023, and, in true Apple fashion, one more thing…
2022 started from macOS 12 Monterey is the latest release for many Macs and ended with the release of macOS Ventura, a minor but welcome update that brought Stage managerbetter Spotlight and redesigned Weather app for iPad and iPhone.
Since the move to Apple’s Apple chip was announced in 2020, we’ve seen an increasing number of new features that are exclusive to the Mac M1 and later, while macOS Ventura gained features from iOS like the Weather app and Stage Manager from iPadOS 16.
However, there has been a glaring omission redesigned widgets on Mac versus iPhone; these may bring a whole new level of functionality to macOS, but for now, they’re still limited to the sidebar that appears when you swipe from right to left on a Mac trackpad.
However, it would be a disservice to rate Mac software based solely on Apple’s efforts, 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 like Alive can increase the brightness of XDR’s displays studio display or the latest MacBook Pro while Concentrated work can help you stay, well, focused on the task at hand.
Even others from the developer community like porting games like Unreal Tournament 1999 for Apple’s silicon Macs (opens in a new tab)have expanded the possibilities of playing games on the Mac, but it looks like Apple has finally decided to go beyond what is available for games on the App Store.
Overall, both Apple and third-party app developers took Apple’s silicon and worked with it; the question now is whether we will start to see new cross-platform features coming to the platform at the same time as iOS or iPadOS. It took two years for the redesigned Weather app to transition from iOS to Mac – let’s see how drastically the latency has been reduced with the redesigned widgets.
As for Apple’s new Macs and chips, Apple is continuing the extended home run it started in 2020. MacBook Air M1. To think we’d have Apple’s own ARM chip, a much-improved keyboard, and a Retina display in the MacBook Air would be unimaginable in 2018, but using the MacBook Air M2 is a pleasure; just a shame we didn’t get the same range of colors to choose from that Apple offered for 2021 iMac M1.
However, as we mentioned, Apple’s silicone Mac Pro didn’t make an appearance, even though Apple uncharacteristically teased it in a September keynote. as Mark Gurman recently reportedthe mighty Mac has been delayed and we may now see it with the yet unannounced M2 chip in the first half of 2023.
This would mean Apple would miss the two-year deadline to move all Macs to the Apple chip, but does that matter? Of course not. Mac Studio is a great filler of the Mac Pro gap and even MacBook Pro with M1 Pro beats the recently discontinued iMac Pro in terms of performance if you need more power.
Let’s not forget either – COVID has thwarted many companies, including Apple, so that’s most likely why we haven’t seen the end of the transition this year, and why we’ve seen iPhones have a non-stop update cycle.
However, Studio Display, while great, had a major flaw in its low-quality camera. For the high price the display offers, it’s astounding how bad the camera was. Apple did implement the software update which tried to fix some of the bugs that led to it, but still the quality wasn’t great. Let’s hope the second generation model fixes this.
In general, M2Apple’s second-generation silicon chip still impressed with its power, despite the fact that, surprisingly, we saw it in previous generation MacBook Pro. It looks like Apple is just getting started here, and in 2023 the M2 Pro, M2 Max and M2 Ultra could make a bigger impression than their M1 predecessors.
Can serious games finally make their debut on macOS?
I wanted to highlight the games because Apple seems to have made a more coordinated effort this year rather than just showcasing its latest lineup at Apple Arcade. On WWDC 2022 it was announced that Resident Evil Villagethe eighth part of the series, appeared together with the Mac Nobody’s skywhich is also on track to arrive on the iPad.
It’s true that you can currently play Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Bioshock 2 by purchasing them from the Mac App Store, as you’ve been able to do since their debut in 2017, but watching the latest Mac games like these is encouraging.
It looks like we’re finally going to see more Mac games that aren’t just a port of Angry Birds. As our computer writer, Allisa James wrote in Octoberplaying Resident Evil Village on a 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 (2020), the frame rate would increase from 100 fps with normal settings to over 200 fps with Apple’s MetalFX Upscaling technology enabled.
While it’s a shame Valve’s Steam store site isn’t natively available on Apple’s silicon Macs, Valve is already busy creating Steam deck working on a mobile device with many games that are currently not compatible with it, such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection. That’s why Apple has a great opportunity to partner with other gaming companies.
Watching games like street fighter 6, Destiny 2and Final Fantasy VII revival coming to 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 Mac.
Before Apple announced Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky for Mac in June, I would have thought it would happen; now, however, a game like Street Fighter 6 seems to be coming, and I’m now convinced that groups inside Apple feel the same way too.