2022 has been a busy year for Apple’s hardware team. The company refreshed the entire hardware lineup with new devices and updates. Some devices saw marginal improvements, while others went through a complete revamp. Among all the launches, here are the best Apple products released in 2022.
Quick Look at Hardware Launches for Apple in 2022
Apple started 2022 with the “Peek Performance” event in March, where the company launched the third-generation iPhone SE, the fifth-gen iPad Air M1, the Studio Display, and Mac Studio. After showcasing the next generation iOS, iPadOS, macOS, WatchOS, and tvOS in June at WWDC 2022, the Cupertino giant stunned everyone with the M2 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro launch. It’s uncommon for Apple to showcase hardware at the WWDC.
After WWDC, all the attention shifted to the “Far Out” event in September to launch the latest iPhone 14 series, Apple Watch, and AirPods Pro. The company usually holds an event in October or November for new iPads or MacBooks. Instead, we got a press release about the 10th-generation iPad, third-generation Apple TV 4K, and the M2 iPad Pro models.
In short, Apple had hardware launches in every quarter of 2022. Among them, six products stood out for us. Let’s start the list with Apple’s most-rugged smartwatch – Apple Watch Ultra.
1. Apple Watch Ultra
Although the company announced Apple Watch 8 at the “Far Out” event in September, the Ultra version got everyone’s attention. It’s a larger, more advanced wearable geared toward swimmers, trekkers, and athletes. Starting with the display, it’s brighter (2000 nits), larger, and carries a sapphire glass to protect your smartwatch from extreme conditions.
Carrying the price tag of $800, the Apple Watch Ultra packs a redesigned Compass app, best-in-class dual-frequency GPS that integrates both L1 and L5 frequencies to help you navigate dense areas, a customizable action button, and the ability to operate at extreme temperatures (-20° to 55°C). The Watch Ultra also delivers better battery life, fixing one of the glaring limitations of the Apple Watch Series. It runs on watchOS 9 software. Check the best watchOS 9 features to learn more.
With Apple Watch Ultra, Apple is going after Garmin and extending the lead over the Android Wear smartwatches. It’s simply the best smart wearable out there.
2. M2 MacBook Air
MacBook Air received the biggest redesign in recent years. It ditches the usual tapered design in favor of a boxy look closely resembling the expensive MacBook Pro models.
Apart from design changes, the MacBook Air also borrows the notch and MagSafe charging from the Pro models. The MacBook Air runs on the updated M2 CPU with better performance and graphics without compromising on the stellar battery life. Apple introduced a new Dark Blue color option too. It runs macOS Ventura out of the box. With a starting price of $1200 and multiple configurations, the M2 MacBook Air has easily become the go-to laptop for most consumers.
The M2 MacBook Air is an ideal pick for students and creators, with enough power and the same excellent battery life.
3. Mac Studio
Apple started transitioning from Intel to in-house M-series CPUs in late 2020. The initial rollout is finally complete with the launch of M1 Max and M1 Ultra in Mac Studio. Unlike M1 or M1 Pro, both M1 Max and M1 Ultra are aimed at performance.
The latest Mac desktop has rich connectivity options, including four USB-C ports, an Ethernet connection, two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and an HDMI slot. Apple is promising jaw-dropping performance in Mac Studio. To give you a perspective, the M1 Ultra-powered Mac Studio boasts up to 4.5 times the graphical performance of the 27-inch iMac while being quiet and more energy efficient. The regular M1 Max is capable too. It is 2.5 times faster in the CPU department and up to 3.4 times faster in GPU compared to a 27-inch iMac.
Mac Studio remains unrivaled in the space. It’s the best and most powerful Mac desktop to create content without breaking a sweat.
4. Apple TV 4K
The third-generation Apple TV 4K brought performance improvements in a smaller package. Apple replaced the A12 CPU with the latest A15 CPU to keep running the tvOS without any glitches. The company also reduced the pricing, and the latest Apple TV 4K starts at $129 only. The base model also comes with double storage at 64GB.
If you want more storage and robust internet connectivity, upgrade to the 128GB variant that comes with a dedicated Ethernet port. Now that many are ditching the aging cable connection at home, the Apple TV 4K can be your ideal pick to start streaming sports, movies, TV shows, and live TV channels at home without cable.
While most Android TV and Fire TV Sticks come with low-end MediaTek or Snapdragon processors, Apple is making a statement by offering the most-power streaming device out there. The integration with iPhone and iPad is only an added bonus.
5. M1 iPad Air
With the launch of the iPad Pro in late 2021, Apple replaced the A-series CPU with the M1. The transition extends to the cheaper iPad Air lineup too. The fifth-generation iPad Air boasts M1 CPU to deliver desktop-class performance on the go. The base storage remains the same at 64GB. The iPad Air is available in several vibrant colors, and it’s an ideal pick for anyone thinking of getting into the iPad ecosystem with a tight budget. The M1 iPad Air starts at $600. You don’t need to stretch your budget to $800 for the M1 CPU.
The M1 iPad Air completely destroys any competition from the Android world. You simply can’t go wrong with this one.
6. AirPods Pro 2
The second-generation AirPods Pro brings the better sound, upgraded noise cancellation, and touch controls. It comes with new low-distortion audio drivers and custom amplifiers for superior sound with better detail and clarity. The new H2 chip delivers robust connectivity, and the ANC has improved by leaps and bounds too.
The charging case now comes with ‘Find My’ integration with a new U1 chip. It also has a built-in speaker to help you find the case through a messy drawer. The company has bumped the battery life by 33% to deliver up to 6 hours of listening time with ANC enabled. The pricing remains the same at $249. You can check the exclusive features that are only available on AirPods Pro 2.
AirPods 2 Pro bridges the gap with rivals by offering an improved ANC and sound quality. The seamless integration with iPhone and Mac remains unrivaled.
Looking Forward to 2023
We expect Apple to continue the momentum in the next year with a slew of product launches. Which is your favorite product release from Apple in 2022? Share your pick with a reason in the comments below.