CUPERTINO, Calif. (Reuters) – Apple Inc said on Monday it would integrate its software deeper into basic car driving systems, while the iPhone maker rolled out a slew of features for payments and business collaboration and a pair of new laptops. .
Announcements from Apple’s annual developer conference showed that a company that was once an outsider has firmly established itself in the mainstream of almost every screen in everyday life.
The company whose turnaround in the late 1990s meant making itself known to rebels and troublemakers spent Monday talking about using iPads to collaborate on business presentations and how its software will eventually help display fuel economy on car dashboards. Notably absent were any hints of Apple’s anticipated next big thing, a mixed reality headset that can overlay digital objects onto a view of the real world. Hopeful fans only got a few tidbits of the new augmented reality technology at a tech conference.
And Apple announced Apply Pay Later, a service that allows users to make interest-free installments. The company, which will operate on the MasterCard Inc network wherever Apple Pay is accepted, puts Apple in competition with payment providers like Affirm Holdings Inc and PayPal Holdings Inc.
But above all, Apple has doubled down on existing products. A MacBook Air laptop has been redesigned around a new M2 silicon processor, which it claims is 35% faster than the previous M1 chip. The new laptop will weigh 2.7 pounds (1.2 kg) and feature a 1080p high-definition camera to deliver better images during video calls. The MacBook Air will start at $1,199, Apple announced at its WWDC 2022 conference.
The M2 chip will also power the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which will start at $1,299 and be available next month. Both chips will use a second generation of 5 nanometer chip fabrication technology. Apple didn’t say who would make the chip, but makers likely include Apple’s longtime partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which is grappling with delays in new technologies.
“They need to make volume” with new laptops, said Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research. “It’s the safest choice,” he said of the 5-nanometer chips.
But Apple broke with its tradition of not hinting at future technology when it showed off a new car dashboard that it claims would be able to display data from key instruments such as speed, levels fuel and gasoline consumption. Apple said it was in talks with automakers including Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co, Mercedes-Benz and Honda Motor Corp. Vehicles with the software will not be announced until late next year.
The software connects more deeply to the base driving systems than previous versions which were limited to the vehicle’s infotainment screens for playing music and displaying maps. Although Apple’s automotive software has been installed in vehicles since 2014, it’s currently available in over 600 models, including a few motorcycles, but is largely separate from vehicle operating systems. Vehicle owners have to leave the system for even basic functions like adjusting a car’s climate controls, a gap the updated system is designed to fill.
Polestar, the premium electric vehicle maker owned by Chinese companies Geely and Volvo Cars, is installing the current version of Apple CarPlay in its Polestar 2 cars via an over-the-air update later this month, the carrier said. -spoken by Polestar, JP Canton. Polestar cars that will receive the new version announced by Apple on Monday are under discussion and no further information is available, he said.
A spokeswoman for Ford, which announced a software deal with Alphabet’s Google last year, declined to comment on Apple’s announcement. Automakers remain reluctant to allow tech giants unfettered access to data generated by connected cars, or allow them to replace automakers’ brands with their own in dashboard displays.
Apple’s iPad has also been redesigned to make it easier for users to juggle multiple apps and screens and collaborate on business-centric documents like presentations. The company also previewed an app called Freeform, which will act as a virtual whiteboard that multiple users can tap to share ideas during video meetings through Apple’s FaceTime service. Productivity features put Apple in more direct competition with Microsoft, whose Surface tablets are popular among business users.
Apple also added an edit button to iMessage for sent messages, beating out Twitter for a long-requested feature.
The tech giant is also adding a tool called “Safety Check” to disable access to sensitive information for people in abusive situations.
Apple has introduced a new technology called Passkeys to replace passwords on websites. Apple said passkeys are more secure than traditional passwords because passkeys are never stored on a web server. The company said it was working to enable the use of Passkeys with non-Apple devices.
Apple shares closed lower than 1%, similar to their level at the start of the presentation.