By Mario Villar
Cupertino, California, Jun 6 (EFE).- Apple on Monday announced a new operating system for its main products, including the iPhone, and the firm surprised the tech space by announcing the second generation of its chip – the M2 – made by the company itself along with a new MacBook Air equipped with the chip.
The US company kicked off its annual WWDC development conference by presenting its latest innovations at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, which after two years of the coronavirus pandemic once again opened its doors to outside programmers and reporters.
As is a regular feature of the WWDC, a host of new software had been expected, but this time the announcements of hardware took up a good part of the main presentation conducted by the firm’s top executives.
Apple on Monday unveiled its new M2 chip, the next generation of the M1 chip it presented in 2020 and which put an end to more than a decade during which the firm’s computers were equipped with Intel chips.
The processor promises better performance and will be included in the new MacBook Air, the world’s most popular laptop, to which Apple has given a significant facelift.
The firm’s senior vice president for marketing, Greg Joswiak, said that the MacBook Air has been completely redesigned around the M2, is thinner, lighter and faster, with a larger screen, a better camera and a battery that lasts all day without recharging.
The laptop will have a thickness of 11.3 millimeters (0.44 inches) and weigh 1.2 kilograms (2.7 pounds), will be equipped with a larger 13.6-inch screen and a better camera, and it will once again include the Magsafe connection for recharging the battery.
The MacBook Air will come in four colors and will be available for purchase next month at a base price of 1,299 dollars.
In a futuristic prerecorded presentation in which the firm’s VP for software, Craig Federighi, also played a major role, Apple also unveiled a new series of operating systems, starting with the iOS 16 for iPhones, which will feature a completely renovated and personalized screen.
The message app has also been redesigned in response to numerous requests from customers, who wanted to be able to edit and erase messages once they had been sent as well as to mark a conversation as “unread” to remind them to respond to it later.
The iOS 16 will also include improvements to the voice dictation system, the map application – with greater detail and 3D available in different countries, including Spain – and to Wallet, a new system dubbed Apple Pay Later which will allow users to make interest-free purchases.
There will also be new operating systems for the Apple Watch, the iPad and for the firm’s assorted computers, with all the carefully considered changes designed to facilitate cooperation among different people on all sorts of projects in a move clearly geared to the rapid growth of tele-commuting and hybrid work plans after the pandemic.
Also, the interoperability among Apple products is being strengthened with mechanisms that will allow someone to use the iPhone camera as a webcam or easily transfer a videocall from a telephone to a laptop.
CarPlay, Apple’s system for automobiles, has also received updates for greater integration with vehicles and to be able to show content on different screens and allow direct vehicle climate control.
Noteworthy due to its absence, the firm made no announcements about the augmented reality space, despite the fact that many tech experts had awaited a strong showing in the area, perhaps with the marketing of virtual reality glasses, the pending availability of which has been rumored for some time.
The software innovations will be available right away for developers and it is expected that they will be rolled out for the public in the coming months, according to CEO Tim Cook.
The WWDC will run all this week with assorted – mainly virtual – activities for programmers.