On Monday, Apple previewed upcoming tweaks to the software that powers more than 1 billion iPhones and rolled out two laptops that will be the first to be available with the next generation of a company-designed microprocessor.
As usual, Apple spent most of the opening day of its annual developer conference touting the next versions of software for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac computers rather than the sleek devices that have made it a technology trendsetter and ” made the world’s most valuable company. †
The iPhone’s next operating system, dubbed iOS 16, will refresh the look of the device’s lock screen and mainly make minor improvements to the current software. Software updates have become increasingly important in recent years as iPhone owners have started holding onto their existing devices for longer periods than ever before.
One of the most notable differences from iOS 16 will occur on the iPhone’s lock screen. The new software, released as a free download this fall, will allow users to anchor their favorite apps as small widgets on the lock screen.
The new software also allows the lock screen to display live notifications, such as the status of an Uber ride en route to pick up a passenger. Other authorized reports come in from the bottom of the screen instead of the current distribution from the top to avoid clutter on the net.
The iPhone’s messaging system will be refreshed so that texts can be edited after they’ve been sent or withdrawn entirely if the sender changes his mind. Those options are only available if both users use Apple’s messaging app to text.
The Apple Pay service part of the iPhone’s digital wallet adds a new financing feature that’s likely to be popular as rising inflation rates put more strain on household budgets. This option allows consumers to spread the cost of each Apple Pay purchase over four installments completed within six weeks at no additional charge. Similar financing is already being offered through digital services such as Affirm, whose stock price fell more than 5% on Monday after news of Apple Pay came out.
Several new features for Apple’s Macs and iPads are designed to make it easier to sync with iPhone for things like video calls. Other tools allow more apps to run side by side to perform multiple tasks on the same screen.
Helping people switch from one Apple device to another is one of the main reasons the company started making Macs in late 2020 that run on the same kind of chips as the iPhone and iPad.
With Apple putting in the next generation of its Mac chip, there are two most popular laptops, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, which the company said will be available in stores sometime next month. The MacBook Air will retail for $1,200, and the MacBook Pro will retail for $1,300.
The event took place at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.