Apple rolled out operating system upgrades for its iPhones and iPads on Monday, as analysts and developers eagerly await hints at how a future mixed-reality headset could work.
Apple announced at its annual software developer conference that users can buy now and pay for purchases later. Apple Pay Later will be available wherever Apple Pay is accepted and managed through the Apple Wallet. Users can make four equal payments without interest or fees.
Apple has also added an edit button to iMessage for sent messages, knocking Twitter out of a long-requested feature.
Apple also introduced changes to popular apps, including better display of landmarks in the Maps software, live sports scores on Apple TV, and making the Shared Video Watch app available in Messages.
The tech giant is also adding a tool called “Safety Check” to disable access to sensitive information for people in abuse situations.
While an announcement of a headset on Monday is unlikely, developers expect the future headset will likely use cameras to relay an image of the outside world to a high-resolution display that can overlay digital objects onto the physical environment, and in March could arrive next year. said Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. Such a device would be Apple’s first entry into a new category of computing equipment since the Apple Watch was released in 2015, and would put it in direct competition with Meta, which has announced plans for a mixed-reality headset coded “Cambria” to be released this year.
But neither Sag nor other developers and analysts interviewed by Reuters expect a sneak peek of the headset on Monday.
Instead, they’ll look for hidden hints about the future device, such as improvements in how Apple’s devices handle augmented reality scenes. They’ll be looking for little surprises in so-called “spatial” features in which devices understand how they’re used in three-dimensional space, said Andrew McHugh, who co-founded an app called Vivid that lets users virtually step into their videos and videos. photos. Apple has previously rolled out features like spatial audio for its wireless headphones, where sounds change as users turn their heads.
Apple could announce an updated version of its Mac Pro computer, which is aimed at users such as developers who need a lot of computing power and is the last machine in Apple’s lineup to use an Intel Corp. central processor. used. That machine would likely be a powerful processor made up of multiple Apple Silicon chips fused together with advanced packaging technology, said Ben Bajarin, head of consumer technologies at Creative Strategies.
The Apple Store was offline Monday morning, a move that has been followed in the past by new products being added to the site.
Analysts expect some of the biggest takeaways of the day to be updates to core products like the iPad. Bloomberg reported that Apple plans to overhaul the device’s operating system to make it better for working with multiple apps and a keyboard. Such a move would reflect the fact that more expensive iPads have processor chips that are as powerful as Apple’s Mac computers, as well as features that those Mac computers don’t have, such as touchscreens and cellular data connections.
“For years, Apple has pointed to the iPad as the computer for everyone. Now it feels more and more like the Mac is the computer for everyone. If so, where are you taking the iPad?” said Tom Mainelli, group chairman for consumer and device research at IDC.
Mac sales grew 23% to $35.2 billion in Apple’s most recent fiscal year, made possible by a combination of increased purchases of laptops for working from home and the introduction of its own line of Apple Silicon chips to power machines. Bajarin said Apple could roll out new features designed to make Macs easier to use in business environments in an effort to gain market share from PC makers who rely on Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system.
“I think we’re on the brink of an outbreak of Macs in business,” Bajarin said.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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