Apple made a significant effort on Monday to return to normalcy, more than two years into the coronavirus pandemic. As part of this effort, the company invited hundreds of software developers and journalists to its campus for the unveiling of a range of new software features that expand the utility of the iPhone.
During a presentation that lasted for two hours, Apple announced a buy-now-pay-later programme that allows customers to spread out the cost of their purchases over a period of many months. This programme is comparable to those given by PayPal and other companies. In addition to that, it said that it was going to make it possible to use an iPhone to open the doors of flats, hotel rooms, and rental automobiles. In addition to that, it presented a version of CarPlay that could take control of a complete vehicle’s dashboard and provide a variety of functions, including navigation, music, and information on the vehicle’s speed and fuel consumption.
The new features, when taken as a whole, demonstrate how Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, is continually looking for new ways to extend the usefulness and longevity of Apple’s most important product, while also wringing more sales out of it through features that thrust the company deeper into adjacent industries such as finance, real estate, and automobiles.
The software upgrades prolong a gap in the release of a new product category that has lasted for years from a firm that its co-founder Steve Jobs made synonymous with the debut of breakthrough new products. When Apple first announced the Apple Watch in 2014, it was the first time the company had shown off a new product category.
The epidemic has contributed to an uptick in sales of older items manufactured by Apple. Students and workers who were required to do their jobs from home found it beneficial to upgrade to the most recent versions of Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and PCs. Many consumers choose to purchase video games and Apple TV+ subscriptions, which contributed to the company’s revenue growth of 33 percent in 2018 to a total of $366 billion.
On Monday, Apple sought to extend the momentum of its Macs by releasing an updated version of the MacBook Air, which is its most popular device. The wedge-shaped chassis, which had been used for the last ten years, has been replaced with a thin, rectangular laptop for the current generation. The personal computer is available in a wide variety of hues, some of which include silver, space grey, gold, and dark blue. According to the manufacturer, the new version is 20 percent more compact than its predecessor and weighs 2.7 pounds total.
Apple’s most recent CPU, the M2, is used in the MacBook Air. According to Apple, this processor offers improved performance while also using less power from the battery.
The business said that it will be adding new opportunities for customization to the iPhone, including the capability to personalise the lock screen with a variety of colours, widgets, and live activities. With the new software, iPhone owners will be able to build personalised lock screens that serve a variety of functions, such as a screen for work that displays a preview of a calendar or a screen for personal use that displays activity data related to exercise.
The new software features that were offered by Google for its Android system in 2021 were quite similar to those that were included in Apple’s new iOS 16 operating system for iPhones. Material You is a service that was developed by Google and it gives users the ability to customise the appearance of their home screen lock screens by taking colours from the wallpapers on their primary displays.
In addition to these upgrades, Apple has announced that it is revamping its messaging system, which will enable users to retrieve and modify messages after they have already been sent. There is also a new capability to write messages by smoothly transitioning between typing text and dictating voice recordings. This new capacity is part of the new messaging composition feature.
Although the presentation mostly focused on already available items, it did provide some indications about a forthcoming virtual reality product that the firm is hoping would be its next game-changing piece of hardware. According to a source who is acquainted with the project, Apple has said that it would make it simpler for applications to utilise Siri by establishing a shortcut. This shortcut will make it feasible for users of future headsets to interact with apps using their voices. In addition to that, it provided a presentation of a brand new Resident Evil video game that included the type of complex visuals that are often seen in virtual reality games.
According to two sources who are acquainted with the project, the shipping date for the headgear, which has the appearance of a pair of ski goggles, is not anticipated to be until the following year due to difficulties with the battery power and performance.
Apple has had a hard time convincing developers to buy into its concept of a mixed reality world. It began offering ARKit to developers in 2017, with the purpose of enabling them to utilise the camera and motion sensor of the iPhone to begin integrating the digital and real worlds. However, according to a poll of more than 500 Apple developers conducted by Creative Strategies, a technology research company, almost seventy percent of Apple’s developers stated they did not utilise the tool.