Apple Products Feel New with Updates

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Apple’s sales in 2021 nearly reached $366 billion as many businesses and educational institutions found value in upgrading to the latest versions of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers while switching to remote or hybrid environments.

Apple, looking to build on its sales from 2021, announced new software features and products at its campus during a developer conference, including the new M2 chip that will begin the next generation of Apple silicon designed specifically for the Mac.

M2 will start the second generation of Apple’s M-series chips and will extend the features of M1. M2 features a next-generation 8-core CPU with advancements in performance and efficiency cores, along with Apple’s next-generation GPU, which now has up to 10 cores — two more than M1. M2 delivers 100GB per second of unified memory bandwidth and supports up to 24GB of fast unified memory.

M2 also adds a next-generation media engine and a ProRes video engine for hardware-accelerated encode and decode, so systems with M2 will be able to play back more streams of 4K and 8K video than before.

The new chip will bring more performance and capabilities to Apple’s Mac notebooks — the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, also announced with the M2 chip.

MacBook Air, built around M2, will have a new design measured at 11.3 mm thin and 2.7 pounds. The design will feature a durable, all-aluminum unibody enclosure. MagSafe is returning to MacBook Air to give users a dedicated charging port that will protect MacBook Air when it is plugged in by quickly releasing if the charging cable is accidentally pulled.

MacBook Air will also feature two Thunderbolt ports for connecting various accessories and a 3.5 mm audio jack with support for high-impedance headphones. Additionally, the Magic Keyboard will feature a full-height function row with Touch ID and a Force Touch trackpad.

With a new 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, 1080p FaceTime HD camera and a four-speaker sound system, the MacBook Air will be available in silver, space gray, midnight and starlight and will start at $1,199 and $1,099 for education.

The upgraded capabilities of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 include:

  • A faster 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU that will make working with RAW images in apps like Affinity Photo nearly 40% faster than the previous generation and up to 3.4 times faster for users who are upgrading from a model without Apple silicon.
  • Playing graphics-intensive games is also nearly 40% faster than the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro and up to 3.3 times faster for customers upgrading from a model without Apple silicon.
  • With an active cooling system, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is designed to sustain its pro performance.
  • The 13-inch MacBook Pro also supports up to 24GB of unified memory because of M2 — along with 50% more memory bandwidth — making multitasking and working with large assets super fluid.
  • With support for ProRes encode and decode in the media engine of M2, users can play back up to 11 streams of 4K and up to two streams of 8K ProRes video. They can convert their video projects to ProRes nearly 3 times faster than before.
  • Delivering battery life with up to 20 hours of video playback.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 starts at $1,299 and $1,199 for education.

“We’re so excited to bring our new M2 chip to the world’s two most popular laptops — the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Completely redesigned around M2, MacBook Air is thinner, lighter and faster with a bigger display, better camera and all-day battery life, in four beautiful finishes.”

Apple revealed its new software for Macs, called macOS Ventura. The software will feature a “stage manager” that will allow users to more easily organize open windows. Mail will be able to undo sent messages, shared tab groups in the Safari web browser will allow users to share groups of links with friends, and iPhones can be used as webcams.

Apple also announced new software for various products including Apple Watch's watchOS 9, iPhone’s iOS 16 and iPad’s iPadOS 16:

  • The Apple Watch software update will include sleep-tracking features and a revamp of the workout app to include heart rate zones and new running metrics. Users will also be able to track and manage their medications and vitamins with the health app.
  • IPad’s iPadOS 16 will allow two people to easily collaborate on iPads. Apple will also introduce its Freeform app, a collaborative whiteboard app, later this year. IPads will also have Stage Manager, and iPads running on a M1 chip can have an external monitor attached.
  • With iOS 16, iPhone users will have a more customizable lock screen. Users can adjust the time and date, font and color. Notifications on the lock screen will move to the bottom of the screen. Users will be allowed to choose how to filter notifications, like focusing on work-related or personal messages. Apple Pay will also be able to be accepted directly from a tap with the iPhone without additional hardware, benefiting small merchants.

In addition, Apple announced the Apple Pay Later, Apple’s buy now, pay later service. Customers will be able to buy things where Apple Pay is accepted and pay for it in four payments over six weeks. There are no fees. Users will manage their payments through the Wallet app.

With the revealed software updates and M2 chip, Apple is continuing to find ways to expand on the longevity of current products while giving them that “new product” feeling. In turn, the enhancements will be beneficial for all uses of Apple products, whether it is for personal use, education or business.




Edited by Erik Linask

TechZone360 Editor

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