Apple switches, improves car software
Apple has announced plans to integrate its software more deeply into key automotive power systems. It has also introduced a slew of payments and business collaboration features and unveiled new laptops.
The announcements at Apple’s annual developer conference showed a company that was once an outsider pushing its way into the mainstream of almost every screen in everyday life.
The company, whose turnaround in the late 1990s meant branding itself to rebels and troublemakers, spent Monday talking about how to use iPads to collaborate on business presentations and how the software will eventually help display fuel consumption on car dashboards. to give.
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Noticeably absent were any hints of Apple’s expected next big product, a mixed-reality headset that can overlay digital objects over a representation of the real world.
Hopeful fans got just a few tidbits of new augmented reality technology during a tech talk.
Apple also announced Apply Pay Later, a service that allows users to make interest-free installments.
The company, which will operate over the MasterCard network wherever Apple Pay is accepted, puts Apple in direct competition with payment providers such as Affirm and PayPal.
But most of the time, Apple doubled down on existing products.
A MacBook Air laptop has been redesigned around a new M2 silicon processor, which it claims is 35 percent faster than the previous M1 chip.
The new laptop weighs 1.2 kg and has a 1080p high-definition camera for better images during video calls.
Apple broke with its tradition of not showing its hand about future technology when it unveiled a new car dashboard that the company said could display data from key instruments such as speed, fuel level, and gas mileage.
Apple said it was in talks with manufacturers such as Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda.
The software connects more deeply to the main driving systems than previous versions, which were limited to the vehicle’s infotainment displays for playing music and displaying maps.
While Apple’s automotive software has been in cars since 2014 and is currently available in more than 600 models — including a few motorcycles — it’s largely unrelated to the car’s operating system.
Vehicle owners must leave the system for even basic functions like adjusting a car’s climate control, a shortcoming the updated version is designed to address.
Polestar, the electric vehicle manufacturer owned by China’s Geely and Volvo Cars, will install the current version of Apple CarPlay in its Polestar 2 cars via a wireless update later this month, Polestar spokesman JP Canton said.
Ford’s spokeswoman, who signed a software deal with Google last year, declined to comment on Apple’s announcement.
Apple’s iPad has also received a facelift to make it easier for users to juggle multiple applications and screens and collaborate on business documents such as presentations.
The company also previewed an app called Freeform, which will act as a virtual whiteboard that multiple users can tap to share ideas during video conferencing via Apple’s FaceTime service.
The productivity features make Apple more competitive with Microsoft, whose Surface tablets are popular with business users.
The tech giant is also adding a Safety Check tool to disable access to sensitive information for people in abuse situations.
A new technology called Passkeys will also be introduced to replace passwords on websites.
Apple said passkeys are more secure than traditional passwords because they are never stored on a web server. The company said it is working on enabling Passkeys with non-Apple devices.