Apple offers new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, software updates in WWDC keynote

Apple Inc. revamped its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops Monday while previewing new software features that will let people customize their iPhone screens more.

The company introduced its new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models during the keynote address of its annual WWDC developer event Monday. Both of the new Apple laptops will feature the company’s newly announced M2 custom chip; they were the first to be sold with Apple’s AAPL,
-3.86%
custom silicon back in 2020 as well.

The new Air model is 11.3 millimeters thin and weighs 2.7 pounds. It ushers in the return of MagSafe charging and comes in four color options: silver, space gray, starlight, and midnight. Apple said that the device will have a 13.6-inch liquid retina display and 25% more brightness than the previous model.

The new MacBook Air will start at $1,199, a 20% price increase from the prior-generation model, which Apple began selling at $999 back in 2020 and will continue to offer at that price. The new MacBook Pro will begin at $1,299, the same starting price as the previous model.

Both models will house Apple’s new M2 custom chip, which the company said will have a CPU that’s 18% faster than the Apple M1 as well as a GPU that’s 35% faster.

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The company also previewed its coming mobile operating system, iOS 16, which Apple said would allow for more personalization options.

Apple will also move notifications so that they “roll in” from the bottom of the lock screen and don’t block photos or overwhelm the screen. The company is also adding a “live activities” option for the lock screen, which will allow users to follow sporting events or exercise metrics in real time.

Apple is making updates as well to its Messages app, which will allow users to edit texts, unsend messages, and mark texts as unread. The company said it would also be improving its dictation tool to make it work more seamlessly with the keyboard for people who wish to dictate parts of messages and type the rest. Additionally, Apple will automatically add punctuation for people who are dictating longer texts.

Apple will be using machine learning to let iPhone owners do more with their photos. The company previewed a feature that will allow people to highlight an object in a photo and then automatically extract that from the background to become a sort of sticker that can be shared via messages.

The company also announced Apple Pay Later, an installment option that lets people split payments into four without interest or fees within Apple Pay. After announcing that feature, shares in buy-now pay-later specialist Affirm Holdings Inc. AFRM,
-3.49%
declined.

See also: Affirm stock drops after Apple introduces installment-pay option

Apple announced updates for Apple Maps, adding more details about certain cities such as Las Vegas, and Apple News, which will update its sports offerings. New family sharing options include shared iCloud photo libraries, and a Safety Check feature allows users to cut off shared access quickly, such as when a person is in an abusive situation and needs to cut off their abusive partner.

Apple’s smart-home offering will be updated to work better with devices on other smart-home platforms, by joining an industry standard known as Matter, and a CarPlay update in coming automobile models will allow for greater customization. Apple’s operating system for its smartwatch will add capabilities, such as new metrics from its Fitness app.

The company is refreshing its Mac operating system, and the new release will be called Ventura. The coming MacOS version promises tools meant to help improve productivity by better organizing various windows. Additionally, it will bring upgrades for the Mail app, allowing people to schedule emails or pull them back seconds after sending them.

Apple is also introducing a shared-tabs feature for the Mac so that friends can collectively gather sites of interest to help with trip planning and other group initiatives.

Apple stock opened the day’s session 1.1% higher, but lost that bounce ahead of and during the keynote, and was trading roughly even with Friday’s close by the end of the event.

Apple stock opened the day’s session 1.1% higher, but lost that bounce ahead of and during the keynote, and was trading roughly even with Friday’s close by the end of the event. Shares have declined 18.2% so far this year, as the S&P 500 index SPX,
-2.91%
has fallen 13.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-2.73%,
which counts Apple as one of its 30 components, has declined 9.5%.