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Apple unveils new MacBook Air and a slew of software updates but stays quiet on mixed reality glasses

At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, a new more powerful, lighter, MacBook Air was announced, as well as lots of updates to iPhones, Macs, iPads and Apple Watches. But the company remains tight-lipped on its highly-anticipated new product, believed to be a pair of smart glasses.

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Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air. Photo: Adrian Weckler

Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air. Photo: Adrian Weckler

Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air. Photo: Adrian Weckler

Apple has unveiled a slew of updates and features for iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Macs and Apple TV, with a new Macbook Air also announced.

However, it has not give any more detail about its most-anticipated new product, a new type of ‘mixed reality’ glasses that is said to be open a new era for virtual reality.

New updates for the iPhone include ‘Apple Pay Later’, which allows people to buy something using Apple Pay but spread it into four interest-free payments, handled by Apple. The move, which puts the company into competition with firms such as Klarna, is being launched in the US first, but is tipped to make it to countries including Ireland at a later date.

Another new feature is aimed at stopping abusive partners from stalking or harassing their victims. The feature, Safety Check, removes all access granted to an abusive partner, including a reset of privacy permissions and limited messages and location availability.

Meanwhile, Apple will now make iPhones work automatically with Mac computers as webcams, while new lock screen options for the iPhone will allow more information and controls when a phone is locked. The latter move is aimed at preventing the temptation to dive into screentime rabbit holes when simply attempting to check a message or the weather.

Apple also announced a new MacBook Air, which is lighter and more powerful than the previous model. The new laptop will be based on Apple’s new M2 chip and is styled more like the most recently-launched MacBook Pro laptops.

The Apple Watch also is being updated with a feature called ‘Afib history’, which will allows doctors to more accurately track a patient’s heart condition, although the feature is currently awaiting FDA approval. Another new Apple Watch (and iPhone) app “Medications’, will allow people to track medicine, pills and other health treatments. Apple says that the data will be shared on the device and will not be shared without explicitly consent.

Apple’s iPads also got significant software updates, with more multitasking now available for those who want to use the tablets for work.

However, the company has not commented on its most-anticipated new product — the new ‘mixed reality’ smart glasses.

The gadget is widely expected to be Apple’s next big thing, with hopes that it could match some of the company's biggest inventions over the last two decades.

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‘Mixed reality’ glasses are said to be smart glasses that mix virtual reality with the possibility of other functions.

Apple is believed to be working on features such as VR FaceTime for the headset, which is tipped to be released early next year.

Apple is expected to launch teh device with several ready-to-go apps and services and is also expected to make it easy for other software firms to launch apps for its new system, in the same way it does for its iPhone App Store.

It’s generally understood that the glasses will have an operating system like an iPhone or an iPad. This is said to be called RealityOS.


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