Apple adds buy now, pay later option as devs wait for headset clues

Apple Inc rolled out operating system upgrades for its iPhones and iPads on Monday, as analysts and developers eagerly await clues about how a future mixed-reality headset will work.

Apple announced at its annual Software Developers Conference that users can buy now and pay later for their purchases. Apple Pay Later will be available wherever Apple Pay is accepted and managed through Apple Wallet. Users can make four equal payments without interest or fees.

Apple also added an edit button to iMessage for sent messages, beating out Twitter for a long-requested feature.

While a headset announcement is unlikely on Monday, developers expect the future headset to likely use cameras to convey a view of the outside world into a high-resolution display that can overlay digital objects onto a physical environment and could arrive in March next year, said Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. Such a device would be Apple’s first entry into a new category of computing device since the release of the Apple Watch in 2015 and would put it in direct competition with Meta, which has unveiled plans to release a code of mixed reality headset named “Cambria”. This year.

But neither Sag nor other developers and analysts polled by Reuters expect a preview of the headset on Monday.

Instead, they’ll be looking for buried clues about the future device, such as improvements in how Apple devices handle augmented reality scenes. They’ll be on the lookout for little surprises in so-called “spatial” features where devices understand how they’re used in three-dimensional space, said Andrew McHugh, who co-founded an app called Vivid that allows users to virtually enter on the inside. their videos and photos. Apple has already rolled out features like spatial audio for its wireless headphones, where sounds change when users turn their heads.

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Apple could announce an updated version of its Mac Pro computer, which is aimed at users such as developers who need a lot of computing power and is the latest machine in Apple’s lineup to use a central processor from Intel. Corp. This machine would likely feature a powerful processor made up of multiple Apple Silicon chips fused together with advanced packaging technology, said Ben Bajarin, consumer technology manager at Strategies.

The Apple Store was offline Monday morning, a move that has been followed in the past by adding new products to the site.

Analysts expect some of the biggest takeaways of the day to be updates to staples like the iPad. Bloomberg reported that Apple plans to overhaul the device’s operating system to make it better for working with multiple apps and a keyboard. Such a move would reflect the fact that high-end iPads have processor chips that are as powerful as Apple’s Mac computers, but also features that those Mac computers don’t have, such as touchscreens and data connections. cellular.

“For years, Apple has touted the iPad as everyone’s computer. Today, it increasingly feels like the Mac is everyone’s computer. If that’s the case , where do you take the iPad? said Tom Mainelli, president of the consumer and device research group at IDC.

Mac sales rose 23% to $35.2 billion in Apple’s last fiscal year, thanks to a combination of increased purchases of work-from-home laptops and the introduction of its own line of Apple Silicon chips to power the machines. Bajarin said Apple may roll out new features designed to make Macs easier to use in enterprise environments in a bid to take market share from PC makers that rely on the Windows operating system. Microsoft Corp.

“I think we’re on the cusp of an enterprise Mac epidemic,” Bajarin said.

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