Apple has unveiled the most significant overhaul to its popular MacBook Air laptop in more than a decade, bringing a fresh design, new colors and a speedier M2 processor from its homegrown chip line.
Also new: iPadOS gets a raft of ‘pro’ features for better multitasking on Apple’s industry-leading iPad tablet.
The company showcased these and other updates overnight at its Worldwide Developers Conference, an event that’s otherwise focused on software updates for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and other devices.
The new MacBook Air adds yet another machine to the company’s lucrative lineup of computers, which has seen revenue jump since a switch away from Intel Corp. chips in 2020.
The2022 MacBook Air loses the tapered shape of the previous version and instead uses a design that looks similar to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros launched at the end of 2021.
The machine has a 13.6-inch screen, up from 13.3 inches on the previous model, and – like the MacBook Pro – a 1080p camera with twice the resolution of the previous model.
The updated computer includes an M2 processor, the biggest generational leap for Apple’s Mac chips since its in-house components for computers debuted in November 2020. The MacBook Air update is the first since then, when it was one of the earliest Macs to get the M1 chip. The latest version will be 40% faster, Apple said.
The new M2 chip also is coming to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the company said Monday. The new Air model will start at $1,899, while the MacBook Pro price begins at $1,999.
The last major MacBook Air overhaul was in 2018 when the company added a Retina display, but the device looked similar overall to the 2010 model -- previously considered the most significant redesign in the laptop’s history.
The MacBook Air was first launched in 2008 by Steve Jobs, when the Apple co-founder pulled the ultra-thin laptop out of a manila envelope.
Powering up the iPad
Meanwhile, the iPadOS gains keyboard shortcuts and pro features for apps including Calendar, Files and Mail.
There’s a new Mac-like Find-and-Replace system and duplicate file controls. IPadOS is also getting customized toolbars. Developers will get frameworks to add these more pro-like capabilities to their iPad apps.
The new iPad Pro features will allow users to change the display density to see more content on the screen at once.
There’s also Stage Manager with a revamped iPad multitasking interface and true external display support. The new iPad multitasking feature is pretty impressive, taking on laptops directly. For the first time, you can re-size windows and operate several at once.
The new iPadOS will have a Collaborate feature allowing users to communicate with a group of people while working on a document. Apple is also giving a Sneak Peek at Freeform, a new collaboration app with virtual sticky notes and drawing.
And for the color professionals, there’s a new Reference Mode feature for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to better match the colors to professional displays. Pro users of the iPad have been asking for this for years, and Apple is finally delivering.
This article is published under license from Bloomberg Media: the original article can be viewed here