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Apple (AAPL) Ditches Intel Chips, Updates WatchOS, iPadOS

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) first-ever virtual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020 focused on all the updates coming to iOS, iPadOS, macOS and WatchOS. Apple also announced a robust lineup of new technologies for developers to design and build apps.

As anticipated, Apple announced its plans to switch from Intel (INTC - Free Report) CPUs in Macs to its custom silicon-based ones on the ARM architecture. The company already designs its own chips for iPhone. Apple plans to ship the first Mac with its customized silicon by the end of 2020 and complete the transition in about two years.

Markedly, other notable PC-makers like Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , Lenovo and Samsung also launched notebooks supported by ARM-based chips.

Apple’s chips will combine custom CPU, GPU, SSD controller and other such components. The Apple silicon will include Neural Engine for machine-learning applications.

Apple is also working on a family of SoCs — system on a chip — to deploy across its Mac lineup, both laptops and desktops, intended to provide stronger performance, without sacrificing battery life.

Apple Inc. Price and Consensus

Apple Inc. Price and Consensus

Apple Inc. price-consensus-chart | Apple Inc. Quote

MacOS Big Sur

Apple also previewed macOS Big Sur, which includes updates to web browser Safari, Maps and control center. Safari has been redesigned to show more tabs on screen and provide a preview of said tabs when hovered over.

Users can customize their Safari start page with a background image, as well as other resources such as Reading List and iCloud tabs. Maps on macOS has been redesigned with support for in-door maps, guides, favorite locations, among others.

MacOS will now have a dropdown in the upper right area of the screen that provides one-click access to display brightness, volume, dark mode, WiFi controls and more. Additionally, Notification Center has been cleaned up, bringing notifications/widgets into one unified view while making it easier to clear out lots of notifications at once.

Further, a Privacy Report feature will provide added transparency to tap different trackers various websites use.

Apple is also bringing out a new version of Rosetta — the program that helped make the transition from Power PC. With macOS Big Sur, Apple has updated its own applications to support the new Apple chips natively, including Final Cut Pro. Rosetta 2 in Big Sur will automatically and transparently translate existing apps for compatibility.

Third-party developers can start recompiling their apps in the new version of Xcode. Apple announced that key partners including Adobe (ADBE - Free Report) and Microsoft have already got many of their apps running on ARM.

With iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, Apple is introducing collaborative Teams for Feedback Assistant. Feedback Assistant is a dedicated portal for developers working together on a project to report issues with Apple software, including iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

iPadOS 14 Update

iPadOS 14 introduced a more compact design to facilitate productivity. Additionally, Apple has refreshed the iPad search UI and can now navigate deeper for search into apps like Keynote, Messages, Mail, and Files.

Scribble, a new feature, quickly converts handwriting — which users can now input into any text bar — into typed text.

Messages, one of the iPhone’s most heavily-used programs, will also receive a makeover. Users can pin conversations to the top of their messages list for easy access, as well as send direct replies to specific contacts within a group chat.

Apple WatchOS 7 Enables Face Sharing

Users can now share their current watch face setup with others through Messages, Mail, or Safari. Each app on watchOS can now offer different watch face complications, instead of just one per app.

Cycling directions, sleep tracking and hand washing detection are a few other features added to watchOS.

TvOS14 Updates for Apple TV

For Apple TV devices, tvOS 14 will expand multiuser capabilities to include Apple Arcade and other games (so all users on Apple TV can resume games where they left off). The upgrade will also let users access HomeKit-enabled video cameras and accessories by using Siri or Control Center.

Additionally, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company screened a trailer for Foundation, a new original series for Apple TV+ based on the sci-fi classic trilogy by Isaac Asimov, coming out in 2021. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Among other announcements made, Apple Maps will be available in more countries, including the U.K., Ireland and Canada, and adding cycling directions; iPhones and iPads will have a smaller pop-up screen for incoming phone calls; and AirPods will have spatial audio and automatic audio switching (example, moving the source Mac to iPhone to receive an incoming phone call).

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