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Apple rolls out new processors, updated Safari, operating systems at WWDC

By
Don Jacobson
Customers visit an Apple store in Beijing on Sunday. The tech giants kicked off its WWDC 2020 developers conference Monday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Customers visit an Apple store in Beijing on Sunday. The tech giants kicked off its WWDC 2020 developers conference Monday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

June 22 (UPI) -- A new Mac computer processing chip and new operating systems were rolled out at Apple's annual developers' conference, known as WWDC, on Monday. The company also announced updates to its Safari web browser.

The Apple Silicon processor will replace Intel microchips in Mac computers going forward, with the first models coming out in the fall, said Apple CEO Tim Cook, who called the event, "a historic day."

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"It's time for a huge leap forward for the Mac: Today is the day the Mac is transitioning to our own Apple Silicon," Cook said. He said the move to the new processors would take place over two years.

The new chips will give Macs a higher processing speed using less power, which will also affect the computers' cooling systems, the company said.

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The new release of the Mac operating system, MacOS 11, was unveiled, with a California name, "macOS Big Sur." The new numeration reflected the end of an era for the 10-year MacOS X operating system.

Apple's web browser Safari was also updated with a new design, including smaller tabs and new features including built-in translation and a privacy report.

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The company also announced updates to the Apple watch, including "go to bed" alarms and sleep tracking.

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Earlier in the week, Bloomberg reported Apple had decided to move ahead with the plan to use its own custom-designed "ARM" silicon chips in Mac laptops at first and later in Mac desktops. The change will allow Apple to depend less on outside suppliers and reduce costs.

Apple uses its own processors in its mobile iPhone and iPad products, where they have won praise for enabling longer battery life.

Intel-based Macs would still work with new software, "for years to come," Cook said. The company rolled out a "Universal 2" developer platform that allows the same app to be uploaded on computers with both the new Silicon and Intel chips.

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The weeklong WWDC 2020, unlike previous conferences, will be conducted mostly online, and streamed live.

A leaked early version of the new operating system for iPads and iPhones showed changes include allowing users to set third-party applications as defaults, according to the MacRumors tech news website.

For instance, under the new iOS, users could designate Google's Chrome web browser or Gmail email app as defaults rather than Apple's own products, which are included in the devices.

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The move will come as Apple is facing increased antitrust scrutiny over allegations it unfairly undercuts third-party applications on its platforms.

The European Commission said last week it is investigating the company over worries its Apple Pay and iOS App Store services stifle competition. The EU launched the probe after mounting criticism from Apple's competitors, such as Spotify.

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