CUPERTINO, California, June 5 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Monday revamped its lineup of desktop and laptop Macs using its own processor chips ahead of its expected announcement of its first mixed-reality headset.
Apple did not make any major announcements about generative AI products similar to ChatGPT or Google’s Bard search engine, but it quietly imbued several smaller features with AI, like live transcriptions of voice mails.
Apple announced a 15-inch MacBook Air powered by an Apple-designed M2 processor chip. The laptop with six speakers will start at $1,299 and be available next week. The 13-inch MacBook Air will drop to $1,099.
Apple updated its Mac Studio desktop machine, saying its new M2 Ultra chip can process artificial intelligence work that rival chips do not have enough memory to handle.
Apple also introduced a new version of the Mac Pro, its highest-performing desktop, with an M2 Ultra chip and a price tag starting at $6,999. The M2 Ultra chip is essentially two of Apple’s largest M2 chips bonded together, a similar approach Apple took to boosting the performance of its M1 chips.
Until Monday, the Mac Pro was the last computer in Apple’s lineup that still used an Intel (INTC.O) chip.
“For PC users, there’s never been a better time to switch to a Mac,” said John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering.
The updates combine improvements to high-end machines aimed at the developer crowd at Monday’s event with tweaks to messaging and a new Mac Air aimed at a much broader group of customers, including potential switchers to Apple.
Apple introduced small tweaks to its iOS software, some aimed at small annoyances like a “NameDrop” feature to more easily share contact information with others and others focused on safety and security, like a check-in feature to tell contacts when a user has arrived safely at a destination.
Apple said that it was improving the auto-correct feature on iPhone keyboards.
“In those moments where you…