Apple Intelligence AI, iOS 18, and the biggest announcements at WWDC 2024

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Yesterday's keynote for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference introduced a lot of what users can expect this fall, when big updates to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS hit devices. Changes include RCS support in Messages, a new Passwords app, an improved Calculator app for iPhone and iPad, and the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) across the board with the new “Apple Intelligence” system. The latter brings the first major update to Apple devices in years, including generative AI image creation, “Genmoji” custom emoji, text summarization, and even ChatGPT integration. If you weren't able to catch the news live, here's a rundown of everything announced at WWDC 2024.

Apple IntelligenceApple Intelligence


At this year's WWDC, Apple revealed plans to incorporate AI into its operating systems. This new generative AI system, called “Apple Intelligence,” will appear in iOS, iPad 18, and macOS Sequoia in the form of practical tools that Apple believes most people can use on a daily basis. These features include a new writing tool that helps you rewrite, proofread, and summarize emails and other messages, as well as the creation of original emoji and images. Working in tandem with the original image generation is a new feature called Genmoji, which allows users to create their own emoji by inputting a description or requirement, such as “a T-Rex wearing a tutu on a surfboard.”

Siri will incorporate AI, in part using large-scale language models. In addition to asking Siri to delete emails or edit photos, users will be able to ask the virtual assistant to summarize articles and web pages in Safari, and extract personal information from photos of IDs to fill in online forms. The company is emphasizing the importance of “personal context” with Apple Intelligence, enabling features like using natural language to search for photos that only include specific family and friends.

Apple emphasized that most actions in Apple Intelligence are performed on-device, making the system as privacy-focused as possible. For queries that can't be performed locally, the work is sent to Apple's processing centers. The company also created Private Cloud Computing, a feature that keeps your data safe while leveraging the cloud for more advanced AI processing.

ChatGPT from OpenAI is also integrated into Apple Intelligence, and users can give Apple permission to share queries with ChatGPT “if it might be helpful.” Examples provided include asking for menu ideas incorporating specific ingredients or asking for decorating advice while providing photos of a space in need of renovation. ChatGPT will also work with the AI ​​writing tool coming to iOS and iPadOS 18 in the new Compose feature. ChatGPT integration with iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia will roll out later this year, and Apple appears to plan to add support for other AI models in the future. This means that the partnership with OpenAI is not a long-term exclusive.

iOS18 UpdateiOS18 Update


The next iPhone software update is expected to roll out to users in the fall, and as expected, one of the biggest changes will be support for Rich Communication Services (RCS). This messaging protocol offers many advantages over SMS, including end-to-end encryption, improved media sharing, and proper group chat support. Apple previously said it would adopt RCS support in 2024 to comply with EU regulations, so it's not surprising to see RCS mentioned in the upcoming features for iOS 18. Also new for Messages will be “tap-back” replies with emojis and stickers, text formatting and effects, and the ability to send messages over satellite.

iOS 18 will give iPhone users more control over their home screens, as the grid system will no longer be locked. Users will be able to move app icons more freely, and will be able to change the color of app icons and use a tint color picker. In terms of design and layout, this is one of the biggest changes brought to the iPhone home screen in years, giving iOS users similar functionality to what Android users have enjoyed for years. Similarly, the Control Center will be updated in iOS 18 to include more customization options, and users will be able to program quick controls from third-party apps in addition to the native options.

The Photos app will see a major redesign in iOS 18, with a new focus on cleverly organized groups of photos around memories, trips, and other big events. The new design does away with the old tabbed layout and introduces a single-page design that lets you view all your photos individually or by collection. It also lets you filter out things like screenshots and receipts, which are displayed in chronological order but would otherwise ruin a tightly organized group of vacation photos.

iOS 18 highlights several new privacy features, including the ability to lock and hide apps. The former lets users lock apps, hiding sensitive information behind a Face ID or Touch ID wall, preventing anyone to casually hand over their iPhone from seeing it. Hiding apps, on the other hand, does exactly that: it tucks the program away in a special hidden folder that others can't see.

iOS 18 brings a major overhaul to the Calculator app, adding improved unit conversions, a sidebar that shows recent activity, integration with the Notes app, and more. But more notably, the revamped Calculator app is not only available on iPhone and Mac, but for the first time it's coming to iPad as part of the iPadOS 18 update. The iPadOS Calculator app includes a new feature called Math Notes, which allows users to write mathematical equations with Apple Pencil and the app will solve many of them instantly.

iPadOS 18 also features a new tab bar, similar to the Dynamic Islands on iPhone. The bar gives you easy access to important controls while you're in an app, and will appear at the top of the screen or like a sidebar on the left side of the display, depending on what you're doing. The Notes app on iPadOS gets another new feature called Smart Script, which automatically makes your handwriting easier to read.

macOS SequoiamacOS Sequoia


The next version of Apple's computer software is called macOS Sequoia. In addition to the many AI features that will also be coming to iOS and iPadOS 18 as part of Apple Intelligence, the next macOS update will also include an iPhone Mirroring feature, allowing users to see and interact with their iPhone screen on their Mac's screen. You can use the keyboard and trackpad to interact with your iPhone screen on your laptop, and you can even open iOS apps directly on your computer without having to pick up your iPhone.

The new Passwords app builds on iCloud Keychain technology to store all of a user's passwords and login credentials across devices and platforms (available on Windows in addition to iOS and iPadOS). In addition to standard passwords, the new app can also store passkeys, verification codes, and more, and users can securely share passwords with others.

Other updates coming with macOS Sequoia include gaming upgrades like a snap window arrangement tool with keyboard and menu shortcuts, Presenter Preview so you can see what you're about to share before your call partner sees it, and improved Windows porting with Gameporting Toolkit 2. With macOS Sequoia, users will also now have access to Image Playground, Apple's AI image generator built into Apple Intelligence, which lets you create AI-generated images in a variety of styles, including animations, illustrations, and sketches.

WatchOS 11WatchOS 11


The next software update for the Apple Watch includes two big changes: Training Load and a new Vitals app. Training Load in watchOS 11 essentially uses many of the health and fitness metrics collected while tracking your workouts to estimate your effort level each time. Each workout is given a rating from 1 (easy) to 10 (hardest), which estimates how hard the user worked during that particular session.

The new Vitals app shows Apple Watch users health data, like heart rate, compared to baseline values, giving them a better idea of ​​when something may be outside of “normal” ranges.

The Activity app on iPhone will also be updated with watchOS 11, allowing users to customize the data displayed on the homepage, bringing the most important stats to the forefront. Cycle tracking will also be updated to include more detailed information about pregnancy, including information about gestational age and user health metrics that may be related to pregnancy, such as heart rate variability.

Vision OS2Vision OS2


Until now, Apple's Vision Pro headset was only available in the U.S. However, this will soon change, as the company has announced that it will also be rolling out the device to countries such as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the U.K. in the coming months. As for the headset's software (visionOS), Apple has announced that visionOS 2 will add spatial photos (adding depth to images in the Photos app), new UI gesture controls, and improved Mac screen mirroring with support for higher resolutions and display sizes.

Airpods ProAirpods Pro


Apple briefly mentioned software updates coming to AirPods Pro, including improved voice isolation that will allow the device to better pick up the user's voice in noisy environments. New Siri interactions are also coming to AirPods Pro. Silent head napping will allow users to answer incoming calls without having to speak to Siri. In contrast, shaking your head will allow you to reject an incoming call. These silent interactions also apply to messages and notifications.

Check out the latest news here Apple’s WWDC 2024.

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