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WWDC 2024: Key Announcements Including iOS 18, Apple Intelligence, and More

ByHuey Yee Ong

Jun 11, 2024
WWDC 2024: Key Announcements Including iOS 18, Apple Intelligence, and More

WWDC 2024: Key Announcements Including iOS 18, Apple Intelligence, and More

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicked off with a bang today, showcasing a series of exciting updates for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. This year’s keynote highlighted the transformative changes coming with iOS 18, macOS Sequoia, watchOS 11, and more, set to be available later this fall. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what Apple has in store.

Apple Intelligence: AI’s Big Leap

Apple Intelligence
Credits: Apple

At the forefront of Apple’s announcements is the introduction of “Apple Intelligence,” a generative AI system integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia. This system aims to enhance everyday tasks with practical AI tools. Users can expect new writing aids for rewriting, proofreading, and summarizing content, alongside innovative features like custom emoji creation through Gemoji. This allows users to design unique emojis based on descriptive prompts, such as “a T-rex in a tutu on a surfboard.”

Siri will also receive a significant upgrade with AI-powered enhancements, enabling it to summarize articles, extract information from images, and provide more personalized responses. Apple emphasized that most Apple Intelligence functionalities will be processed on-device to prioritize user privacy. For more complex AI tasks, Apple’s new Private Cloud Compute will handle the processing securely.

Furthermore, Apple announced integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which will assist users in generating content like meal suggestions or home decor ideas based on provided images. This collaboration signals Apple’s openness to incorporating other AI models in the future.

iOS 18 and iPadOS 18

iOS 18 preview
Credits: Apple

With iOS 18, Apple is introducing Rich Communication Services (RCS) support, a secure messaging protocol offering enhancements like end-to-end encryption and improved media sharing. This change comes in response to regulatory requirements in the EU and marks a significant upgrade over traditional SMS.

The home screen experience on iPhones is also getting a refresh. Users will now enjoy a more flexible grid for app icons and the ability to customize icon colors. The Control Center will support greater customization, including integration with third-party apps.

The Photos app in iOS 18 will see a redesign that organizes photos into smart collections based on events and memories, moving away from the traditional tabbed layout. Users can filter out unwanted images like screenshots to maintain a clean photo library.

New privacy features include the ability to lock and hide apps, adding an extra layer of security for sensitive information. The Calculator app will be overhauled with new unit conversion features and activity tracking, and for the first time, will be available on iPads with iPadOS 18. Inside the iPadOS Calculator app, there’s a cool new feature called Math Notes. With this feature, users can write down math equations using the Apple Pencil, and the app will quickly solve them.

iPadOS 18 introduces the Tab Bar, a dynamic control bar reminiscent of the iPhone’s Dynamic Island. This feature provides quick access to controls and can appear as a top bar or a sidebar, depending on the context. The Notes app will benefit from Smart Script, enhancing the legibility of handwritten notes.

macOS Sequoia: Bridging Devices and AI

MacOS Sequoia iPhone mirroring feature
Credits: Apple

The upcoming macOS Sequoia will feature enhanced AI capabilities and a new Passwords app that extends iCloud Keychain’s functionalities across all Apple devices and even Windows. This app will securely store and share passwords, passkeys, and verification codes.

A notable new feature is iPhone mirroring, allowing users to control their iPhone directly from their Mac. This includes interacting with iOS apps on a Mac screen using a keyboard and trackpad. Additionally, macOS Sequoia will support advanced window management and gaming improvements, including better Windows game porting tools and access to Apple’s AI image generation tool, Image Playground.

watchOS 11

watchOS 11 training load feature
Credits: Apple

watchOS 11 will introduce Training Load, a feature that evaluates workout intensity on a scale from one to ten based on collected health metrics. The new Vitals app will help users track and compare their health stats, like heart rate, against their baseline measurements.

Updates to the iPhone’s Activity app will accompany watchOS 11, offering more customization options for the homepage and enhanced cycle tracking with detailed pregnancy insights.

visionOS 2: Expanding the Vision Pro Experience

Apple’s Vision Pro headset will soon be available in new markets, including Australia, Canada, China, and more. The updated visionOS 2 will bring spatial photo enhancements, new UI gestures, and improved Mac screen mirroring capabilities.

AirPods Pro: Enhancing Audio Interactions

Lastly, Apple revealed software upgrades for AirPods Pro, focusing on improved Voice Isolation for clearer audio in noisy environments. A new silent interaction feature will allow users to answer or decline calls with a simple head nod or shake, streamlining communication with Siri.

Apple’s announcements at WWDC 2024 highlight a future filled with more intelligent, interconnected, and personalized technology experiences. Users can look forward to these innovations rolling out later this year.

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Featured Image courtesy of Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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