June 17, 2024
Here’s everything Apple announced at the WWDC 2024 keynote, including Apple Intelligence, Siri makeover


It’s WWDC 2024 keynote time! Each year Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developers Conference with a few hours of just straight announcements, like the long-awaited Apple Intelligence and a makeover for smart AI assistant, Siri. We expected much of them to revolve around the company’s artificial intelligence ambitions (and here), and Apple didn’t disappoint. We also bring you news about Vision Pro and lots of feature refreshes. 

Here’s how to watch the archive of WWDC 2024.

Developers should expect hardware and software updates, per the usual, and some other items we initially thought would be unveiled. Brian Heater also went on Equity to dish. Now sit back and relax while the team runs down all of the biggest news in an easy-to-skim digest.

Apple to work with AI partners beyond OpenAI

In a post-keynote event, Apple SVP Craig Federighi confirmed that the company would work with other third-party models beyond OpenAI, with Google’s Gemini model being highlighted as the first example. He clarified that Apple had “nothing to announce right now, but that’s our general direction.” Read more

Elon Musk lumps OpenAI, Apple together

Tesla, SpaceX and xAI exec Elon Musk took to X to continue his campaign against rival OpenAI, threatening to ban Apple devices from his businesses “if Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level,” among other responses and reactions to the conversations around WWDC on X. Read more

Apple Intelligence’s (limited) availability

Before you get too excited about putting Apple Intelligence to the test, check if your devices are new enough. Only the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, along with iPads and Macs with M1 or newer chips, will be able to run the new features coming alongside Apple’s AI push. Read more

ChatGPT in Siri

Apple is bringing ChatGPT, its AI-powered chatbot experience, to Siri and other Apple apps, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 and other generative AI models. Read more

Apple Intelligence is an image and emoji playground

Image Credits: Apple

One of the Apple Intelligence-powered features coming in iOS 18 will allow iPhone users to create AI images of people they’re messaging with — a feature that works something like an AI-upgraded Bitmoji. The goal, of course, is to make your “everyday conversations more enjoyable.”

Apple Intelligence will have an understanding of who you’re talking with in a messaging conversation, so if you want to personalize that chat with a custom AI image, you can create one on the fly. Read more

Apple TV+

Image Credits: Apple

For those of you who use Apple TV+, there is a new feature called InSight. The feature will allow viewers to learn actor names and song titles as they appear on the screen. Lauren Forristal writes that it’s similar to Amazon’s X-Ray technology, where Fire TV users get an overview of actor bios and behind-the-scenes information while watching TV shows and movies.

What stands out about InSight, however, is its Shazam-like functionality, which highlights the song playing in the TV show or movie and gives users the option to add it to an Apple Music playlist to listen to later. Read more

Siri

Image Credits: Apple

Apple also made some enhancements to its smart assistant, Siri. These include adding some generative AI features that make Siri seem more natural and more personal. There’s also a new glowing light. And, Siri can also handle stumbles in speech and better understand context. Plus, for those who would rather type, you can do that now. Read more

Apple Intelligence is here

Image Credits: Apple

The new feature is called Apple Intelligence (AI, get it?). The company promised the feature will be built with safety at its core, along with highly personalized experiences.

“Most importantly, it has to understand you and be grounded in your personal context, like your routine, your relationships, your communications and more,” CEO Tim Cook noted at WWDC Monday. “And of course, it has to be built with privacy from the ground up together. All of this goes beyond artificial intelligence. It’s personal intelligence, and it’s the next big step for Apple.” Read more

That covers the consumer side of things, but WWDC is a conference for developers, and Apple revealed how developers will soon be able to bring the Apple Intelligence experience into their software. A number of AI features will be added to existing SDKs, allowing for generative AI image generation, or new prompts to Siri, to allow devs to expand the Apple Intelligence footprint. Read more

Apple’s new Passwords app

Image Credits: Apple

While you can already use your iCloud account to store and sync passwords across your devices, it wasn’t easy to figure out. Now, the company introduced a Passwords app. Some of the features include a new column on the left that lets you more easily navigate your password collection. For instance, you can view all your passwords or just Wi-Fi passwords (a new addition), passkeys or codes that aren’t related to a website or service. Read more

Smart Script in iPad

Image Credits: Apple

A new “Smart Script” feature will clean up your handwriting when using an Apple Pencil to write in Notes. Apple says it’s making handwriting your notes even smoother and straighter. The feature improves the appearance of your writing as you write by using on-device machine learning to recreate your handwriting from your notes. You’ll see your own handwriting, just smoother and more legible. Read more

Calculator for iPad

Apple
Image Credits: Apple

Who would have thought a calculator would liven up a developer’s conference? Well, Apple’s new Calculator for iPad app got everyone excited.

iOS’ perennial tips calculating app is finally coming to the larger screen. The feature utilizes the additional screen real estate to bring new features that the company couldn’t really jam into the iPhone. The biggest arrival here is the addition of Math Notes. The additional feature does the math for you. Read more

macOS Sequoia

Apple
Image Credits: Apple

The latest operating system version is called macOS Sequoia.

One of the biggest features of this new OS is iPhone mirroring. Now, through macOS’ Continuity feature, you can mirror your iPhone’s screen and control it right from your Mac. Notifications on Mac pop you into iPhone mirror mode, and iPhone audio comes through the Mac as well, but the paired iPhone stays locked while in mirror mode. Read more

OK, let’s do a little deeper dive into iPhone mirroring. While Apple didn’t detail many use cases for the feature, Sarah Perez writes that it seems it would make it easier to demo apps over video calls or in person, as users could move between a slideshow presentation and a live demo of the iPhone app by launching it as if it’s another app on your Mac. Read more

Messages via Satellite

Image Credits: Apple

This new feature works much like Apple’s emergency SOS feature. When you have no signal, you’ll be given the option to find a satellite to relay the data. You’ll have to keep the phone pointed in the right direction while you do it, however, there’s an overlay above your messages to remind you. Read more

Photos app

Image Credits: Apple

Apple showed off the new Photos app as it will appear in the upcoming release of the iOS software. The new app introduces new navigation, new organizational features and other ways to discover your favorite photos, including those of friends, family, pets, trips and more.

Some things to know: The new design will lead to less time searching for photos as it puts everything you need within easy reach.

One major change involves how the app has been unified into a single view with the photo grid at the top and the library, organized by theme, below. Read more

Tap to Cash

One of the more interesting additions is Tap to Cash, which is more or less what it sounds like, letting users pay for things by tapping together a pair of iPhones.

As Brian Heater writes, the feature is effectively an outgrowth of Apple Pay’s longstanding Tap to Pay feature. Similarly, the new addition likely uses the device’s NFC functionality. Apple notes that the feature transfers money without having to share any personal info — a nice added privacy element. Read more

iOS 18

Image Credits: Apple

Users will now be able to lock an app when they hand over their phone to do things like show someone a picture or let them play a game. When you lock an app, if someone tries to tap your phone, they will be required to authenticate using Face ID, Touch ID or their passcode. While you have the app lock feature enabled, information from inside the app won’t appear in other places, like search and notifications. Read more

Apple also shared some initial details for the upcoming major release of iOS, which is its operating system specifically designed for the iPhone. As expected, much of this involves artificial intelligence. Remember when icons were locked to the grid? Well, they can now be laid out however you want on your home screen so that they don’t hide your background photos.

“iOS 18 is a big release that delivers more ways to customize your iPhone, stay connected and relive special moments,” Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi said. Read more

Speaking of icons, most of these updates are those long-requested functionalities, like the ability to set app icons and widgets wherever you want on the Home Screen, plus support for dark mode icons with different color schemes. Read more

visionOS 2

VisionOS 2's updates, as seen from WWDC 2024
Image Credits: Apple

visionOS 2 brings with it productivity enhancements and “new immersive experiences.” One lets you “spatialize” photos from regular photos, leveraging AI tech. Another is a new navigation option: visionOS 2 lets you switch to the home screen by just tapping, or flip your hand over to bring up the control center with notifications, shortcuts and more. Read more

One of the bigger announcements with this includes the ability to turn existing images into spatial photos. The new feature utilizes machine learning to build out additional angles, marking a change from the existing method, which required images to be shot on an iPhone 15 Pro or the Vision Pro itself. Read more

For those of you outside of the U.S., the Vision Pro headset will be available in eight new countries. Read more

Useful AI, not flashy AI

Apple has fallen behind its peers in the AI race, and it probably feels like it needs to pull out all the stops to impress fans and shareholders. But that shouldn’t mean overpromising on features. Read more

Generative AI

For smart assistants: While rumors point to the company transitioning a number of employees to generative AI operations following its electric car implosion, all signs point to Apple having ceded a significant head start to the competition. As such, its most logical play is a partnership with a reigning powerhouse like OpenAI. Read more

Maybe not for iPhone 15: Some other rumors say that when this generative AI comes into play, a limited number of older devices will also be able to run the system, including iPads and Macs running an M1 chip or higher and the iPhone 15 Pro. That means the standard iPhone 15 may be left out in the cold on this one. Read more



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