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

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

Yesterday’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote teased a lot about what users can expect this fall when big iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS updates hit their devices. Upcoming changes include RCS support in Messages, a new Passwords app, a revamped Calculator app for iPhone and iPad, and a host of artificial intelligence (AI) integrations across the board with the new “Apple Intelligence” system. The latter will bring some of the biggest updates to Apple devices in years, including generative AI image creation, custom “Genmoji” emojis, text summarization, and even some ChatGPT integration as well. If you can’t catch the news live, here’s a recap of everything announced at WWDC 2024.

Apple intelligence


Apple revealed its plans to integrate artificial intelligence into its operating systems at WWDC this year. Dubbed “Apple Intelligence,” the new AI system will appear in iOS, iPad 18, and macOS Sequoia in the form of (what Apple believes are) practical tools that most people can use regularly. These features include new writing tools that can help you rewrite, proofread, and summarize things like emails and other messages, native emoji, create images, and more. Working alongside original photo creation is a new feature called Genmoji, which allows users to create their own unique emoji by typing descriptions and prompts such as “T-rex wearing a tutu on a surfboard.”

Siri will get an AI boost, after it will be powered in part by large language models. In addition to asking Siri to delete an email or edit a photo, users will also be able to ask the virtual assistant to summarize articles and web pages in Safari and even extract personal information from a photo ID so it can fill out an online form for them. The company stressed the importance of “personal context” with Apple Intelligence, which will enable things like using natural language to search for photos that only contain specific family members or friends.

Apple highlighted how most Apple Intelligence actions are implemented on-device to make the system as privacy-focused as possible. For queries that cannot be performed locally, the work will be sent to Apple’s processing centers. The company also created Private Cloud Compute, a feature that is supposed to use the cloud to process more advanced AI while also making sure your data stays safe.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has also been integrated into Apple Intelligence, allowing users to give Apple permission to share their queries with ChatGPT “when it’s helpful.” Examples given include asking for menu ideas with specific ingredients, or asking for advice on decor while providing a photo of a space that needs sprucing up. ChatGPT will also work with AI-powered writing tools coming to iOS and iPadOS 18 in the new Compose feature. ChatGPT integration will be rolling out to iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia later this year, and it appears that Apple intends to add support for other AI models in the future – meaning its partnership with OpenAI is not a long-term exclusive.

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iOS 18iOS 18


The next iPhone software update will be rolling out to users in the fall, and as expected, one of the biggest changes is support for Rich Communication Service, or RCS. The messaging protocol offers several improvements over SMS including end-to-end encryption, better media sharing, and support for proper group chats. Apple previously stated that it would adopt RCS support in 2024 to comply with EU regulations, so it’s not surprising to see it mentioned in upcoming iOS 18 features. Also new to the Messages app is the ability to reply with emojis, stickers, text formatting and effects, and the ability to send messages via satellite.

iPhone users will have more control over their home screens in iOS 18 thanks to the fact that it will no longer be a locked retina system. Users will be able to move app icons more freely, in addition to being able to change the colors of app icons as well as use the subtle color picker. In terms of design and layout, this is one of the biggest changes to the iPhone’s home screen in years, and it gives iOS users similar features to those Android users have enjoyed for a long time. In the same vein, the Control Center in iOS 18 will be updated to include more customization options, and will allow users to program quick controls from third-party apps in addition to native options.

The Photos app is getting a major redesign in iOS 18, with a focus on smartly organized collections of photos around memories, trips, and other big events. The new design gets rid of the old tabbed layout and will go with a single page layout when you can view all your photos individually, or view them by collections. Users will also be able to filter out things like screenshots and receipts that may appear in a chronological format, but might mess up a tightly curated collection of vacation photos.

Two new privacy features stand out in iOS 18: the ability to lock and hide apps. As for the first feature, users can lock the app so that sensitive information remains behind a Face-ID or Touch-ID wall, preventing those you casually hand your iPhone to from seeing that information. Hiding an app, on the other hand, does exactly what you think it does: hides a program in a private hidden folder that others won’t be able to see.

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The Calculator app is getting a major overhaul in iOS 18, including improved unit conversions, a sidebar that displays recent activity, and integration with the Notes app. But what may be more notable is the fact that the revamped Calculator app will not only be available on iPhone and Mac, but will be coming to iPads for the first time as part of the iPadOS 18 update. There is a new feature built into the iPadOS Calculator app called Math Notes, which allows users to type Math equations using Apple Pencil and the app will solve many of them instantly.

iPadOS 18 will also feature a new tab bar, which is similar to Dynamic Island on iPhones. This bar makes it easy to access basic controls even when you’re in apps, and depending on what you’re doing, it can appear at the top of the screen or as a sidebar of sorts on the left of the screen. The Notes app in iPadOS is getting another new feature called Smart Script, which will automatically make users’ handwriting clearer.

Mac SequoiaMac Sequoia


The next version of Apple’s computer software will be called macOS Sequoia. In addition to several AI features also coming to iOS and iPadOS 18 as part of Apple Intelligence, the next macOS update will include iPhone Mirroring, which lets users see and control their iPhone screen on the Mac screen. They’ll be able to properly use their keyboard and trackpad with the iPhone’s screen on their laptop, and they can also open iOS apps directly on their computer without having to pick up their iPhone at all.

The new Passwords app relies on iCloud Keychain technology to save all users’ passwords and login credentials across devices and platforms (it will be available on Windows as well as iOS and iPadOS). Along with standard passwords, the new app can save passkeys, verification codes, and more, and gives users the ability to securely share passwords with others.

Other upcoming updates in macOS Sequoia include a quick window arrangement tool with keyboard shortcuts and accompanying menu, Presenter Preview, which lets you see what you’re about to share with communication partners before they see it, and gaming upgrades like improved Windows Transfer capabilities with the Gameporting 2 suite of tools. Users will also have access to Image Playground in macOS Sequoia, Apple’s AI image builder built into Apple Intelligence. It offers the ability to create AI-generated images in various styles, including animation, illustration, and drawing.

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WatchOS 11WatchOS 11


The next software update for Apple Watch includes two big changes: training loading and the new Vitals app. Training Load in watchOS 11 primarily uses various health and fitness metrics collected during workout tracking to estimate your effort level each time. Each exercise will receive a rating from one (easy) to 10 (exhaustive) which estimates how hard the user worked during that specific session.

The new Vitals app will show Apple Watch users how to compare their captured health data, including heart rate, to basic measurements. We hope this will allow users to better understand when something is out of the “normal” range or outside of it.

The Activity app on iPhone is also getting an update to accompany watchOS 11, and it will allow users to customize the data they see on the home page so they can put their most important stats front and center. Cycle tracking will also get an update to include more detailed insights into pregnancy, including gestational age and information about user health metrics that may be related to pregnancy (such as heart rate fluctuations).

VisionOS 2VisionOS 2


Until now, Apple’s Vision Pro headset has only been available in the US. This will soon change as the company announced the device will be rolling out in additional countries including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the UK in the coming months. Regarding the headset software (visionOS), Apple announced that VisionOS 2 will add spatial visuals, 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 some software updates coming to the AirPods Pro, including improved sound isolation, which should help the buds better pick up the user’s voice in noisy environments. A new Siri interaction is coming to the AirPods Pro as well: a silent head gesture will allow users to answer an incoming call without saying a word out loud to Siri, and by contrast, a head shake will cause the call to be rejected. These silent interactions also apply to messages and notifications.

Catch up here for all the news from Apple Worldwide Developers Conference WWDC 2024.

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