Breakdown of Apple’s WWDC 2024

Welcome to the WWDC 2024 keynote! Every year, Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developers Conference with a keynote packed with major announcements, and this year was no exception. Highlights included the much-anticipated unveiling of Apple Intelligence and a makeover of Siri. As expected, much of the focus was on Apple’s advancements in artificial intelligence, which they delivered on that front. We also have exciting updates on Vision Pro and many new features.

You can watch the archive of WWDC 2024 to catch up on the keynote. Developers can look forward to the usual array of hardware and software updates, along with some surprises we had anticipated.

Apple Messages App Will Support RCS and Scheduled Texts

Apple’s Messages app in iOS 18 introduces two long-awaited features: scheduled messages and support for Rich Communication Services (RCS). Users can now set messages to be sent at a future date and time, a much-requested functionality that eliminates the need for third-party apps or manual reminders. This built-in scheduling tool will streamline messaging, making it easier to communicate across time zones or ensure the timely delivery of important messages.

The app will also support RCS, a next-generation messaging standard to replace SMS. This will enhance the texting experience with Android users, provide richer media and more reliable group messaging, and address issues like missing read receipts and blurry media. However, RCS messages will still appear with a green bubble on Apple devices, though they will offer improved functionality compared to traditional SMS. There were also reports that Apple intends to work with the GSMA to add support for end-to-end encryption in the Universal Profile for RCS but won’t support E2EE out of the gate.

Apple Messages App Will Support RCS
Image Credits: Apple

These updates, briefly mentioned at WWDC 2024, mark a significant step forward in how users communicate daily. Apple’s adoption of RCS follows persistent pressure from Google and regulatory scrutiny, promising a more seamless and robust messaging experience across different platforms. 

App Store Improvements

At WWDC 2024, Apple introduced major updates for developers, including new tools to enhance app revenue and promotion through win-back offers and a new commerce API. 

The Win-Back Subscription 

This feature allows developers to target previous subscribers with special offers, surfacing these promotions across the App Store and within the app, making it easier for users to reengage with apps they previously downloaded.

App Store Improvements
Image Credits: Apple

Improved Search Capabilities

Apple also introduced Focus State later this year. This enhancement will provide better search suggestions by highlighting recent searches and offering personalized recommendations for search terms, aiding in app discovery.

Improved Search Capabilities
Image Credits: Apple

New Commerce APIs

Apple will launch new commerce APIs for in-app purchases later this year, targeting complex monetization needs. These APIs will support a range of use cases, including content creator apps offering subscriptions, apps with extensive content catalogs, and digital content spanning multiple apps managed by a single developer.

Developers Can Nominate Their Apps to Be Featured

Developers now have the ability to notify Apple’s App Store editorial team when they are launching a new app or update. This gives them a chance to be featured on various App Store pages. Through this feature, developers can promote in-app events, preorders, or major updates.

Some Other Updates

Apple will let developers set criteria for who can join their TestFlight programs. The company is redesigning the TestFlight invitation system and adding analytics for public TestFlight links. Later this year, developers will also be able to generate one-time or custom-use codes to attract macOS app users and link custom product pages to Apple Search Ads.

iOS 18 Compatible Devices

Apple introduced iOS 18 at WWDC 2024, introducing new features like Home Screen customization, text effects, app locking, and iMessage satellite functionality. The Photos app has been redesigned, and other system improvements have been made.

iOS 18 will be compatible with iPhones from the 15 series to the SE (2nd gen or later) and will be available as a free download this fall, with a public beta next month. Some features may have regional or device limitations.

Apple also introduced Apple Intelligence, a generative AI technology integrated across apps to enhance tasks like email composition and Smart Replies. This AI functionality will be most effective on iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max and iPad/Mac devices with M1 chips or later.

All Apple Intelligence Updates

Apple introduced a plethora of innovative features, cementing the company’s significant investment in generative AI technology. The annual event showcased AI-driven upgrades across various apps and software, revolutionizing the user experience. A notable partnership with OpenAI brings ChatGPT to Apple devices, while advanced photo-editing tools and AI-powered text proofreading and summarization capabilities were also introduced.

Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, received a significant overhaul thanks to Apple Intelligence, the company’s AI framework. The revamped Siri boasts improved speech recognition, context understanding, and the ability to handle typed queries. Future updates will enable on-screen awareness and app integration, allowing users to request actions like image editing and sharing. However, these features require devices supporting Apple Intelligence, such as the iPhone 15 Pro and M1 chip-equipped devices.

All Apple Intelligence Updates
Image Credits: Apple

ChatGPT integration into Siri is another significant development, enabling users to tap into the AI model’s expertise via Siri or OS-wide tools like Writing Tools. This feature will be available on iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia later this year without requiring a separate account. 

And they will be free without creating a ChatGPT or OpenAI account. Initially, they’ll be powered by GPT-4o, OpenAI’s recently introduced flagship generative AI model.

ChatGPT integration into Siri
Image Credits: Apple

Other notable features include Genmoji, coming to iOS 18, lets you create AI emoji-like images from your photos or custom emoji for personalized messaging.

Image Playground is a new feature that generates images using themes, costumes, and more, working across apps like Notes and Pages.

The Photos app now includes a Clean Up tool that removes unwanted objects or people from photos, and AI-powered organization and search features.

Transcribed calls, available on iPhone 15 Pro and newer, records and transcribes phone calls, summarizing key points in the Notes app, with optional audio recording and transcription within Notes.

Apple Future Integration Plans

Following the keynote, Apple SVP Craig Federighi revealed that the company plans to collaborate with additional third-party AI models, including Google’s Gemini model, in the future. While he didn’t make any official announcements, Federighi indicated that exploring partnerships beyond OpenAI is a key part of Apple’s strategy. Read More about it,

Elon Musk Disapproval of Apple Integration of OpenAI 

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and xAI, took to social media platform X to express his disapproval of OpenAI, threatening to ban Apple devices from his companies if Apple integrates OpenAI into its operating system. This was part of a larger conversation on X responding to announcements made at Apple’s WWDC event. Read More about it.

Apple Intelligence’s Limited Availability

While the features of Apple Intelligence are free, they’ll only be available on select devices, including iPhone 15 Pro, iPad and Mac with M1 or newer chips. Older devices, like iPhone 15, won’t have access. The features will be available in beta this fall, with more features and language support coming next year. Apple Intelligence includes an upgraded Siri, system-wide writing tools, image generation, and GenAI-powered emoji.

ChatGPT in Siri

Apple is integrating ChatGPT, OpenAI’s AI chatbot, into Siri and other apps across its operating systems, announced at WWDC 2024. This partnership aims to make advanced AI accessible while prioritizing safety and innovation. Siri will tap into ChatGPT’s expertise for tasks like generating meal ideas or creating content. Users can include photos or ask questions related to documents. ChatGPT integrations will be available on iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia later this year, free and without requiring an OpenAI account. Privacy protections are built-in, with requests not stored and IP addresses obscured. Premium features will be available to OpenAI’s paid subscribers. 

Apple Intelligence as an image and emoji playground

Apple Intelligence as an image and emoji playground
Image Credits: Apple

Apple’s iOS 18 update will bring innovative AI image generation features. Users can create custom AI images of people in messaging conversations, similar to advanced Bitmoji, using Apple Intelligence. Additionally, Genmoji will allow users to generate AI emoji-like images from their Photos library or create custom emoji. Image Playground, a standalone app and API, will enable users to create images using various themes and concepts. Apple Intelligence will provide contextual suggestions and integrate across apps, enabling file searching, podcast playback, and personalized interactions considering Calendar and Maps data, all processed on-device for privacy. These features aim to enhance everyday conversations and make interactions more enjoyable and personalized.

Apple TV+ Updates

Apple TV+ Updates
Image Credits: Apple

Apple introduced a new feature for Apple TV+ called InSight at WWDC 2024. InSight allows viewers to see actor names and song titles as they appear on screen, similar to Amazon’s X-Ray feature. However, InSight also has a Shazam-like functionality that lets users identify and save songs playing in TV shows and movies to an Apple Music playlist.

Apple also announced updates to tvOS, including improved audio with enhanced dialogue for TV speakers, receivers, AirPods, and Bluetooth devices. tvOS 18 will also automatically enable subtitles in certain situations, like when the volume is muted or the language doesn’t match the device language. Additionally, Apple revealed updates to the Photos app in iOS 18, VisionOS 2 for the Vision Pro, and a new Calculator app for iPad. tvOS 18 will be available later this year.

Siri Makeover

Siri Makeover
Image Credits: Apple

Siri has been revamped according to WWDC 2024, courtesy of Apple Intelligence, with a new look and improved capabilities. The assistant now has a more natural and personal approach, understanding context better and handling speech stumbles. You can also type to Siri, and it can answer questions about device usage. The new design features a glowing light that wraps around the screen’s edges.

Siri will soon become even more powerful with onscreen awareness, allowing you to ask it to perform tasks like adding addresses to contact cards or editing photos across apps. The App Intents API enables devs to integrate Siri functionality into their apps. Apple demonstrated Siri’s capabilities by extracting ID numbers from photos and entering them into web forms. While the exact release timeline is unclear, Apple Intelligence will be available on iPhone 15 Pro and devices with M1 or newer chips.

All About Apple Intelligence

Apple released Apple Intelligence, its generative AI feature, at WWDC 2024. It builds on personal data from apps like Calendar and Maps, using large language models for processing. Some tasks are handled locally, while heavier tasks are handled in the cloud through Private Cloud Compute, utilizing Apple chips for privacy.

The revamped Siri allows typing and integrates with third-party apps through App Intents. Multitasking capabilities enable cross-app compatibility, like scheduling meetings across Calendar, Mail, and Maps. Apple Intelligence also integrates with Mail, Messages, and Photos, enabling image generation, natural language searches, and Smart Replies.

Apple Intelligence will be available on iPhone 15 Pro, M1 Mac and iPad devices, with a rollout to other devices with the latest operating system updates. Additionally, Apple partnered with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT to Siri, utilizing GPT 4.0-powered image and text generation, available later this year without an account or fee.

Siri Will Control Apps

Siri Will Control App
Image Credits: Apple

Apple Intelligence, the company’s generative AI offering, will be available to developers through updated SDKs and new APIs, allowing them to integrate features like Image Playground and AI-powered writing tools into their apps. Developers can use SiriKit to integrate Siri into their apps, with immediate enhancements for new capabilities like Lists, Notes, and Media. New Siri capabilities include invoking app menu items and accessing text on the screen. The App Intents framework will also gain access to Apple Intelligence, with defined intents available across categories like Photos, Mail, and Word Processors, allowing users to interact with apps without installation. Additionally, apps can benefit from Siri’s enhanced conversational capabilities and search data using the new Spotlight API.

Apple Introduced Password App

Apple Introduced Password App
Image Credits: Apple

Apple introduced the Passwords app at WWDC 2024, which will be available on iOS 18, macOS Sequoia, and visionOS 2. The app offers easier navigation and organization of passwords, including a new column for viewing all passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, passkeys, and codes. It also supports shared passwords, verification codes, and notes, making it a more convenient option for storing sensitive information.

iPad’s Smart Script

iPad’s Smart Script
Image Credits: Apple

Apple announced at WWDC 2024 that iPadOS 18 would feature “Smart Script,” which uses on-device machine learning to improve handwriting recognition and appearance when using an Apple Pencil in Notes. The feature smooths and straightens writing, fixes mistakes and allows users to paste text to be rewritten in their own handwriting. 

Calculator for iPad

Calculator for iPad
Image Credits: Apple

At WWDC 2024, Apple announced the arrival of the Calculator app on iPad, which received the largest applause from the crowd. The app uses the larger screen to introduce new features, including Math Notes, which allows users to draw formulas with the Apple Pencil and utilizes onboard AI to solve problems. This feature is also coming to macOS Sequoia. The update makes the iPad a more appealing option for academic purposes, although some teachers may be concerned about the app doing too much work for users. 

macOS Sequoia and Its Features

Apple also announced macOS Sequoia, featuring iPhone mirroring, automatic window tiling, presenter preview mode, and Keychain improvements. Safari gets AI-powered highlights and summaries, while Game Porting Toolkit 2 improves Windows compatibility. The beta releases this month, with a final release in the fall. 

macOS Sequoia and Its Features
Image Credits: Apple

macOS Sequoia’s new Continuity feature allows users to mirror their iPhone screen on their Mac, control it with the trackpad and keyboard, and receive iPhone notifications. This feature is useful for demoing apps, working on projects that require both Mac and iPhone apps, and accessing iPhone features while the physical device remains locked. The feature also works with Standby, allowing for glanceable information.

Sequoia's new Continuity
Image Credits: Apple

Messages Through Satellite

Messages Through Satellite
Image Credits: Apple

“Messages via Satellite” will allow users to send iMessages and SMS via satellite when no cellular signal is available. The feature works similarly to the emergency SOS feature and requires the phone to be pointed in a specific direction to connect to a satellite. Apple did not mention limitations or charges, but it appears to be free and unrestricted for text messages. Images cannot be sent due to data limitations, and encryption will only work for iMessage, not SMS. Availability and compatibility details were not announced.

iOS Photos App Update

iOS Photos App Update
Image Credits: Apple

Apple’s Photos app in iOS 18 has a major update with a new design that unifies the app into a single view, making it easier to find and organize photos. The update includes filtering options to narrow down content by type and date, automatic organization into collections by topic (people, trips, favorite memories), a “Recent Days” view that orders photos by day and filters out clutter, auto-playing views of photos and collections, sharing options for collections and collages, a dedicated trips section, and a carousel highlighting favorite content. This update aims to provide a more intuitive and enjoyable photo browsing experience.

Tap to Cash Feature

A new feature called Tap to Cash was introduced, which enables users to make payments by tapping their iPhones together. This feature builds upon Apple Pay’s Tap to Pay functionality and utilizes NFC technology. It allows for secure and private transactions without sharing personal information. While Apple isn’t the first to introduce this feature, it may potentially impact standalone payment devices and platforms like Square.

Everything To Know About iOS 18

Apple’s iOS 18 update, announced at WWDC 2024, prioritizes user privacy and customization. The App Lock feature secures sensitive information by requiring authentication to access locked apps, while App Hide stores private apps in a locked folder. Additionally, iOS 18 introduces customizable icons, freeing them from the grid, and updates Control Center, iMessage, Mail, and more.

Building on the popularity of iOS 14’s Home Screen customization, iOS 18 enhances the experience by allowing users to place app icons and widgets anywhere on the screen. Dark mode icons with diverse color schemes and customizable icon tinting with wallpaper-complementary colors are also supported, aligning iOS with Android’s Material You capabilities. These updates provide a more personalized and secure iPhone experience.

visionOS 2 Features

visionOS 2 Features
Image Credits: Apple

Apple’s visionOS 2 update for the Vision Pro brings new features, including spatialized photos, hand gesture navigation, and enhanced productivity. Developers get new tools and APIs for immersive apps. The free update arrives in late 2024, with higher display resolution and mice pairing support.

It also includes converting existing images into spatial photos using machine learning. This feature, part of the visionOS 2 release later this year, aims to boost content creation for the Vision Pro headset, which has had a slow start.

Apple announced the availability of its Vision Pro headset in eight new countries, including China, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK. The release dates are June 28 for the first three countries and July 12 for the others, with preorders starting June 13 and June 28, respectively. 

Conclusion

With the partnership with OpenAI and the introduction of Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024, Apple is poised to enter the generative AI race faster than ever. Despite pressure to catch up, Apple will likely prioritize reliability, privacy, and practical applications over flashy features. Improving Siri’s accuracy and integrating AI into existing apps, like Safari and Photos, will be key focuses. With a cautious approach, Apple aims to maintain user trust and demonstrate its commitment to AI innovation while also prioritizing user-centric design and privacy. By doing so, Apple seeks to stay competitive in the evolving smart assistant space, where generative AI is expected to replace traditional voice assistants.

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