Apple WWDC 2024: the 13 biggest announcements

June 10, 2024
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Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote has come to a close — and the company had a whole lot to share. We got our first look at the AI features coming to Apple’s devices and some major updates across the company’s operating systems.

If you missed out on watching the keynote live, we’ve gathered all the biggest announcements that you can check out below.

Apple’s first AI system is coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac

With almost all of big tech getting in on the AI boom, it’s no surprise that Apple is launching an AI system of its own. Apple Intelligence is the company’s new personal intelligence system “that puts powerful generative models right at the core of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.” That enables a ton of new capabilities across Apple’s native apps, such as the ability to generate images or summarize text.

Apple Intelligence comes with a big emphasis on security, as the system will automatically decide whether it needs to use on-device processing or contact Apple’s private cloud computing server to fulfill your request. The system will be available for free and on the iPhone 15 Pro as well as on iPads and Macs with an M1 chip and later.

Apple’s big push into AI also includes Siri. The upgraded voice assistant will now be integrated more deeply into the iPhone, appearing as a pulsating light on the edge of your device. It will give you more control over your apps, allowing you to ask the voice assistant to find information inside a particular email or even surface a photo of one of your friends. Apple is relying on LLMs to help Siri better understand what you say and keep track of follow-up requests and questions.

Apple is building ChatGPT into Siri

Image: Allison Johnson / The Verge

Siri’s big AI upgrade also includes an integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. With the new integration, Siri will automatically determine whether a query would be better suited for ChatGPT. It will then ask for your permission before sending its request to ChatGPT. You’ll be able to use ChatGPT through Siri for free and without an account.

New AI features in Mail, Messages, Photos, and more

Apple is rolling out a bunch of new AI features across its apps in iOS 18, including a way to summarize emails and generate responses. The company showed off its new Genmoji feature, letting you create custom emoji based on a text prompt, along with a new AI image generator called Image Playground.

Apple is bringing AI to the Photos app, too, giving you the ability to search for photos using natural language. You can also clean up objects in the background of your pictures, similar to Google’s Magic Eraser. Additionally, Apple is adding AI-powered transcriptions and summaries to Notes and the Phone apps.

The iPhone gets more customizable in iOS 18

Aside from all the AI, Apple is introducing a new and more customizable Control Center in iOS 18. It’s also launching a way to freely place app icons on your homescreen. The company will also let you lock certain apps with the coming update, preventing other people from using them when you hand them your phone.

Other major changes include a Photos app redesign and a new Game Mode for iPhone that minimizes background activity to optimize gameplay.

The iPhone is finally getting RCS support

After announcing support for RCS last year, Apple confirmed that it’s arriving with iOS 18. It didn’t expand on any other details beyond that, though.

iMessage is getting some other upgrades, too, including the ability to schedule texts and support for SMS messaging via satellite. Apple is also rolling out colorful Tapback options and will let you bold, underline, and italicize text.

Apple TV Plus adds “inSights” to tell you which actor is onscreen

Apple TV Plus is getting a new feature that will let you swipe down on your remote to show the actors and their characters in the movie or TV show that you’re watching. You can also find out the current song that’s playing and add it to your Apple Music playlist. Apple TV Plus will automatically show subtitles when you mute a show and will support 21:9 projectors.

A Passwords app to keep track of your logins

As rumored last week, Apple has revealed a new Passwords app that will let you keep track of your login details across different devices. The app will let you generate and store passwords similar to other password managers like LastPass and 1Password. Passwords will be available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, visionOS, and even Windows.

iPadOS 18 adds a Calculator app with Apple Pencil support

Image: Allison Johnson / The Verge

The iPad is finally getting a Calculator app more than a decade after its release. It comes with a new feature called Math Notes, which lets you use the Apple Pencil to write equations on your iPad and have the app solve it for you.

Apple is launching a Smart Script feature as well, which uses machine learning to improve the appearance of your handwriting and spell-check your notes.

macOS 15 will let you mirror your iPhone

Apple’s next macOS update will let you mirror your iPhone on your Mac. You’ll be able to interact with your iPhone directly from your Mac, letting you view notifications and hear the audio playing from your mobile device.

There’s also a new Highlights feature coming to Safari, which uses machine learning to pick out interesting parts of a page.

Apple will automatically surface widgets in watchOS 11

Image: Allison Johnson / The Verge

There are a ton of new features coming to watchOS 11, too, including a new capability that automatically adds widgets based on when you need them. Apple is launching a new Vitals app that will let you “explore your most important health metrics with just a glance” as well as new cycle tracking features, Live Activities, and support for Check In, allowing your loved ones to track you during your workout.

visionOS 2 adds spatial photos and an ultrawide Mac display

Apple has announced visionOS 2, its first major update for the operating system. One of the new features coming to the Vision Pro uses machine learning to bring depth to an existing photo. The update will also introduce support for an ultrawide virtual Mac display, more intuitive gestures, and support for travel mode on trains.

Apple is also planning to bring the Vision Pro to more countries, including China, Singapore, Australia, Canada, France, and the UK.

The next AirPods Pro update will let you quietly respond to Siri

Apple is launching Siri Interactions in its next AirPods Pro software update, letting you shake your head yes or no to respond to Siri’s announcements. The AirPods Pro are also getting Voice Isolation to enhance voice quality and reduce background noise.

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