Apple’s WWDC may include AI-generated emoji and an OpenAI partnership

May 26, 2024
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The company reportedly plans to announce AI-powered improvements to on-device Spotlight search, internet searches with safari, as well as new features like notification summaries, “smart recaps” of websites and texts, or writing suggestions for emails and texts. And the company may also use AI to retouch photos and generate emoji on the fly, based on what you’re texting — a type of feature that seems to consistently lead to trouble for these companies. (See Meta’s gun-toting Waluigi AI stickers or Google’s inappropriately racially diverse nazi pictures.)

Apple could showcase a better, more natural-sounding voice for Siri, based on Apple’s own large language models, as well as better Siri functionality on the Apple Watch. Where it can, Apple’s devices will do all of this stuff locally, but for complicated tasks, they’ll offload processing to Apple’s own M2 Ultra-based servers, Gurman writes. In general, he says devices “released in the last year or so” will gain most of the new on-device AI features.

Apart from AI features, the company may announce an iOS 18 feature to let users change their app icons to different colors, according to Gurman. Something similar is possible now, using the iOS Shortcuts app, but I’d sure welcome a more straightforward method. That’s in addition to the other upcoming rumored iPhone home screen change will finally let users put app icons wherever they’d like instead of iOS forcing a top-to-bottom, left-to-right arrangement. What’s next? Custom launchers?

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