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

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It’s WWDC 2024 keynote time! Each year Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developer Conference with a few hours of just straight announcements, and this year, we expect much of them to revolve around the company’s artificial intelligence ambitions (and here), Vision Pro, lots of feature refreshes and perhaps some new Macs. 

Here’s how to tune in.

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 Intelligence is here

Apple
Image Credits: Apple /

The new feature is called Apple Intelligent (A.I., 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

Passwords app

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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

Apple
Image Credits: Apple / Apple

A new “Smart Script” feature that 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
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 addition feature effect does the math for you. Read more

MacOS Sequoia

Apple
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

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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

Apple
Image Credits: Apple /

Apple showed off the new Photos apps 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 Pay, 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

Apple
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

Apple
Image Credits: Brian Heater

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 include 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., 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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