Home Artificial Intelligence Here’s everything to expect from Apple’s AI-focused WWDC 2024

Here’s everything to expect from Apple’s AI-focused WWDC 2024

WWDC 2024 kicks off in less than a week. At its June 10 keynote, Apple will unveil all the details on its next major software updates: iOS and iPadOS 18, visionOS 2, watchOS 11, the next version of macOS, and more.

Here’s everything to expect from one of Apple’s biggest days of the year.

WWDC 2024 event details

The WWDC 2024 keynote will be held on Monday, June 10 at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET.

You can watch the keynote live in one of several ways:

The WWDC keynote is always packed with announcements, making it one of Apple’s longest keynotes of the year. Here’s a history of recent WWDC video runtimes:

  • 2023: 2 hrs 6 min
  • 2022: 1 hr 49 min
  • 2021: 1 hr 47 min

Based on this recent history, we can expect the 2024 keynote to run about 2 hours in length.

iOS 18

iOS 18 is the release expected to receive the most attention at this year’s WWDC, with AI features leading the way.

Perhaps the most prominent AI feature will be an upgraded Siri, designed to be more conversational and intelligent due to deep integration with app functions. Thanks to an OpenAI partnership, iPhone users are also expected to gain system-wide ChatGPT access. Additionally, AI will power a variety of other features, such as:

iOS 18 won’t all be AI though, as Apple has a variety of other enhancements planned for its next major iPhone update.

Home screen customization, for example, is expected to get a big upgrade thanks to two new features:

  • the ability to place icons and widgets anywhere on the Home screen, without the need to work down from the top-left corner
  • a system-wide control for changing the colors of app icons

The Messages app will benefit from RCS support coming to iPhone for the first time. RCS is the successor to SMS and MMS and will offer a better experience for conversations between iPhones and Androids. Are green bubbles going away? No, but RCS should enable more iMessage-like features to work even with your Android-using friends.

Speaking of iMessage, new effects and animations will be able to be applied on a per-word basis, perhaps opening the possibility to rich text support like bold, italics, and underline too.

Many of Apple’s system apps are expected to receive feature updates and minor design refreshes, such as Photos, Mail, Notes, Fitness, Maps, Settings, and Calculator.

Two of Control Center’s key components, the Now Playing and Home widgets, are also getting redesigned to offer improved functionality.

The above is just scratching the surface of what’s expected to be one of the biggest iOS updates ever. We only have to wait a few more days to get the full picture.

visionOS 2 and Vision Pro international rollout

Apple’s first major software update for the Vision Pro will set the stage for the device’s next year of life. visionOS 2 is expected to bring a variety of improvements to enhance the Vision Pro experience. These include:

  • more first-party apps that are built fully native for visionOS, not just the iPad versions (e.g., Calendar, Reminders, News, etc.)
  • the ability to reorder apps on the visionOS Home screen
  • a powerful Live Captions feature that can put real-time captions in your view for all spoken dialogue from in-person conversations and apps’ audio
  • upgrades to the Mindfulness app that include respiration tracking

This is likely just a fraction of what Apple has planned for visionOS 2, the remainder of which we’ll find out on Monday.

Beyond the Vision Pro’s next software version being introduced, Apple will also likely share dates for the device’s international rollout.

The Vision Pro was first unveiled at last year’s WWDC, and with a summer international rollout expected, this year’s conference is the perfect time to get developers excited about having a larger customer base for visionOS apps.

macOS 15

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As Apple’s longest-running and most established software platform, macOS tends to be lighter on new features each year. However, with a major focus on AI this year, and modern Macs being equipped with powerful M3 chips, expect to see some impressive AI features that take advantage of Apple’s Neural Engine.

Outside of AI, Apple is updating the Mac’s System Settings app to hopefully quell its critics. System Settings will receive an updated design with new organization methods that make settings easier to find than before.

Most macOS improvements are expected to simply provide feature parity to what Apple launches on the iPhone in iOS 18, such as updates to system apps and a new and improved Siri.

iPadOS 18

iPadOS 17 Stage Manager

The Calculator app is finally coming to iPad. Yes, that’s what I’m leading with.

In all seriousness, most of iPadOS 18’s hallmark features will likely be carry-overs from iOS 18’s massive release. Like with most years, the iPad will benefit from the work Apple is doing on its iPhone platform, since the two OSes share so much of the same codebase. As a result, the vast majority of iOS 18’s features will also serve as the chief additions to iPadOS 18.

A powerful new accessibility feature will enable controlling your iPad using eye tracking. This hands-free feature takes inspiration from the Vision Pro and will make the iPad more accessible to more users.

Will there be enhancements to Stage Manager or the iPad’s other multitasking features? Perhaps, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see these features left as-is following Apple having given them a couple years of attention already.

Those hoping for features exclusive to the M4 iPad Pro, or the ability to boot macOS from an iPad, will almost certainly be disappointed. There have been no rumors about show-stoppers for the iPad this year, as the device will already benefit so much from Apple’s iOS 18 efforts.

watchOS 11

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The next big Apple Watch update is expected to be relatively minor this year. watchOS 10 brought major changes to the Watch just last year, and all indications are that Apple is focusing its efforts on other software platforms this year.

Despite that, watchOS 11 is likely to offer some of the core features that get added in nearly every new release:

  • additional watch faces
  • new and/or enhanced workout types
  • fresh ways to utilize Health data gathered by the Watch, such as through a research study or other new tools

tvOS 18

tvOS 17 Apple TV VPN FaceTime

The Apple TV 4K continues to be a product in Apple’s lineup, and tvOS receives annual updates that vary wildly in what they offer. Some years tvOS feels like a forgotten platform, while others it gains truly useful new features.

tvOS 18 is likely to skew more towards the former trend, with only minor improvements introduced as Apple prioritizes its larger platforms. That said, last year tvOS 17 brought FaceTime to the Apple TV thanks to Continuity Camera, and the feature’s positive reception may have inspired other similar ‘continuity’ enhancements for this year.

Updates that take advantage of Apple’s ecosystem of other devices could be especially interesting, such as tying in with the iPhone’s Sports app, or syncing a viewing experience with the Vision Pro so members of the same household can enjoy TV together without needing multiple $3,500 devices.

No new hardware expected

Last year’s WWDC was huge for hardware, with the introduction of the much-anticipated Vision Pro, combined with several new Mac models being released. What’s on deck for this year?

Unfortunately, WWDC 2024 is expected to be a software-only event, with no new hardware announced. This means we likely won’t see new hardware from Apple until its September iPhone event.

Wrap-up for WWDC 2024 expectations

WWDC is one of the highlights of Apple’s year, and anticipation is high for this year’s event. Even though a lot of announcements leak ahead of time, the company always has a number of surprises in store for observers. We won’t have to wait long now.

What are you most excited about from WWDC? Any features you’re especially hoping to see? Let us know in the comments.

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