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WWDC 2024: What to Expect and How to Watch Apple’s iOS 18 Event

For fans of Apple’s products and services, there’s always anticipation leading up to the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. This year, that suspense is in high gear, as the world awaits Apple’s response to the AI boom sweeping the tech industry.

The iPhone maker has been characteristically tight-lipped about what’s to come during its WWDC keynote, but there’s been plenty of speculation about what the company might showcase. Here’s what we know so far, starting with how to watch the event.

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How to watch Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote

The WWDC keynote begins at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) on Monday, June 10. You can catch it on Apple’s event website, or on the company’s YouTube channel

What to expect

WWDC is a software-focused event, meaning we don’t typically see a lot of hardware updates (you’ll likely need to wait for Apple’s anticipated fall event to hear about the next iPhone). Last year’s developers conference was a notable exception, with the unveiling of the Vision Pro. But based on rumors and speculation, it’s likely Apple will this year focus on touting its software capabilities and AI-powered updates. 

AI

Amid a wave of AI releases from companies like OpenAI, Microsoft, Samsung and Google, Apple undoubtedly has some catching up to do. That’s why AI will likely be a centerpiece of this year’s WWDC. 

We expect to see those new AI capabilities woven into iOS 18, though perhaps more subtly. A report from Bloomberg suggests Apple will incorporate AI by means of features like voice memo transcriptions, faster search and a more conversational Siri. It could also introduce an AI feature that summarizes news stories, documents and notifications, essentially giving a “smart recap” of what you’ve missed. Bloomberg also notes that Apple’s AI will “create custom emojis on the fly, based on what users are texting.”

Some of these updates will reportedly be powered by on-device AI that works without an internet connection, allowing the company to lean into its focus on privacy and security. AI capabilities will also appear in MacOS 15, according to Bloomberg, with the Apple Watch getting an upgraded Siri, too.

Read more: From iOS 18 to Siri Upgrades, New AI Features to Expect on the iPhone

There are also reports that Apple is working with OpenAI to integrate the company’s tech into iOS 18. Previous reports pointed to Apple holding similar talks with Google about incorporating its Gemini AI system, but it appears those discussions ultimately may not have led to a partnership. 

iPhone displaying a group chat that has an Android user in it iPhone displaying a group chat that has an Android user in it

Apple might give more details about how the iPhone will support RCS texting, which should improve texting between iPhones and Android phones.

Apple

Other software updates, from messaging to accessibility

In addition to iOS and MacOS, we expect updates to arrive across the company’s other operating systems, including iPadOS and VisionOS.

Some of these updates have already been announced and are slated for release later this year, like Eye Tracking on iPad and iPhone, and Live Captions on VisionOS. So we may hear more about those accessibility-related updates and an exact timeline of their availability.

Another feature we might get updates on is RCS messaging on iPhone. Late last year, Apple said it would adopt RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging, a protocol that replaces SMS (Short Message Service) and is capable of many of the same features as iMessage, including typing indicators, high-resolution media sharing and end-to-end encryption. Because RCS is already available across a range of Android devices, this should make texting between Android phones and iPhones more seamless (though it’s unlikely those dreaded green bubbles will ever go away).

Apple’s adoption of RCS would be a timely change to reiterate, given the Department of Justice’s ongoing antitrust suit against Apple. The suit accuses the iPhone maker of hindering competition and says the company “undermines cross-platform messaging” by not making its iMessage service available on Android. WWDC would be a good time for Apple to highlight its efforts to bridge that gap.

New, AI-packed chips

It wouldn’t be WWDC without talk of chips. We’ll likely hear about the next iPhone’s processor, presumably called the A18. It’s expected to bring — surprise, surprise — better AI performance, according to Taiwanese news outlet Economic Daily News and analyst Jeff Pu. This would align with Apple’s new M4 chips in its updated iPad Pro tablets, which the company says are more powerful, efficient and feature improved machine learning for AI-based tasks. Now, it’s the iPhone’s turn to get an AI upgrade.

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