Everything Apple Announced at WWDC

Everything Apple Announced at WWDC

Everything Apple Announced at WWDC

The company’s annual developer event was stacked with demonstrations that showed off the new artificial intelligence capabilities coming to iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Everything Apple Announced at WWDC
Everything Apple Announced at WWDC

APPLE TYPICALLY USES its annual developer conference to announce big software updates and introduce new devices. But this year, Apple set aside the gadget talk and left plenty of room for what everyone expected would be the main topic of WWDC. All of the shiny new AI features coming to iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Of course, Apple is arriving late to the artificial intelligence party. And has found itself in the position of needing to partner with a more established AI company to gain a foothold in the current arms race. In April, rumors emerged that Apple might be partnering with Google to utilize its Gemini AI on iPhones. But that doesn’t seem to have panned out. Instead, Apple is partnering with OpenAI for its first big batch of AI enhancements.

Here’s everything Apple announced at WWDC. Most of these features will become available in the fall, when Apple typically updates the software that runs on each of its devices.

AI Always

In Apple’s world, AI doesn’t stand for artificial intelligence. It stands for Apple Intelligence.

In a series of prerecorded demos, Apple laid out a vision for how users will interact with these new AI features. Keeping the focus on personalized tasks and underscoring the usefulness of the AI-assisted capabilities. Apple says it can use AI to provide a highly personalized experience for you, the iPhone user. Because its system is able to collate all sorts of information the AI has learned about how you use your device.

Apple’s AI can help with writing emails, reports, and personal text messages. The AI can also generate images inside Messages that are informed by the context of the conversation you’re having. If you and your friends are chatting about throwing a rooftop party, it can generate an image of what that party might look like. It can even generate AI images of the people you’re talking to. So if you’re texting your mom, the AI can sync with any photos you have identified as showing her face. And then use those to generate an illustration of her. (If your mom is anything like mine, she will deeply hate this.)

Apple Intelligence also has advanced writing tools that can generate full emails or messages, or review what you’ve written to change the tone of a work email to help you avoid saying something you might later regret.

The artificial intelligence tools will gain summarization features that can be used to give you the gist of a web article. Or catch you up if you’re dropping back into a particularly vocal group chat after some time away. Summarization is something the other big AI players have been doing for a while. In fact, Google’s AI overviews have caused a ruckus recently after its ability to summarize search results have been called out for being misleading—sometimes just outright wrong—and also have been demonstrated to siphon content from original creators.

Apple was also eager to point out that many of these AI capabilities are processed privately on the device itself, and that, only when necessary, it can use secure cloud-based AI processing to complete your requests.

Additionally, there are new capabilities being added to iOS that come courtesy of Apple’s partnership with OpenAI. The most visible is that some Siri requests and generative text requests can be handed off to ChatGPT—powered by GPT-4o, Apple says—to complete them. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was even spotted at the Apple campus today, though he didn’t appear in Apple’s promo video. Read all about this new partnership in Will Knight’s WIRED story.

Apple Intelligence requires phones with the A17 chip or devices with at least M1 chips. That means it can run on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, the new iPhones coming out this fall, or any iPad or Mac with an M1 chip or later.

New Siri, Who Dis

Everything Apple Announced at WWDC
Everything Apple Announced at WWDC

Siri, Apple’s longtime digital assistant that no one really likes, is getting an AI glow-up. Apple says Siri is now smarter and better able to determine intent and decipher more complicated information. You can ask it several questions in a row, and it’s smart enough to understand that the questions are related to one another. Something known in the AI world as contextual awareness. It can complete more tasks than before, making it more helpful than it was in the old “alarm-setting” era.

You can type out requests to the new Siri, like asking it to set an alarm late at night without waking the person sleeping next to you. (Reminder: Google Assistant has been doing this for a while.)

Finally, Siri has a new look: a new infinity-symbol-like logo, and a new status alert. That makes a colorful ring appear around your entire phone’s screen when the assistant is listening to your request or generating a response.

Clean Up Your Photos

The Photos app will get some additional editing features that will let you do things like make more elaborate enhancements to existing photos and remove unwanted people or things from the frame. (These are all abilities that have already been in Pixel and Samsung phones.)

Apple is also making photo organization cleaner. Its new Apple Intelligence features will enable it to better recognize people in your contacts and group them together so you can find photos easier. With Apple Intelligence, you can also search for photos with more natural search terms. Like “pics of Gina riding a skateboard on the park bench.”

Meet Genmoji

Apple is using its newfound AI capabilities to create custom emoji on the fly. The new Genmoji lets you enter prompts to generate new emoji characters that match the mood of the message you’re writing. You can mix up classic emoji, or generate something new that’s more specific to your needs. Want an eggplant riding a cheeseburger? You can probably cook that up.

A More Customizable iOS

Many of the changes coming to iOS when an update arrives this fall have nothing to do with AI. Yes, this means you can arrange your app icons however you like now, changing their color and moving them to any location on the iOS screen’s familiar grid. There’s also support for hiding apps in a locked apps folder that can only be accessed through Face ID verification. So you can keep all your X and OnlyFans activity away from prying eyes.

There are also helpful updates to Messages. A big one is the ability to schedule messages, a thing that Apple had somehow not supported before. You’ll also get the ability to style text, add fun text effects, and reply to messages with emoji Tapbacks.

It’s Called Sequoia

It allows you to sync your iPhone with your Mac and control nearly everything on the handset from your Mac’s screen. You can make calls, work within apps, and interact with the phone’s home screen. Your phone remains locked while you do this.

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