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Everything We're Expecting to See at the WWDC 2024 Keynote

Apple's 35th annual Worldwide Developers Conference is just a few days away, kicking off on Monday, June 10 with a keynote event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple plans to introduce iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15, tvOS 18, watchOS 11, visionOS 2, and HomePod Software 18. No hardware is expected this year, with the focus set to be on software.


We've rounded up all of the rumors about the software features that Apple will unveil at WWDC, but there will still be plenty of surprises given the scope of the updates.

iOS 18 and iPadOS 18


All of Apple's software updates will include a wide range of new features powered by artificial intelligence, but we've heard the most about ‌iOS 18‌. The AI additions in ‌iOS 18‌ are expected to make this the biggest software refresh that we've had in years, with Apple set to call its AI features "Apple Intelligence."

All of Apple's AI additions will be introduced in a beta capacity so that Apple can test them before revealing them as full features, and everything will be opt-in, so people can decide not to use AI. Some features will be handled on-device, while some will be handled in the cloud, with Apple set to tout the security and privacy of the hardware that it's using for its cloud servers.

Siri and Spotlight


Apple is expected to use large language models (LLMs) to train Siri, which will theoretically result in major improvements to the personal assistant. LLMs are the backbone of popular AI offerings like OpenAI's ChatGPT.


Rumors suggest that ‌Siri‌ will have a more casual, conversational feel, with a more natural voice. ‌Siri‌ will be able to do more than before, taking into account people, companies, calendar events, locations, and dates. Apple plans to give ‌Siri‌ control over individual features in apps, so ‌Siri‌ will be able to perform specific functions in apps that aren't possible today. ‌Siri‌ will, for example, be able to open specific documents, move files from one folder to another, delete an email, edit a photo, and summarize messages, notifications, and articles.

To enable these capabilities, Apple had to rearchitect ‌Siri‌'s underlying software. While Apple will likely show off these features at WWDC, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman does not believe the updated ‌Siri‌ experience will launch with the first version of ‌iOS 18‌ in September. Instead, it will come in a future version of ‌iOS 18‌ in 2025.

The ‌Siri‌ update will be accompanied by a refreshed version of Spotlight search on iPhones and iPads, with more intelligent results and improved sorting.

OpenAI Deal


Apple has inked a deal with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT technology into ‌iOS 18‌, because Apple does not plan to build its own chatbot at this time. ChatGPT will be an opt-in feature for ‌iOS 18‌ and iPadOS 18 users.


Some Apple executives have had reservations about integrating a chatbot into the operating system, but Apple moved forward with it because customers may be expecting that kind of AI technology given its prevalence. OpenAI technology will also power some of the other AI features that Apple plans to introduce.

New App Features


Apple is bringing AI features to many of its built-in apps, and the additions that we've heard about so far are listed below. There are likely to be other AI features that haven't made it to the rumor mill.

  • Safari - Safari will get an "Intelligent Search" option that will use AI to identify key topics and phrases on a web page, offering a summary. Apple will refresh the quick access menu, adding some features currently in the Share Sheet, and there may also be a "Web Eraser" tool that lets users hide unwanted portions of webpages that persist across visits.

  • Mail - The Mail app will be able to suggest replies to incoming emails through a "Smart Replies" feature, plus it will have improved search and an option for summarizing long email threads. Mail will also be reorganized and will automatically sort incoming messages into categories, similar to Gmail.

  • Apple Maps - The Maps app could gain support for custom routes, allowing users to input self-selected routes rather than being limited to the options that Apple provides. Apple could also add support for topographic maps, a feature introduced last year in watchOS 10.

  • Photos - There will be an AI-based feature for removing unwanted objects from images.

  • Apple Music - Auto-generated playlists created by AI may be an option, and Apple will improve song transitions with an adjustable crossfade duration.

  • Notes - Notes will support recording voice memos directly in the app, with a transcript available. Mathematical notation will be improved so more kinds of equations can be added to notes, and the app will also provide AI-generated summaries of key points in notes and audio recordings.

  • Voice Memos - As with the Notes app, the Voice Memos app will be able to provide transcripts and summaries of content that is recorded.

  • Calendar - The Calendar app is expected to get Reminders integration, allowing reminders to be viewed directly in the Calendar app.

  • Calculator - Apple will bring the Calculator app to the iPad with iPadOS 18.

  • iWork - Apple's iWork apps will include new AI features. Keynote will have an option for automatically generating slides, and Pages will get a feature for generating text.

  • Shortcuts - Shortcuts will better integrate with ‌Siri‌, allowing for the automation of complex tasks with less effort.

  • Health - The Health app will get improved blood pressure data management ahead of when Apple Watch models gain hypertension detection, along with more tailored data, such as improved cycle tracking if a person is pregnant. Apple also plans to add a new hearing test feature linked to the AirPods.

  • Settings - Apple plans to streamline the Settings app, adding a reorganized UI with a cleaner layout to make it easier to navigate. Search in the Settings app is also set to improve.


Home Screen and Control Center


‌iOS 18‌ isn't going to get a total design overhaul, but the Home Screen, Control Center, and some in-app elements will be refreshed.



Apple will introduce a more customizable ‌Home Screen‌, with app icons that can be arranged in new ways. Apple plans to stick to an invisible grid, but blank spaces, rows, and columns will be able to be placed between app icons for organizational options not currently available.

Users will be able to change the colors of app icons in ‌iOS 18‌, with icon color no longer restricted to the colors that developers choose.


Apple has tested a customizable Control Center layout for ‌iOS 18‌, and if adopted, it will feature a drag-and-drop interface that lets some of the controls be reorganized. Apple is also planning to add a new Apple Music widget and improved controls for HomeKit products.

Apps overall could get a more visionOS-inspired design refresh, with more of a focus on translucency for buttons and other UI elements.

Passwords


‌iOS 18‌, iPadOS 18, and ‌macOS 15‌ will include a standalone Passwords app that essentially offers all of the functionality that's currently available in the Passwords section of Settings, such as one-time passcodes and password generation.

The app includes logins and passwords for websites, Wi-Fi network passwords, and Passkeys, a feature that uses Face ID or Touch ID to log into websites instead of a password. Data from the app can be automatically inserted into websites and apps when a user logs in, and it uses iCloud Keychain to sync across devices.

Apple plans to allow customers to import passwords from third-party apps, and there will be a way to access passwords on the Vision Pro and on PCs.

Messages


Multiple useful AI features are rumored to be coming to the Messages app. AI will be used to offer better suggested replies for quicker responses to incoming texts, and ‌Siri‌ will be able to summarize longer messages for you.


An auto-generated emoji feature will let users generate emojis based on the content of a message. The emoji will be created using AI, and will be all-new rather than pulled from the existing emoji catalog.

For Tapbacks, aka the reactions you can add to incoming messages, Apple is adding colorful new icons and support for emoji for the first time. Users will be able to press on a message and reply with an emoji character.

iMessages will support new text effects, allowing individual words to be animated in a message rather than the entire message as is possible now, and there will be a feature for scheduling a text message to be sent later.

Along with these features, Messages is going to get a major under-the-hood overhaul that will improve communications with Android users. Apple is set to adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS) as a standard to replace the current SMS/MMS standard. iMessage will be the method of communication for iPhone to ‌iPhone‌ conversations, but ‌RCS‌ will make it so "green bubbles" don't ruin chats.

‌RCS‌ supports higher resolution photos and videos, larger file sizes and file sharing, audio messages, cross-platform emoji reactions, real-time typing indicators, improved group chats, and read receipts. All of these features will be available in iPhone-to-Android text messaging threads.

With ‌RCS‌, messages can be sent over cellular or Wi-Fi, and there is no cost to send an ‌RCS‌ message over Wi-Fi. That will be an improvement over SMS, which only works over cellular connections.

Notifications


With ‌iOS 18‌, Apple plans to add smarter recaps that will summarize the notifications that you've missed while in a Focus mode. The feature will make it easier to catch up with and skip over notifications that are not useful.

Accessibility


Apple already announced several new accessibility features that are coming to ‌iOS 18‌.

Vehicle Motion Cues is meant to cut down on motion sickness when looking at an ‌iPhone‌ in a moving vehicle as the passenger. The feature adds animated dots on the edge of the display that indicate real-time changes in motion, cutting down on the sensory conflict between what a person sees and what they feel, which can be an issue in a moving vehicle.


Eye Tracking lets users navigate the ‌iPhone‌ with only their eyes. It uses AI and the front-facing camera to determine where a user is looking, and it can be used to activate buttons, swipes, and other gestures.


Music Haptics will let the Taptic Engine play taps, textures, and refined vibrations that correspond to the audio of the music. It works across millions of songs in ‌Apple Music‌.

Hearing Aid Mode


With ‌iOS 18‌, the AirPods Pro 2 could gain a hearing aid mode. Apple can't market the ‌AirPods Pro‌ as offering hearing help for those who are hearing impaired, but the FDA does allow for over-the-counter hearing aids designed for non-hearing impaired customers.

Compatibility


‌iOS 18‌ is expected to run on all iPhones that are capable of running iOS 17. Some on-device AI features might be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro models and later, however.

We have more on the features that Apple will add to ‌iOS 18‌ in our dedicated iOS 18 roundup.

macOS 15


‌macOS 15‌ will get many of the same AI features that are coming to ‌iOS 18‌, given the feature parity that Apple introduces across its devices. The new additions in apps like Messages, Mail, Photos, Notes, Calendar, Calculator, and ‌Apple Music‌ will also be introduced on the Mac, and the ‌Siri‌ features will be in ‌macOS 15‌ eventually as well.


We've heard a limited amount about Mac-specific features, but the Calculator is expected to get an overhaul inspired by the ‌iPhone‌ calculator app with rounded buttons and an enhanced unit conversion system, and System Settings will be reorganized in a way that puts the most used features at the top of the app.

Macs, iPhones, and iPads are all set to get new wallpaper packs, and on the Mac, the wallpapers will reference "old school icons and slogans," and Xcode will include an AI coding feature similar to GitHub's Copilot tool.

Apple is expected to pick another California landmark name for ‌macOS 15‌. Of the names that Apple has trademarked over the past decade, those yet to be used include Redwood, Grizzly, Sequoia, Mammoth, Pacific, Rincon, Farallon, Miramar, Condor, Diablo, and Shasta.

More on what's coming in ‌macOS 15‌ can be found in our macOS 15 roundup.

watchOS 11


The improvements that Apple plans to make to ‌Siri‌ on ‌iPhone‌ will also trickle down to the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is expected to get a version of ‌Siri‌ that is optimized for on-the-go tasks, resulting in a personal assistant that is able to do more from the wrist.



The ‌Siri‌ interface will "uniquely format responses depending on the type of query," according to Bloomberg's ‌Mark Gurman‌. Apple also plans to introduce changes to some apps, such as Fitness.

tvOS 18


AI ‌Siri‌ features will be cross platform, so we can expect some new ‌Siri‌ functionality on the Apple TV eventually. We haven't heard specific rumors about any of the features that are coming to tvOS 18, and tvOS updates are often much more minor in scale than other operating system updates.


visionOS 2


‌visionOS‌ 2 will introduce dedicated Vision Pro versions of Apple apps that did not make it into the first version of the software, such as Home, Apple News, Reminders, Voice Memos, and Calendars. Bloomberg's ‌Mark Gurman‌ says that Apple will also add other "missing features," without specific details.


Apple in May said that it will bring Live Captions to FaceTime in ‌visionOS‌, plus it will add an option for moving captions in Apple Immersive Video experiences.

Code found by MacRumors indicates that the Mindfulness app could get a respiration tracking feature, and the Apple Vision Pro may also gain support for the Apple Pencil Pro with ‌visionOS‌ 2.

How to Watch


Apple will live stream the WWDC keynote event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. If you're curious what time that is in your local time zone, we have a dedicated guide.


The keynote will be available on YouTube, on Apple's website, in the ‌Apple TV‌ app, and in the Apple Developer app.

For those who are unable to watch or who would prefer to follow along with a text version of what's happening, we'll provide live coverage on MacRumors.com and through the MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
Related Roundup: WWDC 2024

This article, "Everything We're Expecting to See at the WWDC 2024 Keynote" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Source: TechRadar

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