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Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2024: iOS 18, AI, and more

Apple logo for WWDC 2024.
Apple

It’s that time of year once again! It’s time for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference — also known as WWDC. WWDC is home to some of Apple’s most important announcements of the year, typically revolving around new software updates for its devices.

WWDC 2024 is no different. This year’s show is arguably one of the biggest and most important for Apple in years. With iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and more updates, there’s a lot to take in. Lucky for you, we’re rounding up all the announcements here.

Here’s everything Apple has announced (so far) at WWDC 2024.

visionOS 2

Apple Vision Pro on person.
Apple

For Vision Pro, Apple is introducing visionOS 2. The new update offers improvements to Photos. With machine learning, you can turn your old photos into spatial photos. This means that you can take existing photos from your photo library and instantly transform them. With just a tap, your memories are brought to life with natural-looking depth and dimension.

The Photos app itself is also changing to make the organization better.

There is also a SharePlay change coming. When you’re on a FaceTime call, each person can share and interact with spatial photos, videos, and panoramas at a life-size scale if everyone is using Apple Vision Pro.

There are also new ways coming to control your Vision Pro. Additionally, spatial videos will soon be editable in Final Cut Pro and the new Vimeo app.

In visionOS 2, Apple has added a new gesture that allows you to access the Home view. From there, you can see the date and time, control the volume, and check the battery level. You can also open the Control Center to quickly access frequently used features such as notifications, Mac Virtual Display, and more.

New frameworks and APIs for developers are also part of the visionOS 2 update.

iOS 18

Screenshots of new features in iOS 18.
Apple

Your iPhone Home Screen is getting a nice update in iOS 18. You can now place app icons anywhere on your display. The dark mode also changes the icon’s color and shade. Better still, you can tint apps with different colors to suit your mood.

The Control Center has been redesigned to include new groups of controls, which can be accessed with a single swipe down on the Home Screen. It also features a new Controls gallery for customizable and accessible content. Additionally, there’s a new Control Center API available for developers.

iOS 18 will include privacy updates. Apps are now lockable by Face ID with feature called “Lock an App.” It also works with Passcode and Touch ID. This makes it harder for others to see sensitive information.

The Messages app is getting several new features. These include enhanced Tapbacks, which allow you to use any emoji or stickers. You can now also schedule your messages to be sent at a later time. Additionally, the app will now support Underline and Bold formatting in text messages, and you can further customize your messages with Text Effects.

Photos app on iOS 18.
Apple

Messages via satellite are also coming, so you are never out of touch with your most influential people. These are end-to-end encrypted.

Mail is now offering the ability to group messages by category. These categories sort mail and create a digest for each one. For example, all your flight information can be in the same area. You can recharacterize messages on the fly.

The Maps app will now include new topographic maps and hiking and walking routes you can download to your device for offline use. In addition, Wallet will introduce Tap to Cash, a private method for sending and receiving money. Event tickets will also have new features, and the Journal app will receive enhancements and more advanced search capabilities.

Also, Photos will see a nice update that improves how your favorite images and videos are organized. It’s called the “biggest redesign ever.”

Collections automatically organize your library by topics like Recent Days, Trips, and People & Pets. And Pinned Collections gives you lightning-fast access to the collections or albums most important to you.

Meanwhile, a new Carousel is launching to showcase your best content in a beautiful, poster-like view. It displays a fresh set of photos each day for a fun surprise.

Audio and Home

Apple TV features coming with tvOS 18.
Apple

Apple next discussed updates to its Audio and Home features. Each elevates your entertainment features.

AirPods can now communicate with Siri without your voice. You can shake your head, for example, to communicate with the voice assistant. It’s perfect for those times you can’t be talking for others to hear. Voice isolation is also improving call quality when AirPods are used. A game setting is also being made available for personalized spatial audio.

On Apple TV, new features include the ability to see details about the person on the screen when watching a TV show or film. You can even identify the music that’s playing. This information will also show up on the iPhone in the Remote app.

Apple TV enhancements in tvOS 18.
Apple

On Apple TV, new features allow you to view details about the person on the screen while watching a TV show or movie. You can even identify the music being played. This information will also be displayed on the iPhone in the Remote app. Additionally, voice dialog is being refined in tvOS 18.

Apple TV will also support the 21:9 format for projectors. Screen savers will be easier to find and will include a new portrait gallery. Furthermore, a Snoopy screen saver is being added. Voice dialog is also being tweaked in tvOS 18.

watchOS 11

watchOS 11 features.
Apple

The watchOS 11 update for Apple Watch adds new ways to work out with Training Load, which helps you see how the intensity of your workouts may impact your body over time. So you can make informed decisions about how and when to adjust your workouts — especially when you’re training for a big event. You can also see your overnight vitals for additional insights. Review your training load in the Activity app.

You can make changes to your Activity rings now. For example, on days you would rather not work out, you can adjust a setting and still not lose your rings.

There’s also a new Vitals app coming. It will show the critical health metrics on your wrist at a glance. Specifically, when things change, you’ll know.

Apple Watch intensity tracker.
Apple

Pregnancy enhancements are also being introduced to Health on Apple Watch. When you input a pregnancy in the Health app on your iPhone or iPad, Cycle Tracking will show your gestational age and monitor your pregnancy across all your health charts.

Interactions are improving with watchOS 11, making it easier to perform tasks without your phone.

Under the Smart Stack, widgets will change automatically based on time, location, and more.

The Photos watch face is also changing. You can customize it to find the “perfect” photo using machine learning. It can search thousands of photos in your library, intelligently analyze them, and select the best compositions, framing, and image quality for your watch. This enables you to give special treatment to the people, places, or things you love.

iPadOS 18

iPadOS 18 features.
Apple

The new software update for iPad brings features shown in iOS 18, plus other goodies. First, there’s a new floating tab bar that you can customize. It’s supposed to make you able to stay more focused on apps.

An updated Document Browser is also coming to the iPad for Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Swift Playgrounds, making it quicker for you to return to your most recent documents.

Animations throughout are improving.

SharePlay now includes drawing capabilities to demonstrate tasks and allows you to control someone else’s iPad from your own. Freeform also introduces scenes.

Calculator app on iPad in iPadOS 18.
Apple

As rumored, an official Calculator is coming to the iPad. When paired with an Apple Pencil, it unlocks a special feature called Math Notes designed to make it easier for people to make calculations.

Finally, Smart Scripts is coming to Notes. This will make handwriting your notes more accessible and transparent — improving your handwriting.

macOS 15 Sequoia

macOS 15 features.
Apple

The features of iPadOS 18 and iOS 18 are coming to the new macOS version. Other features include a massive update to Continuity called iPhone Mirroring. With it, you can see what is on your iPhone without lifting a finger. This looks incredible.

iPhone notifications are also coming to Mac. You can even interact with them — from your computer to your iPhone. While you’re doing this, your iPhone display is locked or showing Standby, depending on your settings.

Continuity changes in macOS 15.
Apple

The macOS update is bringing changes to how you organize your windows. You can drag windows to the edge of your screen to effortlessly arrange them into side-by-side tiles on your desktop or place them in corners to keep even more apps in view.

The video conferencing experience on Mac is getting better with the addition of a presenter preview tool. This feature allows you to preview what you’re going to share during a video call before making it visible to everyone. Additionally, you can personalize your background using pre-installed options or your photos.

Long-rumored, Apple is also making Keychain its very own app. Yes, there’s finally a native password app that you can edit and access across all your Apple devices.

In the upcoming macOS update, Safari will introduce new and improved features. These include discovery tools called Highlights, which provide relevant information as you browse. For example, if you’re looking at a hotel, it might show you a link to an artist’s music or information on that hotel. Additionally, article summaries will also be displayed.

Game changes in macOS include the Game Porting Toolkit 2, which features improved capabilities and debugging tools. This update will make it easier to bring games to all Mac platforms. The upcoming Assassin’s Creed Shadows was shown running on Mac.

AI

Apple Intelligence features.
Apple

As expected, Apple has introduced new AI features across all its products, emphasizing the importance of robust, intuitive, and integrated AI experiences while prioritizing privacy. The latest AI features, “Apple Intelligence,” are deeply integrated into Apple’s software, focusing on capabilities, architecture, and user experiences.

In addition to deep, natural language understanding, new writing tools for proofing and image capabilities for visual expression are on the way. These capabilities allow users to create images that match their moods or express emotions.

Apple is also working on AI-based actions that aim to make tasks more efficient, with a strong focus on personal context and privacy. The company emphasizes that its AI architecture is built into its devices and not on servers, ensuring data privacy and security. Apple Intelligence will leverage data across devices to provide context while prioritizing user privacy. Private Cloud Compute allows Apple Intelligence to utilize external information when necessary without storing user data.

Apple Intelligence devices.
Apple

Apple illustrated how Apple Intelligence will enhance user interaction with Siri and other devices, showcasing improvements in Siri’s natural language understanding and personalization. The demonstrations also highlighted AI’s role in assisting with writing tasks, such as providing smart replies in the Mail app and utilizing notifications to present summarized and prioritized alerts.

Furthermore, Apple showcased new ways for users to express themselves, including the introduction of Genmoji, a tool to create personalized emoji, and an image playground feature for creating unique images with AI. Apple also mentioned integrating ChatGPT and other models to enhance user experience, indicating a robust future for Apple Intelligence.

What wasn’t announced

This year’s WWDC keynote showcased many exciting software features, but there were no announcements about new hardware products. In contrast, last year the company unveiled the 15-inch MacBook Air, the next-generation Mac Studio, an upgraded Mac Pro, and the Apple Vision Pro.

The announcements made during the keynote will first be available on developer betas, followed by the first public betas later this summer. The general public will have access to the new tools this fall. However, some of the new features are not expected to be available until later in 2024.

Editors' Recommendations

Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
The 5 biggest things missing from WWDC 2024
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