WWDC 2024: What to expect

WWDC 2024: What to expect

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photo illustration, Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) logo is seen on a smartphone screen

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference is almost here and the anticipation is palpable. This is poised to be a pivotal event for the Cupertino-based tech giant as it’s expected to unveil plans for integrating generative artificial intelligence into iOS.

Unlike hardware events typically held in the fall, WWDC centers around Apple’s software ecosystem. However, past surprises like the Vision Pro reveal remind us to stay tuned for potential unexpected announcements.

Here’s what to expect:

AI Takes Center Stage

As AI continues to dominate tech industry headlines, Apple is expected to make substantial strides in this domain. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is collaborating with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into iOS 18. This partnership marks a significant step as Apple aims to compete with Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, who have made substantial advancements in AI.

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While Apple doesn’t yet have its own AI chatbot ready for release, discussions with Google to incorporate its Gemini AI assistant into iPhones are ongoing. Siri is also expected to receive significant upgrades, using Apple’s large language models to perform more specific tasks within apps, such as opening documents and sending emails. These Siri enhancements, however, are likely to be rolled out in early 2025.

For iOS 18, Apple is expected to introduce AI features that enhance user experience. According to Bloomberg, anticipated features include:

  • Voice memo transcriptions: AI-driven transcription for quick and easy voice memo handling.

  • Faster search: Enhanced search capabilities powered by AI.

  • Conversational Siri: Improvements to Siri to make interactions more natural and intuitive.

  • Smart Recap: AI summaries of news stories, documents, and notifications.

  • Custom Emojis: On-the-fly creation of emojis based on text content.

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RCS Messaging

Beyond AI, Apple may talk about its move to adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS). Apple is set to have RCS replace SMS — offering iMessage-like features such as typing indicators, high-resolution media sharing, and end-to-end encryption.

This shift will improve cross-platform messaging, especially between iPhone and Android devices, although it’s unclear if the green bubble issue might persist.

Adopting RCS is particularly timely as Apple faces an antitrust suit from the Department of Justice. The suit claims Apple undermines competition by not making iMessage available on Android. Highlighting RCS adoption at WWDC would demonstrate Apple’s efforts to address these concerns and bridge the messaging gap.

macOS 15 and hardware expectations

macOS 15 will mirror many iOS updates, including changes to Apple Music, Notes, and productivity apps. The Calculator app is also expected to receive a significant overhaul, featuring Notes integration and improved unit conversions.

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On the hardware front, significant announcements are not anticipated this year, following last year’s hardware-heavy WWDC. Processor advancements are a staple of WWDC, and this year will be no different. However, the introduction of M3 or M4 chips into desktop systems could be on the agenda.

The upcoming A18 chip for iPhone is expected to feature improved AI performance, aligning with the new M4 chips in the latest iPad Pro models.

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