WWDC 2024: An Arch Review

Here's the best of the best from the announcements at Apple's WWDC 2024.

Published by Hamish Kerry

Apple's WWDC 2024 was a whirlwind of exciting announcements and innovative updates. Held in Cupertino, California, this year's Worldwide Developers Conference—affectionately called "Dub Dub" by regulars—showcased Apple's continued push into artificial intelligence, new software features across its product lineup, and the introduction of some game-changing apps. Here’s a quick roundup of the most notable highlights.

Apple Intelligence: A New Era of AI

Apple Intelligence
Via Apple

The headline announcement was Apple Intelligence, the company’s ambitious new AI initiative. Apple Intelligence promises to bring personalised, privacy-centric AI capabilities across iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Apple’s Craig Federighi emphasised that privacy remains a core focus, with most AI processing happening on-device or via Apple’s secure cloud infrastructure.

Key Features of Apple Intelligence:

  • Context-driven Notifications: Recognizes and prioritises important notifications based on your activity and context.

  • Writing Enhancements: Offers proofreading, style improvements, and smart replies across apps.

  • Generative Photos: AI-generated images in styles like Sketch, Illustration, and Animation.

  • Cross-application Tasking: Execute tasks across apps based on user commands.

  • Personal Context Integration: Understands and responds to queries with a deep understanding of your device’s data.

  • Siri Gets Smarter with ChatGPT

  • In a major update, Siri now integrates with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This means Siri can tap into external AI models to provide more sophisticated responses and perform complex tasks, like creating bedtime stories complete with images. Importantly, this integration respects user privacy, with no logging of personal requests.

macOS Sequoia: Enhanced and Refined

Apple introduced macOS Sequoia, packed with new features and enhancements. Safari now boasts AI-powered highlights and summaries, while the new Game Porting Toolkit 2 improves Windows compatibility and debugging for game developers.

Noteworthy Features in macOS Sequoia:

  • Safari Highlights and Summaries: AI detects and highlights interesting content on webpages.

  • iPhone Mirroring: Control your iPhone directly from your Mac.

  • Unified Notification Centre: iPhone notifications appear on macOS.

  • Video Call Enhancements: Improved background features and screen isolation.

  • iOS 18: Personalization and Power

  • iOS 18 is all about giving users more control and customization options. The new update includes a redesigned Control Center, more ways to personalise the home screen, and a revamped Photos app with advanced search and filtering capabilities.

Highlights of iOS 18:

Via Apple

  • Customisable Home Screen: Arrange apps around your background photo, change colours, and adjust app darkness.

  • Control Center Redesign: Easier grouping of controls and new API for developers.

  • Messages Enhancements: New effects, emoji reactions, and satellite messaging.

  • Improved Gaming Support: Minimised background activity and better wireless controller integration.

  • iPadOS 18: Productivity Boosts

  • iPadOS 18 introduces interface improvements, a long-awaited native Calculator app, and significant updates to the Notes app. Users can now enjoy a floating tab bar and automatic sidebars, making multitasking on the iPad more intuitive.

Top iPadOS 18 Features:

Via Apple

  • Floating Tab Bar: Maximises screen usage.

  • Math Notes in Calculator: Write with Apple Pencil to solve problems directly.

  • Smart Script in Notes: Automatically cleans up handwriting and integrates typed text seamlessly.

  • watchOS 11: Health and Personalization

  • The new watchOS 11 brings enhanced health tracking and personalised features. A new training mode tracks workout intensity and duration, while the Vitals app monitors heart rate, respiratory rate, and more.

Key Updates in watchOS 11:

  • Training Mode: Uses advanced algorithms to estimate effort ratings.

  • Customisable Summary Tab: Personalised health data view.

  • AI-Selected Watch Faces: AI identifies photos suitable for watch faces.

  • AirPods and tvOS Updates

Apple also announced exciting updates for AirPods and tvOS. AirPods can now use head motions to answer calls and isolate your voice in noisy environments. On tvOS, new features include Insight for additional content information and enhanced audio and subtitle timing.

Introducing Genmoji and Passwords App

Two standout introductions were the Genmoji and the new Passwords app. Genmoji allows users to create personalised emojis using AI, directly from the keyboard. The Passwords app, powered by iCloud Keychain, offers a secure and seamless way to manage passwords, competing directly with 1Password and LastPass.


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