What to Anticipate at Apple WWDC 2024, including iOS 18, macOS 15, AI, and more?

By Shiwani Pradhan, Correspondent, Consultants Review Friday, 31 May 2024

Apple will soon take the stage to discuss the details of its upcoming significant operating system improvements, allowing developers time to prepare their apps for a fall-wide release. The Worldwide Developers Conference of the firm is coming up soon. At WWDC2024, Apple is expected to unveil a few of the key features of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, along with future plans for watchOS, macOS, and visionOS.

However, given the state of technology today, it is likely that Apple will soon follow its competitors and take a significant step into the field of generative AI. Given that they are the only two letters that investors appear to care about these days, it may be the main topic of the speech.

We've heard various fragments of information on what WWDC may include because the rumors about Apple don't stop spinning. Although it doesn't appear probable that any significant hardware announcements will be made at the event, you can never be sure until Tim Cook concludes. After all, the most recent WWDC was when the Apple Vision Pro made its debut.

Nevertheless, the following is what to anticipate from Apple's WWDC 2024 keynote:

WWDC 2024 is Scheduled for When?

WWDC 2024 takes place from June 10 to June 14. While there will be a number of events over the week, on June 10 at 1 PM ET, Apple's keynote is expected to garner the most interest. The presentation will be available for viewing on apple.com, Apple TV, the Apple Developer app, and Apple's YouTube channel.

Apple often announces many of the primary features of the upcoming major releases of its flagship operating systems, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and most likely visionOS, at the keynote. Though we anticipate that this time around, there won't be as much of a worry, Apple has historically used the WWDC keynote to reveal new hardware.

iPadOS 18 / iOS 18

As usual, a wide range of iOS and iPadOS apps will soon get additional functionality. The most noteworthy is perhaps the anticipated addition of RCS to Messages.

Compared to the three-decade-old SMS, GMSA's Rich Communications Service (RCS) is a more sophisticated messaging system. Because RCS provides end-to-end encryption, it is more secure than traditional SMS. Better media sharing is possible because to its high-resolution photo, video, and audio files. Group conversations may be conducted well using RCS, and Wi-Fi messaging is also supported.

However, Apple resisted adding RCS to its platform for years, despite Google's persistent requests that it do so, in order to maintain iMessage more of a walled garden. Naturally, many of the functions of RCS are also included in iMessage. When someone requested better Android messaging compatibility so they could share films with their mother, Apple CEO Tim Cook once advised them to "buy your mom an iPhone."

In the end, Apple softened its position on RCS last year, presumably in order to comply with stringent EU rules. It makes reasonable that this functionality will launch in iOS 18 since the business stated that RCS support would be enabled in 2024. This implies that in the near future, texting across iOS and Android devices should be much better (even though texts from Android devices will still show up on an iPhone as green bubbles). Google, however, has just begun enabling Android users to amend RCS messages within a 15-minute timeframe after they are sent.

Gurman said that unique emoji production based on text message content is probably something Apple would enable. It appears that you won't have to keep apps confined to a strict grid layout and that you'll also be able to alter the colors of the app icons on your home screen.

An auto-generated playlist option for Apple Music might come after Spotify released a tool powered by OpenAI in 2023. It is rumored that Apple Maps will soon include custom routes and topographic maps, which made their debut on the Apple Watch last year. Along with the possibility to show mathematical notation and a voice recording feature that would work well with the anticipated transcription feature, Notes is also tipped to get an update from Apple.

It's said that certain updates are coming to other essential programs, such generative AI features in productivity apps like Pages and Keynote. Although no specifics have emerged as of yet, it is anticipated that others like Mail, Fitness, and Health will also receive new features.

macOS 15

Let's venture a wild guess right now and say that Apple plans to christen the upcoming macOS version after a significant California locale. That would be the least surprising thing Apple could possibly do during the keynote address, really.

It is anticipated that many of the iOS app updates—including those related to Apple Music, Notes, and productivity—will be duplicated in macOS 15. Apple is reportedly rearranging the System Settings app according to the relative relevance and priority of the different categories. As a result, it is anticipated that the General tab will move up in the hierarchy while Sound and Notifications would move down.

In other news, the present colorful version of Siri's menu bar symbol may be replaced with a new flat monochrome design. Some much-needed accessibility enhancements could also be included, such the Shortcuts feature that enables users to initiate a certain setting or function with a personalized spoken word.

AI

The term "AI" has become a major industry buzzword over the past two years, despite Apple's general reluctance to use it too frequently during its events. Our lives are being impacted by generative AI more and more, and Apple is ready to take a piece of that action.

It's thought that Apple does not yet have a primetime-ready AI chatbot. The business apparently struck an agreement with OpenAI to incorporate ChatGPT into iOS 18 while it still works on it. Apple is still eager in working with Google to have that company's Gemini AI assistant available on iPhones, but that may not happen until later, according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg. Meanwhile, an update to Siri is anticipated for all compatible devices utilizing Apple's massive language models.

According to reports, Apple's approach to generative AI in both iOS 18 and macOS 15 is practical and focused on assisting normal people rather than, instance, enabling them to swiftly write lengthy text passages that they can then sell as ebooks for a quick profit. Rather, you will likely see GAI capabilities in core apps such as recommended answers for emails and messages, TL;DR text summaries, voice memo transcriptions (finally!), and enhanced photo touchup tools.

The majority of the AI processing is anticipated to be handled by Apple on-device, with the balance being transmitted to data centers. This begs the issue of how Apple will uphold one of the company's basic beliefs: customer privacy. It must describe how it safeguards user data while it travels from the device to a data center.

Apple Vision Pro

Regarding hardware, one thing we anticipate is Apple revealing the next destination for the Vision Pro. The headgear has only been accessible in the US up to this point. It is likely to alter in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. According to a number of publications, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and the UK will be included in the rollout's next phase. Though few leaks of visionOS 2 have surfaced so far, it's unclear what type of changes the mixed reality operating system will receive.

Calculator

This eagerly awaited upgrade merits its own subsection. Yes, a significant redesign of the Calculator app for Mac and iPhone is reportedly in the works. Apart from the sarcasm, the redesign seems like it will be helpful, with better unit conversions, interaction with the Notes app, and a sidebar with a list of recent activities. It's also rumored that the app will launch for iPadOS.

Apple Devices

With the introduction of the Vision Pro, the 15-inch MacBook Air, the M2 Ultra-powered Mac Pro, and the Mac Studio, last year's WWDC was a hardware extravaganza. However, we don't anticipate seeing much from Apple in the hardware arena this time around.

The business just updated its portfolio of iPads, and considering the October improvements to the MacBook Pro and iMac and the March refresh to the MacBook Air, it's perhaps a bit early for any new laptops. Of course, the next Apple Watches and iPhones won't be revealed until September. Apple may, however, seize the chance to integrate its M3 or perhaps M4 CPUs into its other desktop systems, which are still stuck with M2 technology.

Some updated peripherals and other devices were shown. It's possible that Apple may introduce a USB-C charging version of the AirPods Max at some point in the future.

Gurman stated back in January 2023 that a new Apple TV box will be available in the first half of 2024. There's still a little chance that will transpire. It's possible that Apple will also include a camera in the Apple TV. The largest screen in your house may thus be used for FaceTime talks without the need to utilize an iPhone or iPad.

All other Information

Regarding watchOS upgrades, the rumor mill has been silent as well. Apple's wearable operating system will undoubtedly see some significant improvements, but following the significant redesign last year, watchOS may just see a small update.

Though tvOS seldom receives much attention during an Apple presentation, we'll undoubtedly hear about an upgrade during WWDC. The scoop may not be available until the Platforms State of the Union event at 4 PM ET. This also applies to HomePod and CarPlay.

Remember that nothing is set in stone until speakers like Craig Federighi, Tim Cook, and others take the WWDC keynote stage and talk about what's coming up for Apple's goods and services. But we do anticipate hearing about many of the aforementioned upgrades and announcements, based on the reporting of many writers covering Apple who have a solid reputation for getting things right.

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