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Apple Unveils a New Era of Personalized AI in WWDC Bonanza: Everything You Need to Know

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Ashworth Boone

Highlights from Apple's WWDC Event

At its yearly developer conference, Apple usually unveils significant software upgrades and launches new hardware. However, this time around, Apple shifted focus from introducing new gadgets, dedicating ample space to what was widely anticipated to be the highlight of WWDC: the introduction of advanced AI capabilities to iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.

Certainly, Apple is entering the artificial intelligence scene behind schedule, which has led it to seek collaboration with a veteran AI firm to secure its place in the ongoing competition. There were speculations in April about Apple potentially collaborating with Google to integrate its Gemini AI into iPhones, however, that collaboration appears to have fallen through. Now, Apple has chosen to collaborate with OpenAI for its initial major AI upgrades.

Here's a summary of all the announcements from Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The majority of these new features are expected to roll out during the autumn, coinciding with Apple's usual schedule for updating the operating systems across its various devices.

"AI Forever

Craig Federighi, the chief of software engineering at Apple, introduces Apple Intelligence."

In the realm of Apple, AI is not an acronym for artificial intelligence. Instead, it signifies Apple Intelligence.

Through a collection of previously recorded demonstrations, Apple presented a plan for the way individuals will engage with these innovative AI functionalities, emphasizing the customization of activities and highlighting the value of AI-supported features. Apple claims that its AI can deliver an exceptionally tailored experience for iPhone users by aggregating various data it has gathered on how you interact with your device.

Apple's artificial intelligence technology offers support in crafting emails, compiling reports, and drafting personal texts. Furthermore, this AI is capable of creating visuals within Messages, drawing on the ongoing conversation's context for inspiration. For instance, if you're discussing organizing a party on a rooftop with friends, the AI can produce a visual representation of how such a gathering might appear. It's even sophisticated enough to create AI-generated images of the individuals you're messaging. This means if you're in a conversation with your mother, the AI can access any photographs you've tagged with her likeness and utilize them to craft a digital illustration of her. (Though, if your mother is anything like mine, she might not be too fond of this feature.)

Apple Intelligence is equipped with sophisticated writing features capable of crafting entire emails or messages, as well as analyzing your written content to adjust the tone of a professional email, preventing any potential regrets from poorly chosen words.

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AI technologies are set to introduce summarization capabilities, enabling users to grasp the main points of a web article quickly or stay updated on group chat discussions after being away. This feature of condensing information is not new and has been implemented by other major AI companies. However, Google's AI summaries have recently stirred controversy. Critics argue that its summaries of search results can be inaccurate or entirely incorrect, and they also accuse the technology of repurposing content without proper attribution to the original authors.

Apple emphasized that a significant number of these AI features operate directly on the device, ensuring user privacy. Additionally, only when required, it might leverage encrypted cloud-based AI processing to fulfill your demands.

Integration of ChatGPT.

Furthermore, iOS is set to receive fresh features thanks to a collaboration between Apple and OpenAI. A highlight of this partnership is the integration of ChatGPT, which utilizes GPT-4o technology, according to Apple, to handle certain inquiries and generate text responses through Siri. OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman, was seen on Apple's premises recently, although he was not featured in Apple's promotional material. Discover more about this exciting alliance in Will Knight's article in WIRED.

Apple Intelligence necessitates the use of phones equipped with the A17 processor or devices that have a minimum of an M1 chip. Consequently, it is compatible with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, the upcoming iPhone models slated for release this autumn, as well as any iPad or Mac that possesses an M1 chip or newer.

Introducing the Latest Siri

Meet the Updated Siri.

Siri, the digital assistant from Apple that hasn't been widely favored, is undergoing an AI-enhancement. According to Apple, Siri has become more intelligent, with improved capabilities in understanding user intention and processing complex data. Users can now pose multiple consecutive questions, and Siri is adept enough to recognize the connection between them, showcasing what's referred to as contextual awareness in the realm of artificial intelligence.

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Now capable of performing a wider range of activities, it has become more useful than it once was during the time when setting alarms was its primary function. The enhanced Siri functionality will be integrated into Apple's main applications, and developers will have the opportunity to incorporate the advanced features of Siri into their applications.

You have the option to input commands into the updated Siri, allowing you to, for instance, schedule an alarm for late in the evening while avoiding disturbing someone asleep beside you. (Note: This is a feature that Google Assistant has offered for some time.)

At last, Siri has undergone a visual makeover, featuring a fresh logo reminiscent of the infinity symbol, along with a novel status alert that creates a vibrant ring encircling the entirety of your phone's display while the assistant processes your command or formulates a reply.

Organize Your Images

Introducing the revamped Photos application in the upcoming iOS 18.

The Photos application is set to receive new editing capabilities, enabling users to perform advanced modifications to their current photos and eliminate unnecessary individuals or items within the picture. (Such features have been previously available in Pixel and Samsung smartphones.)

Tidy the shoreline.

Apple is enhancing its photo sorting capabilities as well. The introduction of new Apple Intelligence functionalities will improve its ability to identify individuals in your contacts, grouping them to simplify photo searches. Additionally, Apple Intelligence allows for the use of more intuitive search queries, such as “pictures of Gina skateboarding on the park bench.”

Introducing Genmoji

See Genmoji at work.

Apple is harnessing its advanced artificial intelligence technology to produce personalized emoji instantly. The latest feature, dubbed Genmoji, allows users to input descriptions to conjure up emoji designs that align with the sentiment of their text. Users have the flexibility to blend traditional emoji or conjure up entirely new ones tailored to their specific desires. Fancy an eggplant atop a cheeseburger? That's likely within reach.

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By [Your Name]

Sure, it goes by the name Genmoji. Feel free to chuckle at that!

Enhanced Personalization for iOS

Customize your home screen to match your style.

The upcoming iOS update set for release this autumn introduces several non-AI related advancements, as highlighted during the WWDC. The central focus of this update is on "enhanced customizability," allowing users to more effectively organize their apps, adjust their placement on the screen according to personal preference, and manage app accessibility. This update empowers users to personalize their app icons, including altering their colors and positioning them anywhere on the iOS grid. Additionally, there's a new feature for concealing apps within a secure folder that's only accessible via Face ID, providing a private space for sensitive applications like X and OnlyFans, safeguarding them from unauthorized access.

Fresh reaction options.

iOS 18 will introduce satellite messaging capabilities.

Messages has received some beneficial enhancements. Notably, it now includes a feature for scheduling messages, which surprisingly was not available on Apple devices previously. Additionally, users can now format their text, incorporate entertaining text animations, and respond to messages using emoji reactions.

Introducing Sequoia

Meet macOS Sequoia, showcased across three distinct Mac models.

Apple has unveiled macOS Sequoia as the latest operating system for Mac computers. A notable feature showcased is iPhone Mirroring, enabling users to synchronize their iPhone with their Mac, allowing them to manage almost all aspects of their phone directly from their Mac's display. This includes making phone calls, using applications, and navigating the phone's main screen, all while the phone is securely locked.

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The Safari browser is set to receive a new update in Sequoia. A notable addition is the Highlights feature, designed to condense the most relevant data found on websites or search outcomes. Whether it's movies or music you're after, Highlights swiftly offers a sneak peek of your desired content. Moreover, if you're looking up a restaurant, this feature quickly delivers directions, along with immediate access to menus and critiques, among other conveniences.

Display Replication for

Enhanced assistance is on the way for both gaming titles and their creators, featuring the forthcoming release of the second iteration of Apple's Game Porting Toolkit, alongside new improvements in Xcode. These advancements enable developers to create games compatible with all of Apple's devices and operating systems.

The iPad Enhances Handwriting

A fresh addition to iPadOS transforms your handwritten notes into a neat font that mimics your unique writing style, allowing you to insert text that appears to be handcrafted by you.

Apple's iPad is set to receive several user interface enhancements designed to streamline the user experience. Among these updates is a new floating tab bar, positioned at the top of certain applications to minimize interference with on-screen activities, along with improved customization features for the Control Center.

Graphing calculators.

The feature generating the most excitement is Apple's decision to introduce its Calculator app to the iPad at last. An updated version of this calculator app does not just perform calculations; it includes an innovative feature named Math Notes. This addition allows users to use the Apple Pencil (or even their finger) to graphically solve mathematical equations. It's likely to become an invaluable resource for students aiming to find shortcuts in their math assignments.

Key Update

The watchOS operating system is set to introduce fresh features for monitoring menstrual cycles and pregnancy.

The Apple Watch is set to receive an upgrade that introduces advanced health-monitoring capabilities, similar to the ones available on specialized sports watches, such as those produced by Garmin.

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A fresh Training Load application evaluates the intensity of your physical activity during exercise sessions, monitoring both the length of your workouts and the evolution of your exertion levels over time. Meanwhile, the newly introduced Vitals app continuously observes your health metrics daily and could potentially indicate if your alcohol consumption has been excessive.

What's the Code?

Introducing the latest Passwords application.

In the realm of cybersecurity, Apple is developing a proprietary password management application that will be accessible across its operating systems. Similar to other password management tools, this app enables users to create robust passwords for various accounts. It organizes all user credentials by maintaining a record of usernames, passwords, and authentication codes, and it alerts users to possible password exposures and security incidents. Additionally, this service is extended to Windows users through the iCloud for Windows application.

Introducing Tap and Go

Apple's financial application has unveiled an upgrade that simplifies money transfers significantly. By activating the Tap to Cash option, users can commence a payment process and simply bring two iPhones close to each other to move funds from one party to the other. This innovation promises to streamline the process of settling debts among friends after enjoying a night out. (Looks like Venmo's reign is being challenged.)

Enhanced AirPods Feature

Gesture controls introduced to AirPods.

Apple is updating its in-ear headphones with innovative gesture controls, enabling users to accept a phone call with a simple nod or reject it by shaking their head. Additionally, these headphones are being enhanced with superior noise isolation and cancellation features, making it easier for users to have clear conversations, even in environments as loud as jackhammer events.

Apple TV+ Enhancements

Apple plans to introduce several new software capabilities to its streaming TV service. This includes accessibility improvements such as enhanced subtitles that display the moment you mute the TV during dialogue or emerge if you replay a section.

Additionally, a fresh feature called "In Sights" emerges whenever you hit the pause button during your viewing. This feature displays the identities and images of the actors currently on screen, along with the roles they're embodying. Moreover, it has the capability to recognize any songs being played in the background. (This is something Amazon Prime Video offers as well, with a similar tool known as X-Ray.)

Embracing Tomorrow

In February, Apple unveiled its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, and swiftly followed up with a significant update to the headset's operating system. Initially, the Vision Pro faced criticism from reviewers, prompting a need for improvements to its visionOS to continue advancing the dialogue.

The most significant upgrade for the VisionPro will involve enhancements to Spatial Photos, introducing a capability that transforms standard images into Spatial photos by adding stereoscopic depth and motion to them.

Photographic Spaces

Apple is advancing its spatial video capabilities through collaborations with firms such as Vimeo. Vimeo has introduced a player as a new application on the VisionPro. However, YouTube remains unavailable on the platform. Apple notes that the Vision Pro is capable of operating 1.5 million iPhone apps that are compatible with the device.

Apple is enhancing visionOS with improved hand gesture detection and introducing a feature named Train Support, designed to optimize the Vision Pro's performance for users when they are on train journeys.

Over the next few months, Apple announces plans to expand the availability of Vision Pro to additional countries, including China, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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