Apple will soon announce its next major operating system updates, allowing developers to prepare their apps for a broad rollout this fall. The company’s Worldwide Developers Conference is just around the corner. At WWDC 2024, Apple will reveal some of the main features of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, along with watchOS, macOS, and visionOS updates.

Given the current tech climate, it seems likely that Apple will follow its rivals by making a significant leap into generative AI. This could be a major focus of the keynote, as those are the only two letters investors seem to care about hearing these days.

WWDC 2024 kicks off on June 10 and runs through June 14. Various events will take place throughout the week, but the spotlight will be on Apple’s keynote, scheduled for 1 PM ET on June 10.

As usual, you can tune in to Apple’s presentation online. While Apple previously limited its streams to its homepage and apps, its restrictions have fortunately loosened over the years. You can now watch the keynote on apple.com, the Apple Developer app, the Apple TV app, and Apple’s YouTube channel.

The keynote is where Apple tends to reveal many key features for the next major versions of its main operating systems: iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and most likely visionOS. While Apple has also used the WWDC keynote to unveil new hardware over the years, we expect that to be less of a focus this time.

Embracing AI

With a wave of AI releases from companies like OpenAI, Microsoft, Samsung, and Google, Apple undoubtedly has ground to cover. That’s why AI is expected to take center stage at this year’s WWDC.

We anticipate the integration of these new AI capabilities into iOS 18, albeit in a more subtle manner. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple intends to incorporate AI through features such as voice memo transcriptions, faster search, and a more conversational Siri.

Additionally, an AI feature that provides summaries of news stories, documents, and notifications could be introduced, essentially offering a “smart recap” of missed content. Bloomberg also highlights that Apple’s AI will “generate custom emojis on the fly, based on user text input.”

Reportedly, some of these updates will be driven by on-device AI, functioning without an internet connection, which aligns with the company’s emphasis on privacy and security. According to Bloomberg, AI capabilities will also feature in MacOS 15, and the Apple Watch is expected to receive an upgraded Siri.

Apple wwdc 2024
Apple WWDC 2024 starts on June 10 Image Source James MartinCNET

Additionally, reports indicate that Apple is collaborating with OpenAI to integrate the company’s technology into iOS 18. Previous reports suggested that Apple had similar discussions with Google regarding the incorporation of its Gemini AI system. Still, it seems that those discussions may not have resulted in a partnership in the end.

Expanding Horizons: Other Software Updates, from Messaging to Accessibility

Aside from iOS and MacOS, we anticipate updates to extend across Apple’s other operating systems, encompassing iPadOS and VisionOS.

Several updates, such as Eye Tracking on iPad and iPhone and Live Captions on VisionOS, have already been announced and are scheduled for release later this year. Therefore, we may expect to receive further details about these accessibility-related updates, including an exact timeline for their availability.

Another feature that we might receive updates on is RCS messaging on iPhone. Last year, Apple announced its intention to adopt RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging, a protocol that replaces SMS (Short Message Service). It offers many of the same features as iMessage, including typing indicators, high-resolution media sharing, and end-to-end encryption. Since RCS is already available across a range of Android devices, this should make texting between Android phones and iPhones more seamless (although it’s unlikely that those dreaded green bubbles will ever disappear).

Apple’s adoption of RCS is a timely change to reiterate, particularly in light of the Department of Justice’s ongoing antitrust suit against the company. The suit alleges that the iPhone maker hinders competition, asserting that the company “undermines cross-platform messaging” by not making its iMessage service available on Android. WWDC would provide an excellent opportunity for Apple to showcase its efforts to bridge this gap.

Unveiling Next-Gen Chips: Powering AI Innovation in Apple Devices

WWDC would only be complete with discussions on the new-gen chips. We’ll learn about the upcoming iPhone’s processor, likely the A18. According to reports from Taiwanese Economic Daily News and analyst Jeff Pu, it’s anticipated to deliver improved AI performance. This mirrors Apple’s introduction of the M4 chips in its latest iPad Pro tablets, which the company claims are more potent, energy-efficient, and boast enhanced machine learning for AI-related functions. Now, it is the iPhone’s turn for an AI enhancement.

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