WWDC 2024: Everything Apple announced today including iOS 18, AI with Apple Intelligence and more

WWDC 2024: Everything Apple announced today including iOS 18, AI with Apple Intelligence and more

Today’s keynote for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference teased a lot of what users can expect later this year when all of its major software updates roll out. Big changes coming to iOS 18, macOS Sequoia and watchOS 11 include RCS support, a new Passwords app, a revamped Calculator app for iPhone and iPad and a bunch of artificial intelligence (AI) infusions across the board thanks to the new “Apple Intelligence” system. If you weren’t able to catch the news live, here’s a rundown of everything announced at WWDC 2024.


Apple revealed its plans to incorporate AI into its operating systems at WWDC this year. Dubbed “Apple Intelligence,” this new generative AI system will appear in iOS and iPad 18 and macOS Sequoia in the form of (what Apple believes to be) practical tools that most people can use regularly. Those features include new writing tools that can help you rewrite, proofread and summarize things like emails and other messages, original emoji and image creation and more. Going hand-in-hand with original image generation is a new feature called Gemoji, which allows users to create their own unique emojis by typing in descriptions and requirements like “T-rex wearing a tutu on a surfboard.”

Siri is getting an AI infusion now that it will be powered in part by large language models. In addition to asking Siri to delete an email or edit a photo, users will also be able to ask the virtual assistant to summarize articles and webpages in Safari and even extract personal information from a picture of your ID so it can fill out an online form for you. The company emphasized the importance of “personal context” with Apple Intelligence, which will enable things like using natural language to search for photos that contain only you and a specific family member.

Apple highlighted how most Apple Intelligence actions will be done on-device to make the system as privacy-focused as possible. But also, the company detailed how those with the latest Apple devices can make use of ChatGPT for free (up to a point) to answer queries that cannot be executed on-device. Much of that involves users providing permission for Apple to share their query with ChatGPT in the moment. ChatGPT integration with iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia will roll out later this year.

iOS 18


The next iPhone software update will roll out to users in the fall and, as expected, one of the biggest changes is support for Rich Communication Service, or RCS. The more-secure messaging protocol offers many improvements over SMS including end-to-end encryption, better media sharing and support for proper group chats. Apple previously stated it would adopt support for RCS in 2024 to comply with EU regulations, so it’s unsurprising to see it highlighted in iOS 18’s forthcoming features. Also new to Messages will be the ability to “tapback” reply using emojis and stickers, text formatting and effects and the ability to send messages via satellite.

iPhone users will have more control over their home screens in iOS 18 thanks to the fact that it will not be a locked grid system anymore. Users will be able to move app icons a more of a freestyle way, plus they’ll be able to change app icon colors as well using a tint color picker. In terms of design and layout, this is one of the biggest changes to come to the iPhone’s home screen in years and it gives iOS users similar features that Android users have had for a long time. In the same vein, Control Center will be updated in iOS 18 to include more customization options and will allow users to program quick controls form third-party apps in addition to the native options.

The Photos app is getting a big redesign in iOS 18, putting an emphasis on intelligently created groups of photos that revolve around memories, trips and other big events. The new design ditches the old tabbed layout and will usher in a one-page design when you can view all of your photos individually, or view them by Collections. Users will also be able to filter out things like screenshots and receipts that would show up in a chronological format, but would otherwise mess up the a tightly curated group of vacation photos.

A couple of new privacy features stand out in iOS 18, namely the ability to lock and hide apps. For the former, users can lock an app so sensitive information stays behind a Face-ID or Touch-ID wall, preventing even those who you casually hand your iPhone to from seeing that information. Hiding an app, on the other hand, does exactly what you think: hides a program in a special hidden folder that others won’t be able to see.

The Calculator app is getting a big overhaul in iOS 18, including improved unit conversions, a sidebar showing recent activity and integration with the Notes app. But what might be even more notable is the fact that the revamped Calculator app will not only be available on iPhones and Macs — it’s coming to iPads for the first time as part of the iPadOS 18 update. Embedded within the iPadOS Calculator app is a new feature called Math Notes, which lets users write out math equations with the Apple Pencil and the app will solve many of them instantly.

iPadOS 18 will also feature a new Tab Bar, which looks similar to the Dynamic Island on iPhones. This bar makes it easier to access essential controls even when you’re in apps, and depending on what you’re doing, it can show up at the top of the screen or as a sidebar of sorts on the left of the display. The Notes app is getting another new feature called Smart Script, which will make users’ handwriting more legible and less messy automatically.

macOS Sequoia


The next iteration of Apple’s computer software will be called macOS Sequoia. In addition to many of the AI features also coming to iOS and iPadOS 18 as part of Apple Intelligence, the next macOS update will include iPhone mirroring, which lets users see and control their iPhone screen on a Mac screen. They’ll be able to use their keyboard and trackpad to intact with the iPhone screen on their laptop, and they can even open iOS apps directly on their computers.

A new Passwords app builds upon the technology of iCloud keychain to save all of users’ passwords and login credentials across devices and platforms (it will be available on Windows in addition to iOS and iPadOS). Along with standard passwords, the new app can save passkeys, verification codes and more, and give users the ability to securely share passwords with others.

Other updates coming in macOS Sequoia include a snap window arrangement tool with accompanying keyboard and menu shortcuts, Presenter Preview, which lets you see what you’re about to share with call partners before they see it, and gaming upgrades like improved Windows porting capabilities using Gameporting Toolkit 2.

watchOS 11


The next software update for the Apple Watch includes two big changes: Training Load and a new Vitals app. Training Load in watchOS 11 essentially uses many of the health and fitness metrics collected during workout tracking to estimate your effort level each time. Each workout will receive a rating from one (easy) to ten (all out) that estimates how hard the user worked during that particular session.

The new Vitals app will show Apple Watch users how their vitals captured, including heart rate, compare to baseline measurements. This will hopefully allow users to better understand when something might be off and outside the normal suggested range.

The Activity app on iPhone is also getting an update to accompany watchOS 11, and will allow users to customize the data they see on the homepage so they can put the most important stats to them front and center. Cycle Tracking will also get an update to include more detailed pregnancy insights, including gestational age and information about the user’s health metrics that may related to pregnancy (like heart rate fluctuations).

visionOS 2


Until now, Apple’s Vision Pro headset has only been available in the US. That’s changing soon as the company announced the device’s rollout in additional countries including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. As far as the headset’s software, visionOS goes, Apple announced that visionOS 2 will add spatial photos, which adds depth to images in the Photos app, new UI gesture controls and improved Mac screen mirroring with support for higher resolutions and display sizes.

AirPods Pro


Apple briefly mentioned some software updates coming to AirPods Pro, including improved Voice Isolation, which should help the buds better pick up a user’s voice in noise environments. A new Siri Interaction is coming to AirPods Pro as well: a silent head-nod will allow users to answer an incoming call without saying a word out loud to Siri, and contrasty, a shake of the head will decline a call. These silent interactions will also be applicable to messages and notifications, in addition to calls.


Catch up here for all the news out of Apple’s WWDC 2024.


Valentina Palladino

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