Apple WWDC 2024 live blog: AI, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, Siri 2.0 and all the big news

Apple WWDC 2024 live blog: AI, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, Siri 2.0 and all the big news


While AI may be getting most of the attention, WWDC 2024 may also see Apple launch some other incredibly useful (and long-awaited) features. One of those features is reported to be a fully-fledged Apple Password manager, designed to work across iPhones, iPads, Macs and even the Vision Pro.

According to Mark Gurman, this feature will be built on iCloud Keychain, which Apple users will no doubt be familiar with already. But the key difference is that all your saved passwords will be accessible in a single place — making them easier to access. The app is also said to be able to store Wi-Fi details and passkeys, while also acting as an authenticator app with two-factor authentication codes.

iPhone 15 Pro Max in blue

(Image credit: Future)

If you had plans to sign up for the iOS 18 public beta to get hold of the upcoming AI features a little early, here’s some warning. According to a report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, those beta features could be “especially buggy”. And those features could be official in beta all the way up to the stable release of iOS 18 this fall.

Gurman has spoken about this before, and it’s been claimed that Apple will be referring to AI features as a “preview” rather than finished tech. Beta testing does come with certain risks, and there’s no guarantee that the software will work as advertised. Figuring out where things go wrong is the whole point, after all.

So expect iOS 18’s AI features to behave more like experimental new features, rather than a more-refined software you typically get in one of Apple’s betas. Though whether the situation will change by September, when iOS 18 launches for real, is still unclear.

It seems incomprehensible that 24 years into this millennium, the iPad lacks a built-in calculator app of its own. That’s supposed to change in iPadOS 18, which is et to introduce a Calculator app to Apple’s tablet. And the app is rumored to be getting new features like a resizable window and a list of recent calculations to make this a much more formidable calculator.

It could be a very big WWDC for the Calculator, as the Notes app is supposed to feature tighter Calculator integration. Specifically, a “Math Notes” feature is supposed to allow the Notes app to better display equations, graphs and the like, as Notes becomes a more useful tool for students. 

WatchOS isn’t getting a lot of attention in the build up to WWDC. But fitness editor James Frew suggests that maybe it ought to. And Siri is a big reason why.

The Siri overhaul predicted for this year isn’t only going to impact the iPhone; rather, it’s supposed to stretch across different Apple platforms, including the Mac and the Apple Watch. It’s that latter device that most interests our fitness editor, who argues that a smarter Siri could make the Apple Watch the ultimate AI wearable.

Open AI and Apple logos

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

AI is going to play a huge role in iOS 18, and from the sound of things OpenAI is locked in to power a bunch of the generative AI features Apple is set to offer. Of course bringing in a third party company opens up a whole discussion about privacy and security — two things Apple has been pushing hard the past few years. Thankfully there’s a very simple solution.

OpenAI features on iPhone (and iPad) will be opt-in. That way anyone with concerns about the kind of data OpenAI may have access to, or how it will be used, can avoid those features entirely. You just turn them on, and your device will be kept free of anything to do with OpenAI. 

You’ll miss out on everything those new AI features will have to offer, but if you’d rather wait for Apple to develop its own systems then you’ll be able to carry on as normal.

While we’re not expecting Apple to announce a successor to the Apple Vision Pro at WWDC 2024, that doesn’t mean the keynote will ignore the headset entirely. Rumor has it that Apple is gearing up to release the Vision Pro outside the U.S., meaning international buyers may not have to resort to buying from scalpers for much longer.

It’s been reported that Apple has flown “hundreds of employees from its international stores” to its headquarters in Cupertino, all to train them on all things Vision Pro. That way they can be ready to demo the headset to prospective buyers around the world, and hopefully pick things up after the Vision Pro’s sales slump.

The countries expecting to get the Vision Pro next include Germany, France, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China. Sadly there’s been no word on whether the headset will expand to other large countries later on.

The main benefit is that prospective buyers should be able to demo the Vision Pro at the Apple Store, and order a headset that’s been configured to their face shape. Plus you won’t have to pay the markup that resellers tend to charge. And when the device in question if $3,500, you definitely don’t want to have to pay more than you need to.

iOS 18 logo on iPhone in person's lap

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

I have some big questions about iOS 18 heading into WWDC, and chief among them is exactly which AI features will run on what iPhones.

We’ve heard that the best experience for AI on the iPhone will require an iPhone 15 Pro or later. That would essentially mean you’d need either an iPhone 15 Pro or an iPhone 15 Pro Max — or you’ll need to upgrade to one of the new iPhones coming out this fall. The idea is that only a phone powered by an A17 chipset or later will have the processing power and neural engine to handle iOS 18’s new AI features.

Here’s what’s not clear about that, though: does that suggest only those phones will be able to handle on-device AI and that older iPhones will need to off-load things to the cloud? Or will older iPhones be shut out of AI entirely? A comment in a recent Mark Gurman column at Bloomberg seemingly suggests the latter:

The processing requirements of AI will mean that users need an iPhone 15 Pro or one of the models coming out this year.

I choose to believe that we’re talking about on-device AI here, and that older iPhones will be able to turn to cloud-based servers to assist with AI. We’ll find out for certain later today.

As exciting a time as WWDC is, it usually takes a back seat on the Apple events calendar to the fall iPhone launch. (Apple hasn’t announced a date for that yet, obviously, but if we were to make an educated guess, we’d suggest September 10 as the ideal iPhone 16 release date.) But this year might be different.

That’s coming straight from Tom’s Guide editorial director Mark Spoonauer, who thinks that iOS 18 may overshadow the iPhone 16 this year. The reason? While the iPhones are going to see some changes this year — the most notable might be larger screen sizes for the iPhone 16 Pro models — we’re not expecting anything dramatic, at least not along the lines of the AI features Apple has planned for the iPhone at least. 

So if you’re eager to see what the highlights of the next batch of iPhones will be, today’s iOS 18 preview may give you a pretty good clue.

An annual tradition just ahead of each year’s WWDC keynote that’s beloved by all — well, beloved by me, anyhow — is trying to guess what name the new version of macOS will be released under. As you may well remember, since macOS 10.9, Apple has named its Mac software after various locations around California, the home state of the Mac maker. If you’ll excuse this stroll down memory lane, those nicknames since macOS 11 have included

  • macOS Big Sur;
  • macOS Monterey;
  • macOS Ventura; and the current version,
  • macOS Sonoma

So what’s it going to be this year? Coastlines (Mavericks), mountains (Sierra), deserts (Mojave) and national parks (Yosemite and El Capitan) are already well-represented. My guess is that the name will reflect the arrival of AI features in macOS, with a revamped Siri as the star of the show.

Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest that macOS 15 is going to be unveiled as macOS Hollywood. The good people of Hollywood, Fla., will just have to live with it.

From the rumors we’ve heard, WWDC 2024 should have a packed agenda, though it’s unlikely we’ll hear about any new hardware during the keynote, despite suggestions that a new Apple TV set-top box could be announced. Instead, Apple is expected to spend the keynote detailing this year’s software updates in general, and the role AI will play in particular.

Here’s what we’ve heard about today’s likely Apple software previews. Keep in mind that Apple will likely released developer versions of this software during WWDC this week. Public betas usually follow by July, with the full versions expected by the fall. At least, that’s how Apple has handed things in the past.

WWDC 2024: Biggest Expected Announements

iOS 18 logo on an iPhone home screen

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

iOS 18: Apple’s phone software should be the biggest beneficiary of the focus on AI, with summary tools and generative photo editing features coming to your iPhone. We’ve heard that you’ll need an iPhone 15 Pro or later to support AI capabilities, though it’s unclear if that means on-device AI or anything related to the AI features Apple plans on discussing.

Beyond AI, the iOS 18 update figures to introduce a new interface where you can place apps anywhere you want on the home screen. The Control Center and Settings app should get new looks, too, and we’re hearing about a bunch of possible additions to existing apps like tighter Calendar/Reminders integration and customized routes in Maps. Apple could introduce a password manager of its own, too.

iPadOS 18: If it’s happening in iOS 18, it’s also expected for iPadOS 18, the software update that figures to bring AI capabilities to Apple’s tablet. In addition, iPad users should finally have a built-in calculator app to call their own. Features tied to the rumored Apple Pencil 3 could also be aa part of the new iPad software, though that may not be apparent until the stylus actually ships, meaning we could be waiting until the fall before we learn more about the rumored “squeeze” feature that would trigger the device’s eraser.

macOS 15: Like iOS 18, macOS 15 figures to lean into AI, with many of the features Apple talks about also slated for Macs with an M1 chipset. Rumored changes include a revamp of System Settings and the same Siri overhaul that’s taking place for the iPhone. Calculator, Notes, Safari and Voice Memos are all in line to see updates, mostly with AI-focused features. 

watchOS 11: Rumors about the next version of Apple’s smartwatch software have been pretty rare headed into WWDC. But reports point to changes to the Siri interface and the Fitness app.

tvOS 18 and visionOS 2.0: We’re also expecting to hear about new versions of tvOS, the software that runs Apple TV devices, and visionOS, the Vision Pro headset’s software. That latter update will likely cover Vision Pro versions of iPad apps while introducing new environments. In other words, don’t expect a major overhaul to the Vision Pro software this time around.

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#Apple #WWDC #live #blog #iOS #iPadOS #Siri #big #news


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