What to expect at WWDC24: ‘Apple Intelligence,’ major iOS revamp and more [Updated]

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WWDC24 Artwork
WWDC24 starts Monday, June 10 with Apple’s Keynote at 10 a.m. PST.
Image: Arne Müseler/Wikimedia Commons/Apple

WWDC24 kicks off on June 10 but you don’t need to wait until then to find out what’s in store for iPhone, Mac and other Apple computers. Leaks already revealed much of what to expect at Apple’s annual developers conference, at least in broad terms. Here’s your WWDC24 spoiler alert: “Apple Intelligence” in the form of AI, AI and more AI.

Here’s what will be on the agenda when Apple unveils iOS 18, macOS 15 and iPadOS 18 next week.

WWDC is always the biggest Apple event of the year

Early each June, Apple CEO Tim Cook, software chief Craig Federighi and other executives take to a stage at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference to reveal what’s launching from the Mac-maker in the coming months. It’s the traditional venue to unveil the next major upgrades for macOS, iOS, etc. These then go into extensive beta testing before the full launch in the autumn. That’s expected to happen again this year.

WWDC’s focus is supposed to be software but it’s not unusual for hardware to make an appearance, especially when it’s a Mac intended for developers. WWDC24 might be an exception in this regard, though.

And sometimes, Apple hits us with unexpected surprises.

WWDC24: All about AI and ‘Apple Intelligence’

The focus of the 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference won’t be a surprise. Both comments from Cook and many, many leaks indicate that Apple jumped on the artificial intelligence bandwagon in a big way. That’s likely to make iOS 18, macOS 15 and iPadOS 18 the most significant upgrades in a very long time.

This will be called Apple Intelligence, according to a new report from Bloomberg.  “The company is less focused on whiz-bang technology — like image and video generation — and instead concentrating on features with broad appeal,” says the report. These will be called a beta even when iOS 18, macOS 15, etc. launches in the autumn.

With an AI boost, the standard Apple apps likely will do things like summarize long emails and chaotic text message threads. An AI-powered “Clean Up” feature in Apple’s Photos app could let users eliminate unwanted objects from images. Short summaries of web pages in Apple’s Safari web browser supposedly will become a reality. And Safari might allow users to erase advertisements from web pages, although the rumors sparked controversy among worried publishers.

In very welcome news, Siri supposedly will receive a much-needed intelligence boost, including becoming more conversational. In addition, Apple is reportedly turning to OpenAI for an AI-powered chatbot for iPhone, Mac and other platforms.

Those nervous about AI won’t have to use it because Apple Intelligence will be optional. And it won’t be available to all users — these advanced features will reportedly require an iPhone 15 Pro or an upcoming iPhone 16 series handset. For Mac or iPad, an M1 processor or better is necessary. (Don’t miss our roundup with additional details on all of the AI features headed for iPhone, Mac and iPad.)

Non-AI features in iOS 18 and macOS 15 at WWDC24

WWDC24 won’t be all AI all the time, however. Not every change in iOS 18 and Apple’s other operating systems is related to artificial intelligence. The Settings app reportedly will see its first significant redesign in many years. The Messages app supposedly will be able to animate individual words in a message.

iPhone users could enjoy new Home Screen personalization options to make the smartphone more Mac-like. And Apple Maps might get more customizable routes plus topographic maps. (We have a roundup on all the changes coming in iOS 18, too. And there’s a lot.)

But no new Macs

By definition, Apple’s developers’ conference focuses on software, but sometimes new hardware steals some of the spotlight. WWDC23 included three Mac launches and an introduction to the Apple Vision Pro headset, for example.

We don’t expect that kind of big hardware news this year, though. Apple reportedly will not introduce any new Macs or other devices at WWDC24.

WWDC24 kicks off Monday, June 10

Apple leaks can reveal a lot but rarely reveal everything on the WWDC agenda. The details of all the changes coming to iOS 18, macOS 15, iPadOS 18, watchOS 11 and visionOS 2 will come to light at WWDC24, which starts with a keynote address at 10 a.m. Pacific on June 10.

The full Cult of Mac staff of experts stands ready to cover everything announced. Be sure to come back next Monday for our complete coverage.

We originally published this post on what to expect at WWDC24 on June 6, 2024. We updated it with additional information.

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