Apple reveals iOS 18 with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT integration at WWDC24

Apple has announced new features coming to its operating systems for iPhones, Macs, and other devices this fall. At the center of the announcement were Apple's AI capabilities, known as ‘Apple Intelligence.’

For the last couple of years, Apple's competitors, including Google and Microsoft, have heavily invested in AI, while Apple has lagged behind.

On Monday, at its Worldwide Developer Conference, the company announced its answer to competitors, called Apple Intelligence. It is a personal intelligent system that draws on personal context and protects your privacy, Apple says.

For example, it will be able to predict the traffic, summarize text, write things for you, and prioritize your iPhone messages.

Another set of features enabled by Apple’s AI will be prioritizing apps. It will allow a person to ask an app to pull up files shared with a friend or ask to show images of a specific person.

Apple will use a mixed approach with some of its AI models running on devices and some sent to the cloud. In the latter case, it will use Private Cloud Compute.

“Private Cloud Compute allows Apple Intelligence to flex and scale its computational capacity and draw on even larger server-based models for more complex requests while protecting privacy,” said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Apple’s software engineering.

ChatGPT integration

In the event, Apple announced a partnership with OpenAI. Now, the company's chatbot ChatGPT will be integrated into Siri, and users will be able to use it for free without registration.

ChatGPT Plus users will also be able to use the integrated GPT4o and advanced features as part of their paid subscription.

Apple says that Siri can tap into ChatGPT “when its convenient for you,” essentially being the middle man.

Users will be happy to know Siri will first “ask permission” to share your question with ChatGPT, and then return the answer directly to you. The company also said that no account information will be logged with the chatbot.

According to Apple, ChatGPT integration will also work with photos, videos, documents, PDFs, etc. Again, asking the user for permission before sharing anything with ChatGPT.

Apple Worldwide Developer Conference
People attend the annual developer conference event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, US, June 10, 2024. Image by Carlos Barria | Reuters

Smarter Siri and other AI features

Apple Intelligence will enable a smarter Siri, which will now maintain conversational context and will be easier to talk to, even if a person stumbles upon their words.

According to Apple, a person will be able to write text to Siri instead of just talking, a feature handy in public places.

Updated Siri will understand and take action with users’ content in more apps over time. For example, if a friend texts a user their new address in Messages, the receiver can say, “Add this address to his contact card,” the company says.

Another new feature enabled by AI will be custom emojis, called “Genmoji.” Users will be able to use them on the fly. Just like emoji, Genmoji can be added inline to messages or shared as a sticker or reaction in a Tapback.

Apple has further added the ability to search for specific photos, as well as videos. In iOS 18, natural language can be used to describe and search a specific moment in the user’s photo library.

All the latest AI features will be available on iPhone 15 Pro and Macs with M1 chip and later.

Apple Worldwide Developer Conference
Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the annual developer conference event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S., June 10, 2024. Image by Reuters | Carlos Barria

Other IOS 18 updates

Apart from AI news, the company has announced other new iOS features. With iOS 18, users will be able to customize their Home screen – such as adding widgets and apps and moving them around the screen, as well as customizing apps with different colors.

New customization levels are also coming to the Control center with abilities to access them with a single continuous swap or invoke with the Action button.

Another new feature will be the ability to replace the default camera and flashlight on the lock screen.

Apple is also bringing more privacy to its latest operating system for iPhones. IOS 18 will enable hiding apps from the home screen and putting them in the hidden apps folder.

In addition, users will be able to lock certain information, such as photos, and make them available only with a face ID or password. This feature should be handy if you give a person a phone to see pictures and don't want them to see some specific content, Apple says.

Several updates are coming to the Messages app. Now, it will support RCS messages, which allow for multimedia messages, group chats, reading receipts, typing indicators, and more interactive functionalities.

Apple devices will also get a new Tapback response, as well as new text effects and new formatting options, including bolding and underlining. iOS 18 users will also have the ability to schedule messages.

Additionally, for iOS 18, messages can be sent via the satellite. According to Apple, they will be end-to-end encrypted and available on iPhone 14 and later models.

Several important updates are coming to the Photos app which Apple calls the biggest redesign yet. According to the company, in the app a simplified, single view displays a familiar grid, and new collections help users browse by themes without having to organize content into albums.

The new iOS 18 for developers will be available for beta testing starting Tuesday. Usually, Apple releases the software for all users in September, along with the launch of the new iPhone.

However, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, many of Apple's AI features will be in beta even after the official launch, as some of them are especially buggy.

MacOS Sequoia

New important updates are coming to the latest Apple’s OS for Macs, that will be called Sequoia.

One of the new features is iPhone Mirroring, which expands continuity by enabling full access to and control of the iPhone directly from macOS. The keyboard, trackpad, and mouse on Mac also let a user interact with their iPhone, Apple says.

In addition, Safari on Macs is getting a new Highlights feature that will enable discovering information on web pages while browsing, such as directions, summaries, or quick links to learn more about people, music, movies, and TV shows.

The company is also bringing several features for gamers, including Personalized Spatial Audio.

Vision OS 2

Among other important Apple announcements was the latest software for its spatial computing device, Apple Vision Pro.

Vision OS 2 will support more apps, make it easier to navigate with gestures, and enable the creation of spatial photos from regular ones.

Apple Vision Pro will soon be available outside of the US. The company plans to sell it in eight other countries, including China, Japan, the UK, and Germany, starting June 28th.

According to Apple, Vision OS 2 , as well as mac OS Sequoia and iOS 18, are getting built in password manager app. It will sync across all of the devices supported by these operating systems and also Windows via iCloud app.

iPad OS 18 and watchOS 11

The latest iPad software, iPad OS 18, is also getting several updates. It will now have a built-in calculator that will also work with Apple's pencil.

Math Notes calculator will allow users to type or write out mathematical expressions and see them instantly solved in their own handwriting, Apple says. Users will also be able to use a new feature called Smart Script, which improves written text using machine learning.

The latest version of watchOS, watchOS 11, now includes the Vitals app. According to Apple, the app surfaces key health metrics and context to help users make more informed daily decisions. It can also measure training load when working out to improve fitness and performance.

WatchOS 11 will also offer additional support for pregnant users. When users log a pregnancy in the Health app on iPhone or iPad, the Cycle Tracking app on Apple Watch will show their gestational age and allow them to log symptoms for things frequently experienced during pregnancy.

The WWDC is held annually at Apple Park in Cupertino, California. This year's event will run from June 10th through June 14th, 2024.

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