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WWDC 2024: Smart recap, on-device AI, and other things to expect

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Apple is poised to make a significant foray into artificial intelligence with new features such as smart recap, natural-sounding Siri, AI-powered Spotlight updates, and dynamic emoji generation, among others, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024, which is scheduled between June 10 and 14.

Apple’s anticipated AI announcements may include features such as transcribing voice memos and auto-generating emojis. Additionally, there’s a buzz around a potential partnership with OpenAI, allowing for deeper integration of chatbots like ChatGPT into Apple’s operating systems, reports Mark Gurman for Bloomberg.

Rumours also suggest ongoing negotiations with Google to incorporate their Gemini AI and discussions with Anthropic, highlighting Apple’s start diversifying its AI partnerships due to recent controversies surrounding OpenAI, including the November board shakeup and the current Scarlett Johansson voice incident.

In March, we reported that Apple is bringing AI-powered iOS 18 with features such as AI integration into Apple Music, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, AI-powered Messenger, and AI-integrated wellness coaching functionality, among others. Here are some other AI features that are rumoured to be a part of WWDC 2024.


New AI features

One of the standout features that Apple is expected to introduce is a ‘smart recap’ functional. This tool will summarise missed texts, notifications, web pages, news articles, documents, notes, and other media, giving users a concise overview of their missed content. This feature could be particularly beneficial in managing the often overwhelming iOS notifications.

The Voice Memo app is also set for a significant upgrade with AI-generated transcripts. As noted by The Verge, this enhancement will be valuable for professionals who rely on recording interviews and students who record lectures for later review.

Apple’s current features, such as auto-generated voicemail transcripts and system-wie captions for multimedia, set a precedent for this improvement.

Moreover, Apple plans to roll out AI-powered enhancements to Spotlight search, Safari internet searches, and writing suggestions for emails and text. Another interesting addition could be AI-generated photo retouching and dynamic emoji generation based on text context, though this feature type has previously led to controversies for other tech giants.


Enhanced Siri and on-device AI

Apple is also refining Siri’s capabilities, potentially unveiling a more natural-sounding voice and improved functionality on the Apple Watch. Many AI-driven features will be processed locally on the device, utilising Apple’s M2 Ultra-based servers for more complex tasks.

Gurman notes that devices released within the last year will benefit the most from these new on-device AI features. This news might sound disappointing to Apple users who are using old iPhones.


Other expected announcements

Beyond AI, Apple might introduce an iOS 18 feature allowing users to change their app icons to different colours. While customisation via the iOS shortcuts app is possible, more straightforward methods would be a welcome change.

Another anticipated update is the ability to arrange app icons freely on the home screen rather than being confined to a top-to-bottom, left-to-right layout.

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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