Apple WWDC 2024: What Was Announced

Apple's latest keynote reveals Apple Intelligence and several updates to the brand's operating systems
Published: 11 June 2024

It's that time of the year where Apple kickstarts its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2024. Esquire Singapore was at Apple Park where it all went down. Although Tim Cook opened the keynote and revealed a few of what the company was working on, it was ultimately Senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi's show. Through his amiable style and parkour (you'll understand if you watch the keynote video), it was announced that there would be updates to its OS—iOS 18; iPadOS 18; macOS Sequoia; watchOS 11; visionOS 2—; what's on Apple TV+ slate; the Vision Pro coming to Singapore and the reveal of Apple Intelligence... or AI (“give-the-marketing-team-a-raise”). Here are the biggest takeaways from WWDC.

Apple Intelligence

After keeping mum on AI, Apple loudly announced its proprietary AI, the Apple Intelligence. The Apple Intelligence works across all of Apple's devices and we saw a demonstration of its use in Writing Tools. Now you can see summaries of your e-mails or books and its ability to rewrite the e-mail tone to reflect your intent. Apple Intelligence can also generate transcript summaries of live phone convos or a recordings.

If you tire of 😉 (winking face), 🫃("Uh-oh, I seem to have cirrhosis of the liver.") or 💦🍆 (wash your vegetables), you can generate customised emojis with Genmoji. Simply describe what you want to see as an emoji and Apple Intelligence will create it.

A step up from Genmoji is Image Playground. Again, type in any descriptor and the style (currently only animation, illustration and sketch options are available) and the image will be produced. You can do the same with images from your Photos library or from your Contact list. We were also shown how Apple Intelligence can flesh out rudimentary sketches or ideas through Image Wand. With a finger or Apple Pencil, circle a sketch and after analysing it, Image Wand will produce a complementary visual.

With Apple Intelligence, Siri finally gets the limelight it deserves. Siri can carry out specific tasks with an awareness of your personal context. This means that it’s able to go through your apps and create a personalised approach. For example, if you ask Siri, how to get to a destination, Siri will trawl through your travel history and the weather forecast to formulate the best and personalised route for you. Which for me, is a long languid bus ride because I have no money for cabs and I hate playing the game of “Should I Give Up This Seat For This Person?”

Siri also has a richer language understanding, so if you have made a verbal faux pas and you backtrack, Siri will know what you mean. Does this mean that Siri will understand Singlish? Welp, Apple says that US English will roll out first, followed by other languages. Hope springs eternal, I guess.

And if you’re skittish about speaking out loud to Siri about—oh for example—whether you need to give up your seat to someone who may or may not take offence to said seat offer, you can type it to Siri instead, you coward (my words).

There were rumours leading up to WWDC24 about Apple’s collaboration with ChatGPT came true as it was announced that ChatGPT is integrated into Apple’s Siri and Writing Tools. If Siri is stymied by your request, it will tap into ChatGPT’s expertise. You will be asked if your info can be shared with ChatGPT and can control when it is used. It’s also free to use without the need to create an account. Some people aren't too keen on the Apple Intelligence and ChatGPT union.

Given the outcry about user data being sneakily used to aid in machine learning, Apple doubled down on its stance on user privacy ensuring that even though Apple Intelligence is privy to your personal information, it doesn’t collect it. While many of the large language and diffusion models are run on the device, there are certain instances where it needs to be stored on the cloud. That's where Private Cloud Compute comes in. As a cloud-based model on special servers using Apple Silicon, your data is never stored and only used to handle your AI request. This is what Apple proudly termed as a “new standard for privacy”.

Apple TV+

Ever wondered who the hell is on screen and you scroll through IMDB? Now, there inSights, an Apple TV+ feature that shows who is playing what when their characters appear in a scene. There's even a handy bit of info of the music that's playing in the scene as well. inSights is only available for Apple TV+ original programming.

We even got a preview of what's coming to Apple TV+. A slight squeal may or may not have issued from us over the sight of Severance and Silo in the montage.


Called Sequoia, it comes with a Continuity app that allows for iPhone mirroring. You can connect to your iPhone from your Mac. We saw a demo where one could access the iPhone's Duolingo app and actually go through a lesson. The best part of it is that while this is happening, the iPhone is still in locked mode so that no one else, other than you, can have access to it.

iPadOS 18

There's now the Calculator app but with an added feature. Using your Apple Pencil, you can utilise Math Notes in the Calculator app and write out an equation. Once you write out the "=" sign, it immediately calculates. If you change any of the numbers, the tally automatically adjusts.

There's a Smart Script feature that refines your handwritten notes. You can scratch out certain words and it automatically erases, just like that.

VisionOS 2

Finally, this special announcement from WWDC: Apple's Vision Pro gets an operating system update. Using machine learning, it takes your 2D photos and adds depth to it; giving it more life to these spatial photos. There are expanded intuitive gestures to use with your Vision Pro and an ultrawide virtual display to operate on.

Oh, and the Vision Pro will soon be available to Singapore on 28 June.

For more information on WWDC 2024, check out the Apple website.

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