WWDC 2024: What to Expect

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It’s almost the end of the developer conference season, and Apple is the last one up to bat. Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, or WWDC, is expected to be ripe with announcements for iOS, macOS, iPad OS, and the rest of the software that keeps the walled garden fresh—even the Vision Pro.

Unlike last year’s WWDC, expect little in terms of physical devices. The Vision Pro came and went, and now it’s time to talk about “Apple Intelligence.” What has Apple planned for its developers in AI, especially with the rumors about all the partnerships happening behind the scenes? We’ll know soon enough.

When and Where to Watch WWDC

WWDC will be held from June 10 to 14 at Apple Park in Cupertino, California. We’ll be there for the keynote kick-off in person, though you can follow along online. After the event, folks who can’t attend the conference can attend sessions on Apple’s website.

If you want to watch the keynote in real-time, set your bookmarks to Apple’s events website or the official YouTube channel. The keynote starts Monday, June 10, at 10:00 A.M. PT/1:00 P.M. ET. Block out about two hours of viewing time for the event.

WWDC 2024 — June 10 | Apple

What will Apple announce at WWDC?

AI: Apple Intelligence

There are murmurs that WWDC is shaping up to be underwhelming compared to last year’s red-carpet rollout for the Vision Pro. That’s only so if you’re not interested in AI. The biggest infusion of AI—sorry, Apple Intelligence—will happen to iOS 18.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who everyone flocks to for a hint at what’s next from Apple, said that this would be a catch-up year for the iPhone’s operating system for AI. Don’t expect it to be as overt as what Google is weaving into the Android operating system. But do expect it to be there. Apple Intelligence will be separate from the chatbot, which is rumored to be released in partnership with OpenAI. Its features will be marketed like Samsung’s Galaxy AI on Android devices, with tools for assisted writing, photo editing, and summarization. (I’m wondering whether Apple asked Google for help with that.)

iOS 18 will heavily emphasize customization, which seems like it’s been Apple’s modus operandi since allowing users to tweak the Lock screen with dynamic elements. The gossip is that iOS 18’s Home screen will upgrade in malleability, including the ability to place icons and widgets wherever you like rather than relying on the icon rail. There might even be redesigned widgets to enjoy in the Control Center. iOS 18 may also get a handy password manager for the operating system that will make suites like LastPass and 1Password redundant.

Green Bubble, you up?

Green bubbles aren’t going anywhere, but we expect they’ll play nicer with the iPhone’s messaging protocol. Apple’s adoption of RCS, the forced successor to SMS and MMS thanks to Google, will help enhance messages between friends from different platforms.

An update on the Vision Pro

The Vision Pro may not generate as much buzz as when it first launched in February, but WWDC will share some of the stage with the VR/AR headset. We will probably get another update on the headset’s sales and a peak at what developers can tinker with in Vision OS. Don’t expect second-generation hardware—it’s only been four months.

The iPad Calculator app

Those of you who have been diehard iPad users since the beginning have probably run into a situation where you’ve needed to add and subtract numbers from each other, only to discover that Apple never released a Calculator app for its tablet users. Hopefully, this year’s WWDC will finally debut an official Calculator application from Apple.

iPad OS 18 will share plenty of other DNA with iOS 18, especially related to Apple Intelligence—perhaps even more so because of the larger screen real estate and M chip in the iPad Pro models. One anticipated feature is an Accessibility option allowing folks to control the iPad with eye tracking. Apple soft-announced the capability last month, along with music haptics and vocal shortcuts. We’ll get the complete picture at WWDC.

What’s New in macOS?

Usually, WWDC is light on Mac features and heavy on the mobile sphere. However, since AI is the name of the game this year, Apple will likely have plenty to say about how MacOS will interpret it all.

Also, this will be a big year for System Settings. I’m starting to think Apple is buttering up its users by fixing some of the simple parts of its ecosystem before ushering in all that AI. Will it make it more palatable to users? Time will tell after WWDC.

Find out more soon

watchOS 11 and tvOS 18 will get minor mentions during the keynote. We aren’t anticipating significant updates to the Apple Watch’s software or Apple TV. But we expect quality-of-life improvements for those particular platforms. Stay tuned because we’ll be covering it all from WWDC 2024.

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