WWDC 2024: Everything you want to know about Apple Intelligence

Apple has entered the artificial intelligence race with Apple Intelligence – a personal intelligence system that brings generative models to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Nitin Sreedhar
First Published11 Jun 2024
Apple Intelligence — the personal intelligence system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac — combines the power of generative models with personal context to deliver intelligence that’s useful and relevant to the use.
Apple Intelligence — the personal intelligence system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac — combines the power of generative models with personal context to deliver intelligence that’s useful and relevant to the use.(Apple)

There was a lot of chatter - and anticipation – before Apple’s latest Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that the Tim Cook-led company might finally make its long-awaited artificial intelligence (AI) push.

Now, Apple has officially entered the AI race with Apple Intelligence, a personal intelligence system that brings generative models to devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The tech giant also announced a partnership with OpenAI, bringing ChatGPT to its devices. Let’s take a closer look at what the Apple Intelligence ecosystem will offer.

Generative AI – Apple style

According to Apple, its personal intelligence system will use generative models, with personal context, to make its devices more relevant and helpful. A semantic index in the background will pluck data from different apps and feed it to the models to cater to a user’s requests.

For instance, users will be able to enhance their writing and communication on Apple devices. On iOS 18, users can rewrite, proofread, and summarise text everywhere they write, including on apps like Mail, Notes, Pages, and third-party apps, an official news release from Apple explains.

Also read: Technology: SMS pings back to life to cut out digital noise

The new AI writing tools include Rewrite, which “allows users to choose from different versions of what they have written,” Proofread, which “checks grammar, word choice, and sentence structure while also suggesting edits — along with explanations of the edits — that users can review or quickly accept,” and Summarize, which will allow users to select text and have it recapped in the form of a concise paragraph, bulleted key points, a table, or a list, the news release adds.

Apple’s AI does not stop at just text. A new tool – called Image Playground – will allow users to make fun images in seconds, choosing from three styles: animation, illustration, and sketch. Image Playground, like the writing tools, is built into different apps, including Messages, apart from being available as a dedicated app. Wishing a friend happy birthday on iMessages? You will now be able to add an AI-generated image with it.

In Messages, users can use Image Playground to quickly create fun images for their friends, and see personalized suggested concepts related to their conversations.

Siri becomes smarter

Apple is branding this as a "new era” for its smart assistant Siri, which was launched 13 years ago. The company says Siri will now have more richer language-understanding capabilities, making it more contextually relevant and personal.

Siri will now be able to follow along if users stumble over words and maintain context from one request to the next, Apple said in its release. “Additionally, users can type to Siri, and switch between text and voice to communicate with Siri in whatever way feels right for the moment. Siri also has a brand-new design with an elegant glowing light that wraps around the edge of the screen when Siri is active,” the release adds.

Apple Intelligence will also allow Siri to take several new actions across Apple and third-party apps.

Privacy at its core

While most of the AI functions for Apple Intelligence will happen through on-device AI processing, larger and more complex requests will require more processing power and will rely on Private Cloud Compute.

According to Apple, Apple Intelligence can "scale its computational capacity and draw on larger, server-based models for more complex requests. These models run on servers powered by Apple silicon, providing a foundation that allows Apple to ensure that data is never retained or exposed.”

Crucially, independent experts will be able to inspect the code that runs on Apple silicon servers to verify privacy. “Private Cloud Compute cryptographically ensures that iPhone, iPad, and Mac do not talk to a server unless its software has been publicly logged for inspection,” the news release said.

Will it be available to everyone?

Apple Intelligence features will be free to use but only a limited number of devices will have access to them – including the iPhone 15 Pro, and iPad and Mac with M1 or newer chips. “Apple Intelligence will be available in beta on iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPad and Mac with M1 and later, with Siri and device language set to U.S. English, as part of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia this fall,” a news release from the company said.

Apple also announced the MacOS Sequoia and exciting new updates to iPadOS, which includes bringing the calculator app to the platform. The company also announced that its Vision Pro headset would arrive in new countries and regions starting 28 June.

Apple's new Passwords app makes it easy to access passwords, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and verification codes — all in one place.

There were major updates on the iPhone front as well with the iOS18 release, which comes with new customisation options, a redesign for the Photos app, support for RCS messaging and call recording features. A new Passwords app will give users easy access to their passwords, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and verification codes. Apple said iOS 18 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone Xs and later models.

Lastly, Apple announced that it is integrating ChatGPT access within iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, allowing users to access the OpenAI tool — as well as its image- and document-understanding capabilities — without needing to switch between tools.

Also read: AI Tracker: Intel, AMD try to catch Nvidia in AI chip race

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