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let’s dev Blog | Apple Intelligence and ChatGPT: The highlights of WWDC24
by Julian
13. June 2024

Apple Intelligence and ChatGPT: The highlights of WWDC24

Apple's annual developer conference WWDC is known for presenting new updates for the iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch. But this year, one major topic stood out in particular: AI and the associated integration of Apple's own AI (Apple Intelligence). At the same time, a new era is being ushered in for Siri thanks to ChatGPT and the calculator app is finally coming to the iPad. These are the highlights of this year's WWDC.

Apple's move with AI

Apple has introduced "Apple Intelligence" (AI), a new AI model designed to offer many new functions on iPhones, Macs and other devices while ensuring a high level of data protection. Some functions are executed locally on devices with the A17 Pro chip, while more complex queries are processed via the cloud. For example, the Apple AI can now interpret speech and images and perform actions within apps, but more on this later. As we have already learned from the past, Apple loves emojis and is introducing "Genmoji", a new playful AI-based function that generates new emojis to match the user's input. These can then also be sent as stickers or as a reaction in the chat. Photos and videos can now be searched using your own language. In addition, memories can be compiled into new stories using simple descriptions. Apple Intelligence then creates films with chapters based on the recognized content of the photos.

Book author and IT business founder Matthias Schrader has the following interesting opinion on this, which I would like to summarize at this point: "Apple delivered with the topic of AI at the last WWDC. But is that enough? Apple is in a unique position to win the AI game. After the invention of the personal computer and the smartphone, Apple could fulfill the promise of an intelligent assistant (after Siri) in its third attempt and transform its ecosystem once again. With "Apple Intelligence", Apple is pursuing a hybrid approach: everyday tasks run on-device on Apple's Silicon Chips, while more demanding tasks are supported by partnerships such as with OpenAI's ChatGPT - always with an additional privacy layer. Apple may not be the first in the market, but it could be the first to get it right by perfecting the strict integration of the operating system, apps, services and, of course, use by AI. Although much is still in beta and the keynote was a little less impressive than OpenAI's, Apple could increase customer loyalty by offering free, round-the-clock assistance. Perhaps this approach is the right way to lead their millions of users into the new AI world.“

An example of the integration of Apple Intelligence in Siri

Figure 1: A new era for Siri - with Apple Intelligence, users now get more answers and search results than before

Siri is getting smarter and the integration of ChatGPT

Siri is on the brink of a new era: the voice assistant is now supposed to understand people better, even if they do not express themselves clearly, and remember context from conversations. For example, Siri can remember a previously mentioned location and use this for a subsequent task, such as creating an appointment at this location. Siri will also provide better support for questions about iOS settings and be able to exchange, process and use information more seamlessly between apps. For example, when asked "When does mom's plane land?", Siri not only searches the appointment calendar, but also compares the information with external sources, such as a flight tracker.

By the end of 2024, Apple will integrate ChatGPT into iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia so that users can access its functions without having to switch between different third-party tools. Siri will then be able to understand images and documents and provide users with better results for search queries. But what about security? Apple is known to attach great importance to data protection and privacy. It promises that Siri queries will never be saved and will only be used for processing, and that Apple's own data protection promise can be verified at any time. Before questions are sent to ChatGPT, Siri asks for permission to share documents or photos with ChatGPT, for example. These new functions should make Siri significantly more powerful and useful in everyday life.

An example of the integration of ChatGPT from OpenAI

Figure 2: The integration of ChatGPT from OpenAI enables the creation of texts and artificially generated images

iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia

The next major macOS update called "Sequoia" improves the interaction between Mac and iPhone. Users can remotely mirror and control their iPhone on the Mac, even if the iPhone is on the lock screen. Notifications from the iPhone now also appear on the Mac. One click is all it takes to open the corresponding app on the mirrored iPhone and display and interact with content. Files such as documents, photos and videos can now be transferred even faster between Mac and iPhone using drag & drop. Sequoia also introduces a new window management feature that makes it easy to align windows to the edges or corners of the monitor. And with a new password app that is compatible with Mac, iPhone, VisionOS and iPad, managing passwords on all devices is simplified.

iPadOS 18 offers a major update with more customization options for the Home screen and Control Center. Browsing in apps is made easier by a floating table bar that transforms into a large sidebar when required. Shareplay has been given a function that enables documents to be viewed together, e.g. to provide better assistance or explanations. A long-awaited app, the calculator, is finally coming to the iPad! The new "Smart Script" function for the Apple Pencil uses machine learning to adapt handwriting and make it appear clearer, even when writing quickly and illegibly.

As already mentioned under iPadOS 18, the new iOS 18 also brings extensive personalization options for the home and lock screen as well as the iPhone's Control Center. For the first time, app icons can be freely distributed on the home screen and their color can be adjusted. The Control Center offers new, customizable shortcuts. And users can now also replace the buttons for the camera and flashlight on the lock screen with other accesses such as notes, alarm clock or calculator. The new operating systems are expected to be released again from September together with the new iPhone 16 models.

A picture of the calculator app on the iPad

Figure 3: The calculator app finally comes to the iPad

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