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Apple WWDC 2024 Keynote Recap

Photo of the 13-inch iPad Pro in Space Black

Today Apple held its World Wide Developer Conference, or WWDC, keynote. The WWDC keynote is a way of Apple to highlight the features that will be coming to its platforms overs the next year. This year keynote is a big one with features that were highlighted for all of Apple’s platforms. I will highlight what I think are the biggest announcements.

Vision Pro

The Apple Vision Pro is Apple’s latest platform and while it has only been around for four months, there are some good updates coming. First, for those who use a Mac with their Apple Vision Pro you will be able to use a display that will be like having two 4K monitors side-by-side. This is great so you can have even more screen real estate.

For Photos, you will be able to use machine learning to make any photo a Spatial Photo, so you can view it with Apple Vision Pro.

The Apple Vision Pro is also coming to new regions both later this month and also in July.

Home Screen

Our devices are super personalized and we often use our home screen to reflect that. Now, you can do even more customization. You can customize your home screen to place icons where you would like them. This works well for images that may normally be covered by icons. Just like you re-arrange the icons, and you can place them wherever you would like.

Locking Apps

Some apps can contain some sensitive data, like photos or a journal app. There may be those times when you want to protect this data. You can now lock apps behind Face ID. This means that you can use require Face ID to open up an app.

Hiding Apps

There may be apps that you do not want others to see when you hand them your phone. You can now hide apps and these will be put into a "Hidden Apps" folder in the App Library, and they will be locked behind Face ID, just like other apps.

Icon Tint

There are those of us who like to have complete color coordination between our Home Screen and our icons, but icons come in a variety of colors. You can work around this by creating a shortcut that opens up the app, but this can be tedious. There is a new option for customizing the tint color of icons. This tint color applies to all icons, but you can select any color you want.

Tinted icons on iOS 18

Control Center

The Control Center also allows you to organize, resize, and organize the icons as you see fit. You can even have groups of controls that make sense for you. Developers will be able to add additional control center items for you as well.


A couple years ago Apple added a new way to limit which photos that an app could see. Now, you can do the same with Contacts. Instead of allowing an app full access, you can choose which contacts an app will have access to. This is a great addition for privacy.


There is now a new Passwords app that works across Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Vision Pro, and even on Windows. This will allow you to store your passwords, one-time codes, passkeys, Wi-Fi, shared passwords, and Sign-In with Apple.


Messages gets some new features like custom Tapbacks, so you can now add emoji inline or as a tapback. Beyond this, you can use the new Genmoji feature to generate your own custom emoji-looking items to get the right images for the situation.

Sometimes all you need to do is add some emphasis to text. This can also be done through the new "text effects". These will allow you to add bold, italics, underline, or strike through some text. Beyond this, you can add some effects including:

  • Big
  • Small
  • Shake
  • Nod
  • Explode
  • Ripple
  • Bloom
  • Jitter

Here is a photo of some of them. When you preview them, they will show a preview of what they will look like.


The AppleTV app is getting a new feature called "Insights". This is where you will be able to see other things that an actor or actress has been in as well as identify a song. You will then be able to add the song to an Apple Music playlist. If you use your iPhone as a remote while watching TV with others, you will also be able to get Insights.

Another feature is Enhance Dialog for TV speakers and speakers, this can be super helpful so you can hear what is being said. Subtitles will also get some tweaks, where they will automatically come up if you mute the audio or jump back in time.


There is now a calculator on the iPad and it includes a feature called "Math Notes". Math Notes allows you to write out expressions with the Apple Pencil and calculator will compute the answer once you put an equals sign in the equation. If you need to add a column of numbers, this can be done as well by putting a line under all of the numbers to be added.

You will also be able to add graphs and update values in real-time with variables. Math Notes are not limited to just the calculator app. You can also use them in the Notes app.


macOS is the oldest and most mature of Apple’s operating systems, but it also seems some new features, like the aforementioned Passwords app. There are two iPhone-related features coming, mirroring and mirroring and notifications.

iPhone Mirroring

There may be instances when you would might want to be able to see what is happening on your iPhone while you are using your Mac. This can be particularly true if your iPhone is charging in another room. Now, you will be able to actually use your iPhone while it is elsewhere. You are able to interact with it by swiping and clicking, just as if you were using the iPhone.

When you do you your iPhone via mirroring, it will remain locked, so nobody else will be able to see what you are doing.

iPhone Mirroring on macOS Sequoia

iPhone Notifications

Much like being able to add widgets from your iPhone to your Mac, you will be able to get iPhone notifications right on your Mac. Along with this, you can interact with them and they should even be able to open up via iPhone mirroring.


Mail is also getting some updates, including categorizations. This is done on device and emails will be put into one of a few categories:

  • Primary - Most important
  • Transactions - Receipts
  • Updates - Newsletters
  • Promotions - Marketing/Sales

This is a nice update as well. There is another thing coming to mail, Writing Tools.

Writing Tools will allow you to spell check, proof-read, and rewrite an email. It will not be limited Mail, but can also be found in Keynote. Pages, Notes, and even third-party apps.

Apple Intelligence

One of the big items highlighted is Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence will allow you to create images, rework text, and even use Siri to perform actions and find your own data. Apple could have just integrated existing Artificial Intelligence, but they have decided to go above and beyond with a new feature called Apple Intelligence.

Note summarization using Apple Intelligence

Apple Intelligence is an initiative that takes Artificial intelligence and expands upon it to make sure that your information stays private. This is done through a combination of on-device and cloud infrastructure. A vast majority of the data will be on device, but for tasks that require more resources, there is the cloud portion.

But not just any cloud. Apple has dubbed their solution Private Cloud Compute. PrivatE Cloud Compute is built on Apple Silicon and uses many of the features built into the system. One of the features of this is that there is no data persistence, so your private data is only available to that server for that one request, before the data is wiped from the server.

Apple Intelligence provides access to your data so you can perform actions like "Find photos of Suzy in a Pink dress" and it knows enough context to be able to find what you are looking for.

Image Generation

One of the more common uses of current artificial intelligence is to generate images. You can do this on iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia as well. You will be able to create images to send to others based upon a template, and a few limited styles. Beyond this, you will be able to write out what you are looking for and it will perform a search.

Being able to use your own data is great, but sometimes you need access to general world knowledge. Apple has a solution with that as well.


Apple is partnering with Open AI and to use their ChatGPT 4o model to allow you to ask Siri general knowledge. The request will be sent and it will end up responding. If an app needs to use your personal data, you will need to confirm that you want to send the data to ChatGPT before it sent. This way, you are always able to decide to not send the data.

Again, these features will be coming later in the year.

Closing Thoughts

All of the features outlined above should be coming over the next year. Some will be released this fall, while others will be later. There are a number of great features, like Home Screen customization, new text effects in Messages. The new Passwords app will make it easier to manage all of your passwords, and related information in a single location.

Artificial Intelligence is a big topic with a slew of features planned including Writing Tools, mail organization, and general ChatGPT features through Siri and throughout Apple's operating systems.

You can see previews for macOS Sequoia, iOS 18, and iPadOS 18.


Apple Intelligence
iOS 18
macOS Sequoia