Apple’s AI Announcements And Upgrades – The Lowdown

It was an Apple-heavy week in the tech world between 10 and 14 June as the tech giant hosted their annual developer’s conference, WWDC, where they made plenty of major announcements. While they usually take this opportunity to reveal more under-the-hood developments, they’ve used this year’s get-together to show they’re finally catching up in the AI space.

While it’s yet to prove how capable it is, Apple are making big moves by reframing ‘AI’ as ‘Apple Intelligence’, its new personal assistant. On top of that, they also announced details of their much-rumoured partnership with ChatGPT. With an abundance of other upgrades and new features, it really is an exciting time to be an Apple user. Here are the most impactful changes coming to Apple products soon.

Apple Intelligence

Need a little help with everyday tasks? ‘Apple Intelligence’ is a built-in AI assistant that will be found on the iPhone, iPad and Macbooks. Ask it a question or for help, and it will draw on ‘personal context’ to reply with helpful things, from writing emails to keeping tabs on our plans that we make on our phones – even if it’s not in our calendar. While that inevitably means sharing personal data, Apple Intelligence’s USP is that data will be protected. Expect it to land in beta form on the iPhone 15 Pro, as well as on iPads and Macs with an M1 chip and later, from this autumn.

Siri joins forces with ChatGPT

As Apple Intelligence is their first foray into AI systems, they’re also partnering with ChatGPT to make life as easy as possible for its users. The Gen AI tool will be plugged into Siri. If she can’t answer your question or do your task intelligently enough, she’ll ask if she can send you on to ChatGPT. If you say yes, you’ll be able to use ChatGPT for free and without an account.

Apple Watch gets an upgrade

Apple Watch wearers will be delighted that there’s a serious upgrade with watchOS 11. For those who feel that deep sense of satisfaction to see rings closed and don’t love when a streak is broken because of illness, rest days are now a thing. Plus they’re launching a Vitals app that allows you to see your most important health metrics in one place. Other nifty features include cycling tracking upgrades, and a feature to let your loved ones track you during your workouts.

Tap to Pay

Banking disruptors like Monzo have made paying friends a doddle compared to the olden days of finding out people’s bank details and painfully punching them in one number at a time. But Apple have invented the tech to go one step further. Their new feature Tap to Pay allows users to send across cash to their friends just by holding the phone next to the payee’s phone – it’s basically like AirDrop, but with sending money instead of files.

AirPods Pro gets smarter

AirPod owners aren’t left behind with all these updates – in the next AirPods Pro software update, you’ll be able to respond to Siri by shaking your head yes or no. Very futuristic!

Passwords upgrades

Passwords have never been easier or safer to navigate – Apple’s new Passwords app will match the likes of LastPass by becoming a serious password manager that lets you generate and store passwords, and across devices. It also lets you store passwords as QR codes, making it super easy to share wifi passwords from Apple to Android phones – a current bugbear.

iOS 18

Much of these upgrades and new features come with Apple’s newest operating system, the iOS 18. With this, you’ll notice a rake of handy new things you can do in addition to the big hitters. For example, you’ll see new home screen personalisation, and a more customisable Control Centre, and the ability to lock apps, so that if you give your phone to someone, they won’t be able to open them easily. A beta version will be released to the public in July, and the full release will come in autumn with the iPhone 16 Series launch. Note you’ll need the iPhone Xs/Xr or the iPhone SE (2nd generation) or newer to run the iOS 18.


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