Apple Revealed Its iOS 18 Updates For WWDC 24, Here’s All The Fun New Features That Are Coming

wwdc 2024

Apple has dropped a bunch of exciting new updates at its annual WWDC 2024 conference including custom emojis, its own AI software, and a new way to transfer cash to your mates.

The annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off on Tuesday with a keynote that has been described as “the most important event Apple has held in years”, as the company finally unveiled how it plans to integrate AI technology into our devices.

So what made this announcement so special if we didn’t even get the new iPhone out of it?


Gone are the days of looking for the perfect emoji, only to discover that the emoji you were looking for doesn’t actually exist. Apple’s new AI feature will allow you to make your own custom emoji or “genmoji” using a written prompt.

During the keynote, Apple showed off the technology by creating a “smiley relaxing wearing cucumbers” (an emoji I totally thought already existed), a “lox bagel” and — my favourite — a “squirrel DJ”.

If you don’t like the first option, you’ll be able to swipe through a few different variations based on your prompt.

The software seems to be pretty extensive with what you can create, which is unsurprising considering there are more than 3,000 emojis already. But if Apple’s previous stance on emojis is anything to go by, we will likely be limited from creating NSFW emojis (e.g no blood or guns).

The new update comes after Google made its own “Emoji Kitchen” — which allows you to mashup pre-existing emojis — last year.

Genmojis are coming to iOS 18.

Apple Intelligence (AI)

Apple has long shied away from the term “artificial intelligence”, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been working on their own AI in the background. And today, we finally got a deep dive into what they’ve been working on.

“It has to understand you and be grounded in your personal context like your routine, your relationships, your communications and more. It’s beyond artificial intelligence. It’s personal intelligence,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the keynote. “Introducing Apple Intelligence.”

The “Personal Intelligence” AI software promises to be personalised and deeply integrated into the user experience, while maintaining optimal security and privacy for the user — which has long been a fear with AI.

The AI technology is integrated in a bunch of different ways, but users will notice it most with features that allow summarising, proofreading and re-writing text, as well as image creation and a more seamless Siri experience.

Tap to Cash

Gone are the days of having to remind your friend to transfer you the cash for an Uber on a night out because Apple is dropping a “Tap to Cash” feature that makes transferring your friends as easy as contactless payment at checkout.

This is a huge win for the Facebook Marketplace girlies and honestly, I love that for them.

iPad Calculator

For some reason, it has taken Apple 14 years to introduce a calculator for iPad — despite it seemingly like a really easy thing to do. And trust me, the internet has not shut up about it in that time.

Thankfully, Apple have finally given the people what they want: a calculator for iPad baby!

iPad users will now get the native Calculator app, with a new Math notes feature that will allow you to scribble your equations and have them solved in real-time. My maths teacher who told me you “won’t always have a calculator in your pocket” is quaking right now.

wwdc 2024
Apple is finally giving iPad kids a calculator.

Password App

A hidden gem of iOS in the last few years has been the Password vault. Honestly, I don’t know any of my passwords and, quite frankly, they are none of my business anymore.

But now Apple is expanding the Passwords function to be its own standalone app that will sync across iOS, iPad, Mac AND Windows.

We love a security update.

iPhone Mirroring

As part of macOS 15 Sequoia, you will now be able to control your phone from your computer with iPhone Mirroring.

The new technology will let you see and respond to notifications, drag and drop files between the two devices (huge), and broadly use your phone without unlocking or picking it up.

I would hazard a guess that this feature will be used and abused by high schoolers who are bored in maths class after using their iPad calculator to do all of their equations.

ChatGPT for Siri

Siri will also be equipped with ChatGPT technology later this year, which will be available on an opt-in basis.

After you give Siri permission, she will feed your question into ChatGPT and give you the response.

“We’re excited to partner with Apple to bring ChatGPT to their users in a new way,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a statement. “Apple shares our commitment to safety and innovation, and this partnership aligns with OpenAI’s mission to make advanced AI accessible to everyone.”

From a security standpoint, Apple has confirmed that your questions aren’t stored by OpenAI, and your IP address will be obscured when you use the software.

Satellite Messaging

A new iOS 18 will introduce satellite capabilities to iMessage, which means off-the-grid users will be able to send and receive iMessages even when they don’t have an internet connection.

This feature will be available on iPhones 14 and newer after you update to iOS 18.

When is iOS 18 coming out?

iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS 15 Sequoia will be released “later this year”, and while a specific date is yet to be announced, most previous updates have come in mid-September — which is probably when we’ll receive this one on iOS 18 compatible devices.

iOS 18 will be available on iPhone X and later models.

You can watch the full WWDC 2024 keynote below.

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