Each year, Apple announces exciting updates and introduces mind-blowing products that delight Apple product users and developers alike. This year was no different. From cutting-edge solutions powered by AI technology to trailblazing products and features, Apple WWDC 2023 showcased yet again how the company is motivated about pushing boundaries and shaping a better future in its own innovative way. Apple’s focus on Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, and Voice Recognition will shape how we interact with our devices in the coming years.
As expected, the event was packed with enthusiastic students, developers, fans, and media people who were all eager to know about the ground-breaking features and products. The event took off with keynote speech from the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, and included notable speakers like Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, and Hideo Kojima, legendary game developer, among others. The WWDC announcement included previews to the major OS updates – iOS17, iPadOS17, MacOS 10, watchOS 10, tvOS and the newly introduced visionOS.
Among the exciting updates shared at WWDC 2023, a few which stand out include:
- Vision Pro, the most exciting highlight of this year’s event – a futuristic headset with IR cameras and sensors for an overall incredible augmented reality experience
- MacBook Air, the 15-inch lightweight laptop, holds the record as the world’s thinnest laptop and is powered by Apple’s M2 chip
- Sonoma, MacOS’s version 14, is the recent version that not only offers more secure browsing but also amazing gaming performance and widget options
- Mac Studio 2023 includes new specifications designed for better connectivity and faster video streaming
What are some of the exciting AI-based launches announced at WWDC 2023?
Apple announced several new software updates for its products, ranging from iPhones to AirPods. Most of these features were based on AI and ML. Apple, adhering to its commitment to user security and privacy, focused more on improving the processing power and making the “neural engine” better than ever before.
- Realistic persona for VisionPro: VisionPro is easily one of the most exciting announcements at this year’s event and is expected to be available in 2024. This headset has an expensive price tag of $3,499 but promises to deliver many impressive features and offer digital images to appear in floating windows, create an avatar quickly based on a user’s facial details, and offer video conferencing facilities among many other, developed using Apple’s advanced ML technology.
- New and improve autocorrect and dictation features: Apple’s autocorrect feature can sometimes be wrong and unhelpful, but this is about to change. The iOS 17 will include an autocorrect feature that uses a “transformer model” (the kind of program that also powered ChatGPT and Claude) to offer better suggestions. Apple’s dictation feature takes advantage of a new speech recognition model to convert dictated words into text. Even though the results are patchy sometimes, the new update will improve accuracy.
- Live voicemail: When a recipient calls an iPhone but is unable to connect, the “Live Voicemail” AI-powered feature will show a word-by-word transcript of the voice message – an audio-to-text conversion – that is offered real-time and makes it easy to identify if it is an emergency while unable to pick up the phone during meetings or travel.
- FaceTime for Apple TV and presentations: Though no new Apple TV box was announced at this year’s event, Apple did introduce an exciting new feature: FaceTime for Apple TV 4K. With an iPhone or iPad, it is possible to initiate a call and see the participants on the TV screen. Additionally, the FaceTime feature will also be available in presentations to include the presenter’s head and shoulders and allow them to present like a weather reporter!
- iPhone journal: For fans of journaling, Apple will introduce the Journal App on all devices with iOS 17 to select photos and other activities to add digital entries for reflection. API Journaling suggestions will benefit app developers who can get featured in the Journal content if it is good enough.
- Personalized volume: AirPods will now feature “personalized volume”, a handy option powered by ML to sense the environment and listening preferences and adjust the volume to optimal levels to provide listeners with the best experience.
- Pet identification feature: Apple’s ML-powered phones and tablets could identify people easily, but it had to leave out dogs and cats – until now. The 2023 event announced that photo recognition in iPhones and iPads will now identify furry companions and will be a welcome feature for pet lovers.
- Quartz: Apple’s ambitious health coaching platform will encourage users to improve their eating habits and follow the right sleep, exercise, and relaxation methods for holistic wellness. Quartz will be powered by AI and feature on the Apple Watch to allow users to design personalized coaching programs.
- WatchOS 10: This feature adds a reimagined, intuitive interface to Apple Watch to make it easier than ever before to view information and redesign apps. Some of the new updates include Smart Stack (customize the home screen to display information that users check regularly); New watch faces (sport stylish looks by using the new watch faces); Tools for cyclists and hikers (offers tracking activity, elevation, waypoints to indicate the nearest best location for phone signal and topographical maps of the terrain); Mental well-being features (log emotions and daily moods all through the day)
What are some of the exciting features for Developers?
To further strengthen its hold in the AI space, Apple announced that it has acquired a few companies which complement its existing products and portfolio and its ambitious future plans. WaveOne, a California-based company that uses AI for video compression technology, and AI Music, which specializes in creating personalized soundtracks using AI, are a couple of its recent acquisitions. However, keeping in mind the need to stay ahead of its times, Apple has also been acquiring other companies and start-ups over past couple of decades. Some of these include: Emotient, an AI application to read emotions; Turi, a startup specializing in AI and machine learning; RealFace, a facial recognition company; AIMusic, for using AI to produce music; Shazam, a brilliant music recognition app.
The WWDC 2023 event was a tremendously exciting and inspiring session for participants, with its slew of ground-breaking updates and innovative products. Apple has proved yet again why it stands right at the top with its drive for future-ready technology and the best-in-class features and products for its users. The focus was on privacy, security, and better user experience, with AI and ML playing a key role in some of the solutions and with a strong possibility of more powerful roles to look forward to in the coming years.
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