July 21, 2024
Apple WWDC 2024, set for June 10-14, promises to be 'A(bsolutely) I(ncredible)'

Apple SVP Greg “Joz” Joswiak just confirmed via the social media platform formerly known as Twitter that the company’s annual World Wide Developer Conference is set for June 10-14. In what is no doubt a nod to the company’s artificial intelligence ambitions, the exec is promising that the event will be “Absolutely Incredible.”

As the name “D” in WWDC suggests, the event is heavily focused on developers for Apple’s various operating systems. The event, which has most recently been held at the Steve Jobs Theater on the company’s Cupertino campus, features several days of panels and workshops focused on its various ecosystems. The event also serves as a launching pad for said ecosystems. Anticipate big announcements around iOS and iPadOS 18, macOS 15 and watchOS 11, among others.

Seeing as how this year’s show will mark one year since the Vision Pro was announced, I would anticipate a LOT of new developers around the headset and its visionOS operating system. Updates to Apple Silicon and, perhaps, new Macs seem pretty likely as well.

But Apple’s AI plans will almost certainly take center stage at the show this time out. Responding to questions about the company’s plans to catch up with generative AI offerings from top competitors like Microsoft and Google on its most recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook promised “groundbreaking innovation” set to be announced later this year. WWDC seems like the most likely platform for such an announcement — and, perhaps, details on a rumored Google Gemini partnership for the iPhone.

Joz’s sneaky backronym will no doubt only further speculation.

Additional rumors have pointed to iOS 18 potentially being “the biggest” update in the operating system’s long history. Rather than simply leaning into generative AI and being done with it, however, reports point to “AI tools that help manage your daily life.”

Certainly the notion of the AI smartphone isn’t Apple specific. Samsung leaned heavily into the concept earlier this year with the launch of its Galaxy S24 line, which also relied on Google’s Gemini efforts. The following month, Apple claimed that the new M3-powered MacBook Airs are the “World’s Best Consumer Laptop for AI,” mostly due to the neural processing units included in its first-party SoCs.

Apple adds, “Developers and students will have the opportunity to celebrate in person at a special event at Apple Park on opening day.” This is likely a reference to the news-filled keynote that traditionally kicks off the show. Of course, things remain dramatically scaled down since the pre-pandemic days at the San Jose Convention Center.

As ever, the event will include a small cohort of “winners,” 50 of whom will be invited to the in-person event in Cupertino. The event follows soon after Google I/O (May 14-15) and Microsoft Build (May 21-24).

The announcement arrives less than a week after the Department of Justice announced that it is suing the hardware giant over claims of monopolistic practices surrounding the iPhone.

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