Apple Enters AI Era, iPad Gets Calculator App and Musk Overreacts - Key WWDC Highlights

Apple has finally introduced its set of AI features and made its partnership with OpenAI official. Elon Musk isn't too happy about it though.
Apple WWDC 2024

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple has entered a new era with the introduction of its first set of generative AI features for its devices. At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the company unveiled a bunch of new AI capabilities as part of ‘Apple Intelligence’ and while most of them were expected or not extraordinarily new, Apple finally dropped a Calculator app for iPads. That may seem like a simple update but it probably got the biggest cheer during the Apple keynote.
The event also confirmed the much rumoured Apple-OpenAI partnership which will provide the former with the required AI push. The announcement wasn’t taken equally well by all segments of Apple users. Tesla chief Elon Musk had a strong reaction to it as well. In case you missed the WWDC, here is a quick roundup of everything you need to know.
Apple’s AI Era Starts Now
This year’s WWDC was supposed to be about AI and Apple didn’t disappoint. This has put Siri back at the forefront of Apple’s innovation. Once just a voice assistant, Siri will now be able to do more specific tasks like recalling a picture taken years ago on the device or answering detailed questions about the weather, the news or trivia. Apple says that Siri will now have ‘onscreen awareness’ which means it can understand what you are asking and take more relevant actions.
Of course, the AI capabilities are making it to the Photos app. Apple has added a new feature called Clean Up, which is basically Apple’s version of Magic Eraser on Pixel phones and can be used to remove unwanted objects from images.
Then, there is a new ‘Genmoji’ feature which allows users to create emoji-like reactions using AI. Similarly, you also have a new image generation feature called Playground, coming to iOS 18. It will also have its own app by the same name.
OpenAI Wins Big
The WWDC was a big win for OpenAI. Probably, even bigger than Apple itself. With Apple using OpenAI on its devices, it’s clear that the startup is leading the AI industry. ChatGPT powered by GPT-4o will arrive on iOS, macOS, and iPadOS later this year to execute tasks that Siri can’t. Apple has admitted that OpenAI’s tools are far advanced and it may take a lot of time to match them.
“As we look to build in these incredible new capabilities, we want to be sure that the outcome reflects the principles at the core of our products,” said Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple. “It has to be powerful enough to help the things that matter the most to you. It has to be intuitive and easy to do.”
However, Apple says it will ask your permission before sending questions or pictures to ChatGPT and after it responds, Siri will present the answer to you.
Elon Musk Reacts Strongly
The Apple-OpenAI partnership is also being criticised by many. Elon Musk, who has once an investor in OpenAI, replied to one of Tim Cook’s post on X and said claimed he will ban Apple devices from his companies’ premises unless Cook decides to “stop this creepy spyware.”
In a separate post, Musk called the software integration between the two companies “an unacceptable security violation,” and said Apple has “no clue what’s actually going on.”
OpenAI has found itself in multiple controversies about how it seeks and processes user data but Musk’s statements at this point seem like an overreaction.
Most of these features and capabilities Apple announced at the WWDC will start rolling out starting today the beta version of different software. And, it will be interesting to see how the next generation of iPhones shape up with them. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait too long for that.
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