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Apple Intelligence for iPhone, iPad, and Mac

ios18 software update on products

Apple has announced several new features coming to its operating systems for Vision Pro, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch, and TV this Fall. While we didn’t see any hardware updates, the enthralling announcements centered around Apple’s AI capabilities, referred to as “Apple Intelligence”, relayed the importance of hardware upgrades with Apple silicon. Let’s dive in and get to the good stuff.

visionOS2 for Apple Vision Pro

Last February, Apple launched their first VR headset, Vision Pro. Since then, over 2,000 apps have been released, unlocking entertainment, productivity, collaboration, and more on a new dimension. Now Apple Vision Pro’s new operating system, visionOS2, propels spatial computing even further.

three apple screens in a row
Multitasking between apps on Vision Pro will be even easier with an enormous, private, and portable workspace.

Vision Pro in Photos

  • Photos in Vision Pro will have even richer, spatial depth
  • Advanced machine learning will create incredible life-like depth from existing photos
  • Browse shared albums of cherished photos with family and friends as if they were physically there

Vision Pro Hand Gestures

  • Twist your hand palm up and tap your pointer finger and thumb together for Home view
  • Flip your hand to view battery life and time

Vision Pro Display

  • Mac Virtual Display provides an even larger, wraparound portable display of your Mac
  • Transform your airplane ride into a personal movie theater with an expansive display

Apple Vision Pro will be made available to an additional 8 countries in the next couple of months.

iOS 18 for Apple iPhone

three iphones with the new ios18 update
iOS 18 encourages creative customization options with app icon edits and a new dark mode look.

Various customization updates in iOS 18 are sure to please artistic and OCD individuals alike (or both, if you’re like me).

With enhanced wallpaper customizations, movable app icons and widgets, color-tinted app icons, and a new dark mode look, the possibilities are forever floating through my mind.

Control Center

You will also be able to edit your Control Center dashboard. Create new groups for similar controls, like home settings or audio playback, and adjust where and how large they are. Bonus: You can also assign a control to the Action Button on iPhone 15 Pro.

Photos App

The Photos app is getting a dashboard refresh, too. You’ll see a photo grid at the top with your entire library organized by theme below. You can view photos and videos by months and years, filter by types of content, including screenshots, and browse Collections by day, people, memories, trips, and more.

Messages App

three iphone 15 screenshots of the new software update
iOS 18 will bring new customization options, additional ways to connect in Messages, and a redesigned Photos app.

Meanwhile, multiple Message enhancements have me over the moon:

  • Tapbacks will allow you to react with any emoji or sticker
  • Text formatting additions will enable you to bold, italicize, underline, or strikethrough
  • Text effects let you enhance your messages with animated effects

Plus, you’ll be able to schedule messages to send later (like for that birthday you always miss), and connect to Messages even when you don’t have service, via satellite.

Mail App

The Mail app will offer on-device categorization, auto-sorting mail by time-sensitive content and content that matters most to you, as well as allowing you to filter by promotions, transactions, and more.

This is about the time I started seeing the transition into the Apple Intelligence Discussion and getting really excited.

Maps and Wallet Apps

apple maps update on iphone
iOS 18 includes Maps enhancements for hiking trails, and Wallet enhancements like Tap to Cash and Event Guide.

Other updates include a topographic view option in Maps, with hiking trails & turn-by-turn voice guidance, and helpful Wallet additions:

  • Tap to Cash gives you a quick and private way to send Apple Cash to others
  • Event guide with helpful info about venues, with smart recommendations from your favorite Apple apps
  • Credit card installments and rewards information will also be available

Privacy

As always, protection and privacy are never lost on Apple. They’ve also created “Lock an App” and “Hide an App” features that allow you to control and protect certain apps on your phone from roaming eyes with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.

iOS 18 will make iPhone more personal, capable, and intelligent than ever before. Just wait until you see how it connects with Apple Intelligence.

AirPods

Apple AirPods received an incredibly convenient new gesture. Soon you’ll be able to nod or shake your head, so you can choose to accept or decline’s grandma’s call without a peep.

AirPods Pro also gets a voice isolation upgrade, which removes background noise around you to ensure you have an exceptional audio quality experience.

tvOS for Apple TV

close-up of apple tv insight song
Intelligent new features, like InSight, will level up your cinematic experience with scene information for actors and songs.

Apple added even more user-friendly features to Apple TV, including responsive subtitles that appear at the perfect time, and 21:9 projector formatting for widescreen movie views.

Probably my favorite feature is InSight. If you’re like me, you’re always wondering what else “that actor” is in, or what “that song” is. With InSight, you’ll be able to swipe down on the remote to show actors, songs, and characters in real time.

Plus, you can’t forget the new screensaver options, featuring Snoopy and team.

watchOS 11 for Apple Watch

three apple watches with new software update
watchOS 11 brings new insights into health and fitness, and more personalization than ever.

The Apple Watch operating system updates are a-plenty! Improvements and additions include:

  • Training Mode —  Measure the intensity and duration of workouts on your body over time on a 1-10 Effort Rating scale.
  • Training Load — Track if you’re “safely above” or “well above” your typical output to avoid injury and adjust as safely necessary.
  • Vitals — View your key vitals on this new dashboard. Changes that might need to be addressed are highlighted in pink.
  • Health — Now reports on pregnancy trimesters.
  • Smart Stack — This newer feature now automatically pops up apps that you need before you need them, like Translate when traveling, or Weather when it starts to rain.

iPadOS 18 for Apple iPad

Like iOS 18 for iPhone, iPadOS 18 offers new ways to personalize Home Screen & Control Center. They also added a new floating tab bar, making it easier to navigate all your iPad Apps, like Smart Script.

With the power of Apple Pencil, Smart Script makes writing and taking notes easier and smoother: you can scribble your thoughts down as fast as you need to, and Smart Script will match your more legible handwriting as you go. Freely add additional notes in between lines, scratch out a sentence, or even paste typed text in your own handwriting, and the paragraph will automatically adjust to fit the changed content.

Image Wand will be a newly available tool in your Apple Pencil tool palette, helping you to create images from your sketches and words, making your notes more alive and visually engaging.

Perhaps one of the more discussed updates is the release of the Calculator app for iPad. The all-new Math Notes calculator helps you solve even the most complex math equations. Bonus: It works in the Notes app, too.

Anyone else sense the Apple Intelligence discussion nearing?

MacOS Sequoia for Mac

As with iOS Messages updates and iPadOS Calculator enhancements, so too does MacOS Sequoia offer the Mac lineup — plus so, so much more.

iPhone Mirroring

iphone mirroring on laptop
macOS Sequoia will make Continuity even more seamless with iPhone Mirroring, allowing users to wirelessly use their iPhone directly on their Mac.

We’ll get an impressive connectivity update with iPhone Mirroring. This feature will fully interact with your iPhone on your Mac, as if you were using your iPhone in your hands.

You’ll receive iPhone notifications on your Mac alongside your normal Mac notifications, allowing you to click on that Duolingo phone notification on your computer and interact with the app as you would on your iPhone, but on your Mac.

This feature works when your iPhone is locked, so you don’t have to worry about constantly unlocking your phone, allowing you to work with your devices even more seamlessly than ever.

Presenter Preview

Know what you’ll be sharing, before you’re sharing it. With Presenter Preview, you can verify what your Presenter view looks like before your presentation. No more unintentional sharing of embarrassing family photos.

Keychain

The new Passwords app will securely store and auto-populate all of your passwords, verification codes, security alerts, and more, across your Apple devices (and Windows devices, too!).

Apple Intelligence

And there it is! What a beautiful and highly-anticipated lead up, Apple.

Apple Intelligence takes the “AI” acronym to new heights. Craig Federighi describes it as “powerful, intuitive, integrated, personal, and private. Going beyond artificial intelligence. It’s personal intelligence.”

While we may not realize it, AI is at the root of so many features we’ve used daily over the past several years. In iJustine’s post-WWDC24 chat with Apple CEO Tim Cook, he uses Apple Watch as an example. How do you think Apple Watch detects falls and crashes? There’s machine learning taking place for these devices to derive intelligence from.

In truth, Apple has incorporated AI into their devices for years — they’ve just never used the phrase “artificial intelligence”. So why the switch to not only saying it, but branding it?

MKBHD asks Cook this question in his post-WWDC24 chat. Cook explains that they’ve always focused on the benefit to the user, rather than the technology behind it. While the benefits are still important, consumers have become more interested in the technology aspect due to the generative AI boom. So, “Apple Intelligence” was born.

And now Apple is creating more features that utilize this type of intelligence to help consumers enhance our day-to-day — a tool that allows us to do great things that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

personal intelligence on laptop
Apple Intelligence is the “personal intelligence” system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac that combines intelligent generative models with personal context for an enhanced user experience.

Apple Intelligence is intelligence that understands you, at the core of iPhone, iPad and Mac — while protecting your privacy at every step. Let’s skydive (I had to) into the core of Apple Intelligence. (Author’s challenge: Take a drink of water every time I say “intelligence”.)

Apple Intelligence Capabilities

Apple Intelligence enables iPhone, iPad & Mac to understand language, images, and action across your devices and apps to deliver helpful and relevant intelligence, personalized to you.

Apple Intelligence and Language

Through language, Apple Intelligence will help iPhone prioritize your notifications to ensure you don’t miss out on anything important, & provide writing tools to proofread and summarize text for you. I truly wish I had those writing tools available to me today so I could transform my WWDC24 notes into this blog.

Enhanced Writing Tools powered by Apple Intelligence allow users to proofread, rewrite, and summarize text in a breeze.
Enhanced Writing Tools powered by Apple Intelligence allow users to proofread, rewrite, and summarize text in a breeze.

Built-in Writing Tools like Rewrite, which provide different versions of a text field so you can choose your favorite, and Summarize, that gives you the TLDR of long texts or emails, allow macOS Sequoia users to confidently create professional and impressive written communication nearly everywhere they write — including Mail, Notes, Pages, and third-party apps.

Apple Intelligence and Images

Through images, Apple Intelligence will help you create an image in seconds. Create different playful images of your friend with balloons and a cake in Image Playground for their birthday. Or, make dad into a superhero emoji for Father’s Day with Genmoji and share it as a sticker in Messages.

apple intelligence messages on iphone
Users can use Image Playground in Messages to create fun images for their friends and family.

Photo editing also gets a facelift, with a new Clean Up tool that allows you to cleanly remove distracting people or items from your photos.

Plus, get photo and video results from even the most specific of searches. Now I don’t have to scroll my Photos app for days looking for “black cat on a patio with his mouth open” to share with all my coworkers who *definitely* care about my cat updates.

Apple Intelligence and Action

Through action, Apple Intelligence will learn your app content when you ask Siri to “play the podcast that Morgan sent the other week”, or prioritize time-sensitive tasks and meetings to reduce interruptions with New Focus.

Apple Intelligence Architecture

In expected Apple fashion, they’ve ensured that such powerful intelligence works hand-in-hand with security. Apple wanted to integrate two pillars on a deep level: Personal Context and Privacy. Apple Intelligence is that connection.

Apple Intelligence is simultaneously aware of your personal data, without collecting it through advanced hardware and software. This is a fruitful outcome of their years’-long investment in Apple Silicon. (Remember when we told you it was time to upgrade your Intel Mac to Apple Silicon? It really is time!)

close-up of iphone with new message display
With the help of Apple Intelligence, Siri will take hundreds of new actions in and across your apps, including finding book recommendations sent by a friend in Mail and Messages.

Apple Intelligence adapts on the fly to your current activity, organizing and indexing relevant information that you request, to best assist you. For example, it can sift through information in your Calendar, Maps, and Messages apps about your daughter’s play to help you plan for it.

Private Cloud Compute

While on-device work like this occurs, sometimes off-site servers are necessary, too. That’s where Private Cloud Compute comes in. This is a new standard for privacy in AI, with built-in transparency on Apple Silicone servers, where your data is never stored or made accessible to Apple, and is only used to fulfill your requests.

Siri Upgrades

Thanks to the unmistakable power of Apple Intelligence, Siri got some major upgrades. Siri is more natural, relevant, and personal to you.

Need a beat to think about what you’re trying to ask Siri? Siri gives you the time you need, and remembers context.

Want to go on a hike to Mount Olympus in Utah? You can ask Siri the weather “there”, after you’ve established the place. Describe a feature you’re trying to recall, and Siri will find it for you. Or, ask Siri to add an address from Messages to that contact’s contact card for you.

Siri and ChatGPT

close-up of bedtime story on computer
Compose unleashes users’ creativity with ChatGPT image tools to generate a variety of images that complement their writing.

Siri can also partner with ChatGPT to help you even more. If you’re looking to find plants that would look good on your patio, you can share a photo with Siri, and Siri will ask permission to share that photo with ChatGPT to get you the best answer.

Or, write a book about butterflies for your daughter with Compose, and insert AI-generated images directly from your iPad, iPhone or Mac. Don’t worry — Siri always explicitly asks for consent before sharing any information with ChatGPT.

Wrap-Up

Whew! Who else needed to take a deep breath after that?

We at Express Tech are incredibly excited about these software refreshes. We can’t wait to try out the latest operating system updates and share them with you.

Remember, in order to enjoy Apple Intelligence you’ll have to have an iPhone with the A17 Pro chip or a Mac with an M1 chip or later. If you need updated hardware, browse our current selection to be ready when Fall comes!

And keep your eyes out for additional information on how Apple Intelligence can help your business! We’ll be releasing additional information on that, so make sure you sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Amy Prince

Amy Prince is the Content Strategist and Analytics Marketer for Retail Channel Partners, where she continues to ignite her passion for creating meaningful and data-driven content. Amy's love for language and learning prompted her to study abroad and teach English to kids in China for 10 exhilarating months. When she's not burying her nose in tabs upon tabs of research articles, she's breathing through her workouts or snuggling with her cats and binge-watching her latest Netflix obsession. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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