WWDC 2024: AI, iOS 18, and everything we're expecting from Apple's big show

A MacBook on a blue background showing the WWDC 2024 teaser page
(Image credit: Apple)

WWDC 2024 is going to be the latest installment of Apple's long-running Worldwide Developers Conference – and we now have an official date for what could be one of the biggest editions of the event so far.

This year, WWDC 2024 will start on June 10 – that's official. The conference actually lasts for several days, but it's the first day when we'll see Apple's keynote presentation, and where all the big news will be announced.

What exactly is WWDC? Every year, Apple hosts the conference where it tells app makers and the world at large what to expect from its next batch of software updates. It it covers iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, visionOS and more besides, and there are always plenty of major reveals at the event.

To get us in the mood ahead of WWDC 2024, we've rounded up everything we know and everything we think we know about this year's event, from the changes coming in iOS 18 to the hardware that might be shown off. When the time comes, we'll also be bringing you live coverage of the WWDC 2024 keynote.

Latest news

Apple has now announced that its WWDC 2024 event will start on June 10. This will be the date of its keynote, with the conference for developers running through to June 14.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple's big annual software show
  • When is it? June 10-14

WWDC 2024: when are the dates?

On March 26, Apple announced that WWDC 2024 would kick off on June 10. The conference will run through to June 14, but we're expecting most of the big software announcements for iOS 18 and more to take place on June 10.

We don't yet know the exact timings for the event's keynote, so will update this page when we hear more. But in the past the keynote has taken place at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST, or at 1am ACT on the following date in Australia.

Apple says it'll reveal more soon on the Apple Developer website and official Developer app.

What to expect at WWDC 2024

AI everywhere

Have you heard of artificial intelligence? AI has been absolutely everywhere this year, and Apple's some way behind what companies like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google are doing in this area. WWDC 2024 could well mark the moment when it catches up, and Apple boss Tim Cook has already said the company will make big strikes in generative AI this year.

Also of note: a social media post from Apple exec Greg Joswiak that says WWDC 2024 will be "Absolutely Incredible" – and we don't think the capping up of those two words is any coincidence. Exactly what these AI features will be remains to be seen, though reports suggest Siri is going to be at the center of these AI-related upgrades.

We're also likely to see AI assistance for writing messages and summarizing text, as well as AI-powered playlist creation inside Apple Music. These changes are going to be happening across all of Apple's platforms and devices, and it seems probable that we'll get a big update on Apple's artificial intelligence work at the start of the WWDC 2024 keynote.

iOS 18 and iPadOS 18

Two iPhones on a blue background showing Siri and Shortcuts

We could get some big Siri updates (Image credit: Apple)

According to reliable sources, iOS 18 is set to be one of the most significant software updates Apple has ever put out – which means we're very interested to see what's in store. All kinds of upgrades have been teased, with Google hinting that we'll see the promised Messages support for RCS arrive with iOS 18.

There have been murmurings that iOS will come with a revamped design, though it's not clear exactly what that might look like. It's fair to say the aesthetics of iOS haven't really changed much in recent years, with Apple settling for smaller tweaks and refinements, so you could argue a change is overdue.

As well as coming with a fresh look, iOS 18 could also allow for more user customization, especially when it comes to home screens and app grids. That would make it more in line with Android, which allows users to position app shortcuts and widgets with a lot more flexibility than you currently get with iOS.

Also on the way, if the rumors are to be believed, are accessibility improvements – including upgrades to the way users can control an iPhone with their voice – and perhaps an AI app store to go with the supercharged Siri assistant we've already mentioned, perhaps similar to the custom bots you can use with ChatGPT.

An iOS update also means updates for all of Apple's major apps too of course, including Safari, Mail, and Apple Maps. In terms of Apple Maps, we've heard that custom routes could become available with the next software update, as well as topographic maps borrowed from the Apple Watch.

iPadOS is of course closely related to iOS, although Apple splits them up now. We haven't heard anything specifically about iPadOS 18 as far as leaks and rumors go, but it's likely that it'll get the same sort of upgrades as iOS 18 – which means a significant leap forward in software terms for iPad owners too.

watchOS 11

The chances are high that we'll see the Apple Watch 10 appear alongside the iPhone 16 around September time (it's what Apple did last year), and the full release of watchOS 11 should happen then as well. In the meantime, Apple will use WWDC 2024 to tell us about what's coming with the next Apple Watch software update.

We have heard from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman – usually accurate in his Apple leaks – that watchOS 11 is going to be "fairly minor", so maybe don't expect too much from this software update. There is all the AI functionality we've already mentioned though, and some of that should find its way into the watchOS 11 update.

There haven't been many leaks and rumors when it comes to the Apple Watch 10 either at this point. One leak suggests support for detecting hypertension and sleep apnea is on the roadmap, and if that's true it'll need to be supported in the software of course. We've also heard rumors that the shape and style of the device is in line for an overhaul.

Other software updates

MacBook Air 15-inch 2023

Updates for MacBook software will be announced too (Image credit: Future)

We're also going to get news about software updates for the Macs, the Apple TV box, the Apple Vision Pro, and the Apple HomePod at WWDC 2024. Like iOS, iPadOS and watchOS, these software updates will be pushed out across the course of the year, and in some cases there will be public betas you can sign up to.

So far, leaked information about these software updates has been pretty thin on the ground, but we know they're coming. Some of the tweaks we can expect will match the new features in iOS 18 – if that includes support for RCS messaging, then it follows that the Messages app on macOS 15 is going to add it too.

Again, expect artificial intelligence upgrades to feature heavily – Siri runs across all of these devices, after all. It's possible that in the future you might be able to talk to your HomePod in the same way you can already talk to ChatGPT or Google Gemini, but we'll have to wait and see.

Will there be hardware reveals?

The Apple Vision Pro headset on a grey background

The Vision Pro was unveiled at WWDC 2023 (Image credit: Apple)

WWDC is first and foremost a software event, but we have seen hardware reveals at the conference too – including the Apple Vision Pro that was shown off at WWDC 2023. Apple certainly has plenty of gadget refreshes that are due for 2024, but whether we'll see any of them at WWDC 2024 remains to be seen.

The latest rumors we've seen are that new iPads are going to be unveiled ahead of WWDC 2024, in May – so there'd be no need to announce them at the developer conference. It sounds as though the Apple Car project is now dead too, so there's no chance Apple CEO Tim Cook is going to take to the stage in an electric vehicle... or is there?

One possibility is Apple will use WWDC 2024 to announce a new version of its M3 chip and perhaps some new Macs to go alongside it: the Mac Studio, Mac mini, and Mac Pro are all due a refresh now. Apple's other 2024 hardware launches, including the iPhone 16 and the Apple Watch 10, will happen later in the year.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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