5 things we hope Apple will announce at WWDC – from iOS 18’s new Siri to a more advanced iPadOS

We’re just a few days away from Apple’s opening WWDC 2024 keynote and expect a big focus on software at the event. Everything kicks off 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST on June 10 (3am AEST, June 11), and, thankfully, the special event will be live-streamed so you can watch along. 

While TechRadar will be on the ground, I polled some of my colleagues ahead of the developer’s conference to get a sense of what we wish to see Apple talk about and even unveil. These are some of the most repeated items wished for and aren’t based on one specific platform or product. 

Read on for five things we’re hoping Apple will announce at WWDC, from a smarter Siri to a more advanced iPadOS with AI-infused photo editing and handy iPhone features, that we hope Apple’s Tim Cook will show off on-stage.

5. A smarter keyboard for the iPhone

iPhone 12 Pro held in hand with blurred background

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

With the expected treasure trove of AI features, which include everything from summarizing notes to letting Siri control apps, I hope we see some improvements for the keyboard on the iPhone and – why not – also the iPad.

We already have suggested words and phrases at the top that are context-aware. However, infusing AI and understanding the message, what’s been said, or even the steps to when the keyboard appeared could make it even more practical. Considering smart, suggested replies are rumored for Messages and Mail, baking this extra functionality into the keyboard would seem to go hand-in-hand.

Building in some formal system grammar, spelling, and punctuation checks would also help make messages a bit cleaner. It could also save from self-editing or retyping something altogether.

The iPhone 15

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Between third-party apps like Snapseed or Pixelmator for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac and competing phones like Google’s Pixel with Magic Eraser and the Galaxy AI suite on Samsung phones, it’s about time to step up the editing game within Photos. 

Whether on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac, I’d love the ability to intelligently erase a person or an object from the background of images. A sort-of super button that goes beyond just messing with white balance or contrast but also integrates smart crops and other intelligent photo tools could make the entire process a lot more succinct and be a way for Apple to show off its generative AI chops.

3. Smarter battery management on the iPhone

iPhone battery status bar

(Image credit: Future / Shutterstock / Primakov)

When you still have a lot to do, and your iPhone battery is running lower, chances are you’ve searched through settings for Low Power Mode. But similarly to how Focus Modes – basically custom versions of Do Not Disturb depending on what you’re doing – automatically turn on, Apple should add some intelligence to battery management. 

So if you’re far from home and the percentage hits 50% or lower, why not automatically engage Low Power Mode – or at least deliver a notification to turn it on – to help your iPhone make it through the rest of the day?

2. A more advanced iPadOS

iPad Pro being used as a laptop in an office

(Image credit: Future)

We’ve heard many reports and rumors about iOS 18—summaries of notes, mail messages, and webpages alongside a Siri that can control apps and a custom emoji creator. Chances are many of these will arrive on the iPad courtesy of iPadOS 18, but considering we’re fresh off the release of the iPad Pro with the M4 chip and new iPad Air, Pro Users of Apple’s tablets are still eager for more features—myself included.

One idea is a further expansion of Stage Manager, an advanced multitasking experience that lets you place and use multiple windowed applications on the same screen. It’s also available on macOS, but when docked in the Magic Keyboard on iPad, it makes more of a laptop-like experience. It would be neat if using the iPad in the Magic Keyboard unlocked a more desktop-like mode with more freedom of placing open apps and even icons or widgets on the home screen. However, the key with this is still making it touch first and letting a user expand controls with a trackpad, keyboard, or Apple Pencil.

1. A smarter, more intuitive Siri

An iPhone on a blue background showing the Siri logo

(Image credit: Apple)

Like everyone else, I want Siri to do more and be more helpful on all the devices I can access the virtual assistant. The idea of a Siri that can control specific functions of an app and even stack them together is awesome and could be genuinely useful. I wouldn’t need to dig around multiple apps to copy a photo, place it in files, and then share it with a colleague … it could just be a voice request. This would also be a chance for Apple to flex its in-house large-language-model tech as it would let Siri understand what is on the screen, what was, and what could be seen next; it’s all about being context aware.

The answer seems to be giving Siri the equivalent of a new brain or, rather, integrating what makes AI chatbots so interesting, and that’s a whole new large-language model to overhaul Apple’s virtual assistant. It could be a built-in house, but rumors also point to Apple partnering with OpenAI, which could inject a bit of ChatGPT into Siri, but it’s all speculative now. It also raises the question of on-device processing versus sending off the request into the cloud – the latter can be a privacy issue but could also extend the time needed to provide an answer. 

In the end, I hope Siri is more helpful on the fly with requests or queries but also smarter in the home, on the Apple TV, on the wrist with an Apple Watch, and even on the Mac

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We’re just a few days away from Apple’s opening WWDC 2024 keynote and expect a big focus on software at the event. Everything kicks off 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST on June 10 (3am AEST, June 11), and, thankfully, the special event will be live-streamed so you…

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