Archive for June 10, 2024

Monday, June 10, 2024

Apple Intelligence Announced

Apple (preview, Hacker News, MacRumors, 9To5Mac):

Writing Tools help users feel more confident in their writing. With Rewrite, Apple Intelligence allows users to choose from different versions of what they have written, adjusting the tone to suit the audience and task at hand. From finessing a cover letter, to adding humor and creativity to a party invitation, Rewrite helps deliver the right words to meet the occasion. Proofread checks grammar, word choice, and sentence structure while also suggesting edits — along with explanations of the edits — that users can review or quickly accept. With Summarize, users can select text and have it recapped in the form of a digestible paragraph, bulleted key points, a table, or a list.

[…]

In the Notes and Phone apps, users can now record, transcribe, and summarize audio.

[…]

Natural language can be used to search for specific photos, such as “Maya skateboarding in a tie-dye shirt,” or “Katie with stickers on her face.” Search in videos also becomes more powerful with the ability to find specific moments in clips so users can go right to the relevant segment. Additionally, the new Clean Up tool can identify and remove distracting objects in the background of a photo — without accidentally altering the subject.

[…]

A cornerstone of Apple Intelligence is on-device processing, and many of the models that power it run entirely on device. To run more complex requests that require more processing power, Private Cloud Compute extends the privacy and security of Apple devices into the cloud to unlock even more intelligence.

Benjamin Mayo:

Apple today unveiled a new version of Siri, that it promises is more natural and helpful. The new Siri is powered by Apple Intelligence generative AI models.

[…]

Apple says the new Siri will understand context, so you don’t have to repeat information in subsequent requests.

[…]

Siri will have on-screen awareness about what you are currently looking at, and have the ability to take in-app actions.

[…]

App Intents will allow Siri to work deeply with first-party and third-party apps.

But will Siri be able to create a reminder with the literal text of what I said?

Hartley Charlton (9to5Mac):

Siri will determine if queries may be useful to forward to ChatGPT, and asks the user for permission to share. This enables Siri to leverage ChatGPT's image- and text-understanding capabilities with no need to jump between tools.

[…]

Siri will leverage GPT-4o for free, with no need to create an account. Requests are not logged and IP addresses are obscured.

Tim Hardwick:

has unveiled a new Image Playground feature that allows you to create generative images on the fly using a range of concepts like themes, costumes, accessories, places, and more.

You can type a description, and choose from Animation, Illustration, or Sketch, and Image Playground will create the image tailored to your preferences.

Ryan Christoffel (MacRumors):

Apple shared a new feature that will enable you to create an emoji for any occasion. Apple calls this AI-powered feature Genmoji.

[…]

Since emojis are actually unicode characters that work cross-platform, Apple’s Genmoji won’t technically work the same way as other emoji, since if they were, they wouldn’t display properly on non-Apple devices. Instead, Apple creates Genmoji as images.

Meek Geek wonders whether the hardware requirements are artificial.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-14): See also:

Tyler Hall:

Here’s the thing. This all looks amazing. But, when it comes to knowing when to pick my mom up from the airport, I’m going to have to triple-check the results with the source data to be sure the AI isn’t just making stuff up.

I’m sure Apple has this covered better than other companies, but it’s going to be a long time before I blindly trust the results of so much disparate data.

Francisco Tolmasky:

Biggest takeaway from WWDC: everyone overestimated Tim Cook and underestimated Sam Altman. Apple I’m sure thinks this is a stopgap until they can swap in their own LLMs. But OpenAI is betting this is a stopgap until they can swap in their own phone. It remains to be seen who is right here, but I can tell you that OpenAI is getting way more out of being put in front of every Apple customer than Apple is getting from finally accurately telling you George Washington’s birthday or whatever.

Mark Gurman (Hacker News:

Left unanswered on Monday: which company is paying the other as part of a tight collaboration that has potentially lasting monetary benefits for both. But, according to people briefed on the matter, the partnership isn’t expected to generate meaningful revenue for either party — at least at the outset.

JP Simard:

I initially wrote off Apple’s integration with ChatGPT as an admission of defeat, that they couldn’t develop an LLM competitive with GPT-4o or Gemini or Claude despite having near infinite resources, powerful ML co-processors in their hardware lineup going back years and some very bright people.

But now I’m beginning to see that Apple’s strategy is actually kinda brilliant in unexpected ways.

[…]

Apple is letting the rest of the industry burn money and duke it out while providing a ton of value for their customers. This has echoes of its approach to integrate 3rd party search providers, with a 2024 AI craze twist.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

I still have so many questions about ‘Apple Intelligence’ after yesterday. Does Siri just… not get better?… on anything below an iPhone 15 Pro? No improvement to the cloud-based Siri on older devices? No HomePods? Can we as developers not rely on an improved conversational, smart Siri across devices when building our new Siri features?

Jim Dalrymple:

Lots of great AI things from Apple, as expected.

I still don’t know if Siri can set a fucking timer, get reliable directions from Siri in Maps, or ask Siri for a specific song/band to be played in Apple Music.

Previously:

macOS 15 Sequoia Announced

Apple (preview, Hacker News, MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

macOS Sequoia makes Continuity even more magical with iPhone Mirroring, which allows users to fully access and engage with their iPhone — right from their Mac. A user’s custom wallpaper and icons appear just like on their iPhone, and they can swipe between pages on their Home Screen, or launch and browse any of their favorite apps. The keyboard, trackpad, and mouse on Mac also let a user interact with their iPhone, and audio even comes through. Users can seamlessly drag and drop between iPhone and Mac, and a user’s iPhone remains locked, so nobody else can access or see what the user is doing. It also works great with StandBy, which stays visible, so users can get information at a glance. Additionally, users can review and respond to iPhone notifications directly from their Mac.

[…]

Game Porting Toolkit 2 takes this to the next level with some of the most-requested capabilities from game developers, making it even easier to bring advanced games to Mac, as well as iPhone and iPad.

[…]

When a user drags a window to the edge of the screen, macOS Sequoia automatically suggests a tiled position on their desktop. Users can release their window right into place, quickly arrange tiles side by side, or place them in corners to keep even more apps in view. And new keyboard and menu shortcuts help users organize tiles even faster.

[…]

macOS Sequoia brings Passwords, a new app that makes it even easier to access passwords, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and other credentials all in one place.

Joe Rossignol:

In a post on X, the leaker said macOS 15 will be compatible with all Apple silicon Macs with the M1 chip and newer, and all Intel-based Macs equipped with Apple's T2 security chip. If this information is accurate, macOS 15 would be compatible with all Macs that support macOS Sonoma, with one possible exception: the 2019 iMac.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-13): Mr. Macintosh:

The 2018 & 2019 MacBook Air models ARE DEAD

Highlights: 2017 iMac Pro & 2019 NON T2 LIVES!!!

Howard Oakley:

However, Apple Intelligence will only be available on Apple silicon Macs. Because a T2 chip isn’t required by Intel Macs, it’s possible that OCLP will enable other Intel Macs to run Sequoia.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

I think macOS Sequoia is the last release you can reasonably expect to run on Intel; half the WWDC keynote was AI features that don’t run on Intel Macs, including Xcode’s new editor functionality, and the visionOS SDK already requires ARM. You can only expect more from here. The writing is clearly on the wall; if we get next year’s release, it would be unnecessarily generous of Apple,

See also: MacStories, ArsTechnica, AppleInsider.

Michael Love:

If Apple actually wanted more advanced games on Mac, they’d make a deal with Valve to integrate Game Porting Toolkit with Steam, but that means sharing the cake and Apple does not under any circumstances share the cake.

Basic Apple Guy (MacRumors):

One of the rumours that came out right before WWDC was that Apple might be adding the ability to include ‘retro wallpaper packs’. While those are nowhere to be found in Developer Beta 1, we did get an excellent new Macintosh screensaver/wallpaper in macOS 15. This new dynamic wallpaper floats over Susan Kare’s iconic Macintosh iconography, Control Panel, and applications like the Calculator and MacWrite, Apple’s early word processor.

After a couple of hours scouring macOS Seqioua, I wasn’t able to find the file responsible for these images, so I opted for the next best option and took some high-resolution screenshots of some of my favourite parts to share before people unearth the file.

Mario Guzmán:

I guess we now have individual processes for both dynamic/animated wallpapers introduced in Sequoia.

I assume the new default wallpaper is called Helios.

I have to admit, I get happy seeing the word “Macintosh” anywhere.

Mario Guzmán:

macOS Sequoia has two new Energy widgets under the Home app.

💡Electricity Usage - Get an idea of how your home's electricity usage is trending.
💡Electricity Rates - Quickly see how your electricity is priced.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-18): Howard Oakley:

This article summarises some of the most important details it has given so far, both in the Keynote and the subsequent Platforms State of the Union.

iPadOS 18 Announced

Apple (preview, MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

With iPadOS 18, Calculator comes to iPad with Math Notes, along with new handwriting tools in Notes — all designed for Apple Pencil.

[…]

An all-new Math Notes calculator allows users to type or write out mathematical expressions and see them instantly solved in their own handwriting. They can also assign values to variables when learning new concepts in class, calculating a budget, and more. With a new graphing feature, users can write or type an equation and insert a graph with just one tap, and can even add multiple equations on the same graph to see how they relate. And Math Notes are automatically accessible in the Notes app in the new Math Notes folder.

[…]

With the power of Apple Pencil, Smart Script makes handwritten notes fluid, flexible, and easier to read, all while maintaining the look and feel of a user’s personal handwriting. Smart Script allows users to write quickly without sacrificing legibility by smoothing and straightening handwritten text in real time. And it makes editing handwritten text just as simple as editing typed text.

[…]

A redesigned tab bar floats above app content and complements the sidebar to help users stay focused on what matters most while keeping favorite tabs within reach. The new floating tab bar elegantly morphs into the sidebar so users can dive deeper into an app’s full functionality.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-13): See also: ArsTechnica.

Federico Viticci:

As I feared, iPadOS 18 is not a meaningful update for iPad users who hoped Apple would fill some of the longstanding platform gaps between the Mac and iPad. With no Stage Manager improvements, no changes to audio routing, and seemingly very little happening in Shortcuts in terms of new actions (for now), it’s hard to be excited about iPadOS 18. Sadly, everything I wrote last month in my article about iPadOS still stands today.

[…]

Unsurprisingly, pro features for iPadOS users are nowhere to be seen, adding to my concerns regarding who’s in charge of this platform and what their vision for it actually is. It’s quite telling that the marquee additions to iPad this year are…a Calculator app and a redesigned tab bar.

Marina Epelman:

Ok, when Craig said “solve math” in the keynote, I cringed and moved on since it was a fleeting moment (not really, but for argument’s sake, let’s say I have). But this shit is on their actual website. Who the hell solves a function?! What does it even mean to solve a function?!

You solve a problem. You solve an equation. You solve a riddle. A mystery. A crime.

You don’t solve a function. Or math (or maths, for that matter).

Steve Troughton-Smith:

I’m not convinced by the new floaty-morphy tab bar in iPadOS 18, and I don’t think I want to put it in any of my apps. It kinda feels like an attempt to simplify/dumb-down the iPad UI too, which is the opposite direction of where I want to see iPadOS go.

Christina Warren:

Still no actual file manager on the iPad, but we got new animations!

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Stage Manager, now entering its third year, is unchanged in iPadOS 18.

Fernando Silva:

Regarding iPadOS 18 and everything they showed we are still missing a few features. Most, if not all, have to do with Apple Intelligence. As of now, Beta 1 does not have any of the Apple Intelligence-related features. There is no new siri animations, no genmojis, no ChatGPT integration.

watchOS 11 Announced

Apple (preview, MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

The new Vitals app surfaces key health metrics and context to help users make more informed day-to-day decisions, and the ability to measure training load offers a game-changing new experience when working out for improved fitness and performance. Activity rings are even more customizable, the Smart Stack and Photos face use intelligence to feature more individualization, and Apple Watch and the Health app on iPhone and iPad offer additional support for users who are pregnant. Check In, the Translate app, and new capabilities for the double tap gesture come to Apple Watch for added connectivity and convenience.

Chance Miller:

watchOS 11 will drop support for the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, and the original Apple Watch SE.

Previously:

tvOS 18 Announced

Apple (MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

With tvOS 18, intelligent new features like InSight — and updates to Enhance Dialogue and subtitles — level up cinematic experiences, while new Apple Fitness+, Apple Music, and FaceTime capabilities get even better on users’ biggest screen. The Home app gains new features with iOS 18, like guest access and hands-free unlock with home keys, delivering effortless and secure access to the home.

[…]

Enhance Dialogue gets smarter with tvOS 18, leveraging machine learning and computational audio to deliver greater vocal clarity over music, action, and background noise on Apple TV 4K.

[…]

For even more convenience, subtitles now automatically appear at just the right moments with tvOS 18, including when the language in a show or film does not match the device language, when users mute, or when they skip back while watching something.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-12): Sigmund Judge:

A new addition to Apple TV+, InSight gives users real-time access to information about the actors and their characters onscreen, as well as the soundtrack in a given scene, allowing viewers to quickly add that song or musical performance to an Apple Music playlist to enjoy later. Much like Amazon Prime Video’s X-Ray feature that came before it, there’s lots of fine granular detail that could be added to InSight before its fall launch, but this is a great start.

In addition to accessing InSight on the big screen, users will also be able to view real-time actor, character, and music information through the Remote app found in Control Center on iOS and iPadOS, allowing access to the same information for a distraction-free experience when watching with friends and family.

[…]

While the latest iteration of Apple’s big-screen entertainment experience may not offer the grand reinvention some might have hoped for, the ninth iteration of tvOS does introduce a handful of welcome enhancements.

iOS 18 Announced

Apple (MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

Users will be able to arrange apps and widgets in any open space on the Home Screen, customize the buttons at the bottom of the Lock Screen, and quickly access more controls in Control Center. Photo libraries are automatically organized in a new single view in Photos, and helpful new collections keep favorites easily accessible. Mail simplifies the inbox by sorting email into categories using on-device intelligence, and all-new text effects come to iMessage. Powered by the same groundbreaking technology as existing iPhone satellite capabilities, users can now communicate over satellite in the Messages app when a cellular or Wi-Fi connection isn’t available.

[…]

Locked and hidden apps offer users peace of mind that information they want to keep private, such as app notifications and content, will not inadvertently be seen by others. Users can now lock an app; and for additional privacy, they can hide an app, moving it to a locked, hidden apps folder. When an app is locked or hidden, content like messages or emails inside the app are hidden from search, notifications, and other places across the system.

[…]

In Apple Maps, users can browse thousands of hikes across national parks in the United States and easily create their own custom walking routes, which they can access offline. Maps users can also save their favorite national park hikes, custom walking routes, and locations to an all-new Places Library and add personal notes about each spot.

Tim Hardwick:

iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17[…] iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out.

Ryan Christoffel:

One major new feature will enable using the Messages app even when you don’t have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

Benjamin Mayo:

iOS 18 includes Tap to Cash, a new way to send money to your friends using Apple Pay Cash. By simply bringing your phone close to a friend, you can send money instantly – transferring from your Apple Cash account.

It’s like AirDrop, but for sending money.

Tim Hardwick:

In iOS 18, when you invoke Control Center with a swipe down from the top-right of your iPhone's screen, you can continuously swipe to get to more control center screens. There's a new controls gallery that lets you customize the controls you see, and you can change the size of buttons to emphasize priority. Additionally, developers can include controls from their own apps, enabling quick access to controls like remotely starting a car, for example.

Apple (MacRumors):

Siri Interactions allow AirPods Pro users to privately respond to Siri with a simple head nod yes or shake no. For even clearer call quality, Voice Isolation comes to AirPods Pro, helping ensure the caller’s voice is heard in loud or windy environments. AirPods updates also significantly reduce audio latency while gaming, and add Personalized Spatial Audio for even more immersive gameplay.

Joe Rossignol:

iMessage is finally getting bold, italics, underline, and strikeout options, along with all-new text effects that allow you to animate individual words in a message.

Apple has redesigned the Tapback icons like the heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, and exclamation marks to be more colorful on iOS 18, and the Tapback system now works with any emoji too.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-13): See also: ArsTechnica, MacStories, Hacker News, Macworld, AppleInsider.

Malcolm Owen (MacRumors, 9To9Mac):

Under iOS 18, it is possible to change how wide or narrow the beam of light is for some later models of iPhone.

Tim Hardwick:

As part of its Home Screen customization overhaul, iOS 18 lets iPhone users hide the labels on app icons for a cleaner look.

Juli Clover:

One of the interesting new features coming in iOS 18 will let you automatically record and transcribe your live phone calls through the Phone app.

Benjamin Mayo:

A long-requested feature for Android users switching to iPhone is the addition of T9 dialling. This is a shortcut to dialling phone numbers from your address book, by typing in letters on the keypad.

Juli Clover:

Apple revamped the iCloud section of the Apple Account (formerly Apple ID) that’s available in the Settings app. The redesigned interface has much of the same functionality, but a “Saved to iCloud” feature makes it clearer how storage is being used.

visionOS 2 Announced

Apple (preview, MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

With visionOS 2, users can revisit past memories by creating spatial photos directly from their library in the Photos app. visionOS uses advanced machine learning to transform a 2D image into a beautiful spatial photo that truly comes to life on Vision Pro.

[…]

Later this year, Canon will offer a brand-new spatial lens for its popular EOS R7 digital camera to capture gorgeous spatial video, even in challenging lighting conditions. An update to Final Cut Pro will enable creators to edit spatial videos on their Mac and add immersive titles and effects to their projects, and with the Vimeo app designed for Vision Pro, users will be able to upload and share spatial videos for others to discover and enjoy.

[…]

visionOS 2 makes navigating Apple Vision Pro faster and easier for users to access key functions with new hand gestures to get to frequently used features like Home View and Control Center.

[…]

Later this year, Mac Virtual Display will feature a higher resolution and larger size — creating an ultra-wide display that is equivalent to two 4K monitors side by side. To create the perfect workspace, visionOS 2 also adds mouse support for additional workflow options, and Vision Pro will now reveal the user’s physical Magic Keyboard — even when they are fully immersed in an Environment or app.

Previously:

Update (2024-06-12): See also: Hacker News.

Samuel Axon:

Vision Pro users hoping for multiple virtual Mac monitors will be disappointed that's not planned this time around, but Apple plans to add the next-best thing: Users will be able to take advantage of a larger and higher-resolution single virtual display, including a huge, wraparound ultrawide monitor mode that Apple says is equivalent to two 4K monitors.

[…]

A lot of the improvements that will lead to better apps come in the form of new developer APIs that will facilitate apps that really take advantage of the spatial features rather than just being flat 2D windows floating around you—something we noted as a disappointment when we shared our impressions of the device. Some APIs help create shared spatial experiences with other Vision Pro users who aren't in the same room as you. One of those, TabletopKit, is focused on creating apps that sit on a 2D surface, like board and card games.

Wes Davis:

But the company glossed right over some of the most sorely needed features that it’s adding to visionOS — and those quieter changes make for a much more exciting update.

After the update arrives this fall, you’ll be able to see a Magic Keyboard while you’re working in a virtual environment, use any Bluetooth mouse you want, and rearrange your homescreen icons — including putting iPad and iPhone apps where you want.

[…]

Apple says the Vision Pro will also start saving eye and hand setups for guest users for 30 days, too. It’s been nothing short of a pain to share a Vision Pro with anyone because each time you pop it in guest mode, that person has to go through setup all over again.

[…]

Lastly, when you encounter a video on the web, you’ll be able to break it out into a free-floating video player — something Apple was bound to do since neither YouTube nor Netflix have built apps for the Vision Pro.

[…]

Here’s a brief list of additional features it notes are on the way[…]

Malcolm Owen:

Here’s what’s coming in visionOS 2.0.

mb bischoff:

lmao at Vimeo making a visionOS app for Spatial Video after literally killing their Apple TV app in 2023…

Colin Cornaby:

I was a little disappointed to see a lack of conversation around gaming on visionOS. visionOS isn’t really a gaming platform - so kind of understandable. But it does feel weird I’m considering buying a Quest to play the Riven remaster when I have a perfectly good Vision Pro.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

By the way, we’re now a full year on and Apple never did ‘get back to [you] soon’ re the application for a Vision Pro Developer Kit. Just crickets, for twelve months.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

New in visionOS 2.0, you can create UI that changes when looked at, much like some of the existing system experiences.

Update (2024-06-18): Ben Lang (via Hacker News):

We’ve know that Apple planned to support WebXR for quite some time, but with VisionOS 2, the company is enabling the feature for all users. WebXR allows developers to deliver cross-platform XR experiences directly from the web, with no gatekeepers to approve or reject content.

See also: Are you still using your Vision Pro?.