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WWDC 2024 key takeaways: 12 new helpful features for your iOS app this fall

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2024 unveiled new features and APIs for iOS apps, offering exciting business opportunities. This summary explains iOS 18's key updates, how to utilize them, and the kinds of apps each update is ideal for.

In this article, you’ll find twelve actionable updates from WWDC 2024 to make your iOS app stand out from the competition this fall. Let’s get started!

1. Apple Intelligence

What’s new: In WWDC 2024, Apple unveiled advanced generative AI models for text rewriting, proofreading, summarising, and creating custom emojis based on user descriptions.

How to use: Integrate these features to enhance user engagement through smarter content creation and manipulation tools. You can add, e.g., automatic text summarization or real-time image editing capabilities to your app.

Ideal for: Communication apps, social media platforms, and creative tools that benefit from enhanced AI-driven functionalities​.

Device compatibility: Currently only supported by iPhone 15 Pro and iPads with M chips. The model range is expected to expand with new iPhone announcements this fall.

2. App Intents

What’s new: Enhanced orchestration capabilities allow for better Siri integration, with new APIs for task transferring and file management. Improved Spotlight indexing makes app functionalities easier to discover.

How to use: Use these capabilities to enable complex interactions within your app through Siri and Spotlight. For example, a task management app can provide detailed voice commands and better integration with iOS features.

Ideal for: Productivity apps, task managers, and applications benefiting from enhanced voice and search functionalities​.

3. SiriKit

What’s new: Apple revealed significant improvements to Siri’s handling of requests and conversational context, resulting in more fluid and intuitive interactions.

How to use: Businesses can use these improvements to create more natural and responsive voice-controlled experiences without additional work.

Ideal for: Apps heavily relying on voice commands, such as virtual assistants and home automation systems​.

4. Widgets and Live Activities

What’s new: Apple introduced new controls for widgets on the Control Center and Lock Screen, along with shared capabilities across iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS.

How to use: Create interactive widgets that provide real-time updates directly on the user’s screen or lock screen.

Ideal for: Sports apps, news apps, and applications benefiting from live data display, such as weather or stock market trackers​​.

5. Broadcast push notifications

What’s new: Apple now supports broadcast push notifications, allowing apps to send updates to all subscribed users simultaneously. This feature is designed to deliver updates to Live Activities at scale, ensuring timely and relevant information reaches users effectively.

How to use: Implement this feature to keep users informed about important updates, news, or live events in real time. You can use broadcast push notifications to engage users with real-time information and updates.

Ideal for: News apps, sports apps, event management platforms, and any application that needs to communicate timely and critical information to a broad user base​.

6. Passkeys

What’s new: Apple introduced more secure, user-friendly passkeys that replace traditional passwords alongside an automatic passkey upgrade API.

How to use: Integrate passkeys to enhance security and simplify the sign-in process for users.

Ideal for: Any app requiring user authentication, including financial services, e-commerce, and social networks​.

7. iPadOS enhancements

What’s new: iPadOS 18 features a redesigned tab bar, refined animations, and an updated document launch view.

How to use: Leverage these new design elements and features to enhance your app’s navigation and visual appeal.

Ideal for: Productivity tools, creative apps, and any application designed for the iPad platform​​.

8. Wallet and Apple Pay

What’s new: In WWDC 2024, Apple also introduced rich pass designs and third-party browser support for Apple Pay, making transactions more seamless.

How to use: Integrate these features to enhance the purchasing experience within your app, whether for in-app purchases or online shopping.

Ideal for: E-commerce platforms, event ticketing services, and any apps requiring payment processing​​.

Read more on recent updates for iOS payments: Apple opens NFC payment capabilities to all app developers in Europe

9. Maps

What’s new: The new Place Card API and improved search capabilities make Maps integration more powerful and user-friendly.

How to Use: Use these APIs to provide detailed location information and enhanced search functionality within your app.

Ideal for: Travel apps, navigation tools, and local discovery platforms​.

10. HealthKit

What’s new: New APIs focused on mental health and wellbeing, allowing apps to track emotions, moods, and overall mental health.

How to use: Integrate these features to provide comprehensive health and fitness tracking, especially focusing on mental wellness.

Ideal for: Health and fitness apps, particularly those aiming to provide mental health support​​.

11. Translation APIs

What’s new: A new framework for translating text across languages is now available.

How to use: Provide multilingual support within your app to reach a broader audience and enhance user experience.

Ideal for: Communication apps, travel services, and any app requiring language translation capabilities​.

12. App Store and StoreKit

What’s new: Apple has introduced powerful new tools and features to enhance In-App Purchases, including streamlined payment processes, global payment reach, and robust pricing tools. The StoreKit framework has been updated to simplify the implementation of In-App Purchases and subscriptions.

How to use: Leverage StoreKit to offer consumable and non-consumable In-App Purchases, auto-renewable subscriptions, and non-renewing subscriptions. Utilise new pricing tools to manage In-App Purchase pricing across international markets and take advantage of promotional features like promo codes and in-app events to boost engagement.

Ideal for: Any app looking to monetize through In-App Purchases, including games, media services, and productivity tools.

Read more: A practical guide to in-app purchases

The updates from WWDC 2024 provide exciting new opportunities for businesses and app developers. They enable creating more engaging, secure, and versatile applications.

Gain a competitive edge and enhance your user experience by taking advantage of the new features and APIs. For more detailed information, please visit the Apple Developer What’s New page.

Want to make your iOS app stand out? Read more about making your app a commercial and consumer success, or contact us.