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WWDC 2024 Wishlist

My hopes for the coming year in the world of iOS development

1. AI

Apple really needs a big WWDC in 2024.

I’ve not being doing as much native iOS development this year as usual (my work mobile dev has been in Flutter for a year of so), but working in other ecosystems really highlights how far behind Apple is in quite a few areas.

It’s already been flagged that Apple will be concentrating on AI features this year, as much for their share price as anything.

Here’s some of the things I’d like to see them do …

Make Siri better on all platforms

Siri has been terrible for years.

It consistently doesn’t understand what you are asking, and even when it does the answer isn’t often useful.

Hopefully this year will be the reset it has needed for a long while.

Clearly a mini-LLM under the covers could help with the understanding part, but unless they improve and expand the data sources that feed into the answers, just having it say “Here’s what I found on the web” in a more conversational manner isn’t going to be any better.

It also needs to be able to do more within non-system apps via voice to be truly a worthwhile assistant.

Provide on-device LLM developer functionality

If Apple is shipping an on-device LLM, I really hope they offer this via an API for developers to use.

This would open up a plethora of interesting use cases for text-based summaries and textual understanding without having to do everything online, with the (lack of) privacy that entails.

Not sure how good a small on-device LLM can be, but it will be very interesting to see what we get (if anything)

Improve the donation of app data to Siri

More interesting would be expanding the ways of donating relevant information to the system that it can be surfaced via Siri.

We can currently donate info to Spotlight searches, as well as NSUserActivity information, but I don’t see how these existing systems could be utilised in a more general search.

I hope Apple exposes more APIs where useful info from within your app can be integrated in a privacy-first way

2. Allow Copilot in Xcode

I’m been so much more productive this year being able to use GitHub Copilot in Visual Studio Code and now Android Studio.

The inline code suggestions are often spookily good, and it makes it so much quicker when writing “boilerplate code” to have it suggest the kinda obvious code rather than having to type it out.

It’s been even more useful for me as I work across a whole range of different technologies in a small startup, so it’s of even more help in langauges I’m less confident in.

Of course you always need to check the suggested code is good (and sometimes it’s not), but it’s a massive productivity boost that I already couldn’t do without.

Xcode is SO far behind in not offering this, it must be guaranteed some sort of code based LLM integration must be coming this year.

Only offering an Apple-approved integration would be a massive fail too. I already pay for and am very happy with GitHub Copilot, and I want to use it in Xcode. I don’t need Apple to protect me from non-existent issues in this case. I’m not confident this will happen though 🤞🏻

3. Fix display issues in standby mode

I’ve been using my iPhone 15 Pro Max on a Magsafe stand next to my bed as a bedside clock for a while now.

It’s a really nice feature, but the screen regularly turns itself off in the night, and needs a tap to be able to see the time again.

I’ve triple-checked all the settings, but it appears there is no way for the “always on” display to keep itself always on 🙄

Let’s hope Apple has fixed this in iOS 18

4. Offer layered app icons in iOS 18

Don’t really care about this, but after my feedback to the Upgrade podcast about how “the layered icons in tvOS could work on iOS too to allow customised backbround colors” go read out on air - unfortunately Myke couldn’t find my name - I really want this to happen now (so John was right!)

This also got mentioned on ATP too, so I’m really invested in this coming to pass 🤣

5. Allow more CarPlay integration options

I’ve got a CarPlay screen in my car now, and would really like to bring Sideboard as an app to the platform now.

I think it would be a great fit, but a calendar app isn’t one of the supported CarPlay capabilities (even though the native Calendar app is allowed)

More importantly, I’d like an excuse to build a CarPlay compatible app!

6. Improve App Store flexibility

Apple’s App Store monopoly is gradually being dragged kicking and screaming by the EU into a better future where we can be more flexible in how we get our apps onto our customer’s devices.

There is no way this is going to happen willingly, as Apple is MUCH more concerned with keeping their 30% transaction fees than protecting what they think of as their users, but wouldn’t it be great if Apple changed their review process on iOS to be much more lightweight like the Mac notarization process?

I’m currently going through a Kafkaesque nightmare with a ridiculous App Store rejection, so the quicker Apple gets forced to take a more reasonable approach the better.


If I get more than 50% of these I’ll be pleasantly surprised, but I’ll revisit this after the keynote to see how things went.

Post-WWDC scorecard

Here’s my scoring:

  • 🟡 Make Siri better on all platforms (partial credit)
  • ❌ Provide on-device LLM developer functionality
  • ✅ Improve the donation of app data to Siri
  • ❌ Allow Copilot in Xcode
  • ❌ Fix display issues in standby mode
  • ❌ Offer layered app icons in iOS 18
  • ❌ Allow more CarPlay integration options
  • ❌ Improve App Store flexibility

Pretty underwhelming WWDC all in all, with the focus on “Apple Intelligence” which doesn’t have much of a dev story, isn’t shipping yet and will be en-US only at first 😦