Apple WWDC 2024 recap: Apple Intelligence, Platform SSO enhancements, and more

Headshot of Andrea Pepper, SimpleMDM writer and MacAdmin
Andrea Pepper|Updated June 14, 2024
Apple logo on a gray background
Apple logo on a gray background

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Craig Federighi skydiving into Apple Park in a retro rainbow Chevelle-clad space suit?! Quirky antics from Apple Execs can signify only one thing: WWDC week is here!

We'll break down general Apple announcements, like its AI integration (Apple Intelligence) and a new iPhone screen mirroring app that's bound to make Help Desk tasks easier. We'll also walk you through MDM improvements, like enhancements to Platform SSO, more control in Apple Business Manager, updates to the Apps and Books for Organizations API, and more.

MDM takeaways

Deployment

Apple Business Manager

  • You can now turn off Activation Lock from Apple Business Manager for organization-owned devices before the device hits MDM.

    • This feature is supported for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Vision Pro.

  • Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager users with a role that has Manage Device privileges can turn Activation Lock off for organization-owned devices.

The list of reasons to use Automated Device Enrollment just keeps growing!

Managed Apple Accounts

  • Mac admins can now limit any new Apple accounts created with their domain email address to only being able to be made as a Managed Apple ID account type.

  • Domain Capture: New ability for admins to capture all Apple accounts that use their organization domain without needing to connect to an IDP.

  • Account Transfer: Users can now convert personal Apple ID accounts set up for work using their organization's domain to Managed Apple Accounts, ensuring data stays within the organization.

Managed Software Updates

  • There are new settings to manage updates and beta program participation for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

If you have an AppleSeed for IT account, read more in the new Software Update document.

Safari Management

  • MacAdmins can now manage and customize Safari extensions on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to:

    • define allowed extensions

    • control managed extensions status

    • configure extension website access

Mac

  • Platform SSO has new enhancements for better identity provider integration, including:

    • FileVault unlock with successful IDP authentification

    • Login Policies that require IDP authentification for:

      • FileVault

      • Login window

      • Lock Screen

  • Service Configuration has new support for launchd executable files.

  • A new disk management configuration replaces the deprecated media management payload.

    • This configuration allows you to manage external or network storage by defining the mount policy as:

      • Allowed

      • Disallowed

      • Read-only

If you have an AppleSeed for IT account, read more about these updates in Apple's What's New For IT.

MacOS 15 Sequoia

  • Apple announced the iPhone mirroring app as a new part of Continuity. This app will allow you to control an iPhone on your computer in real-time, including file drag-and-drop capabilities.

  • Passwords is getting its own app.

  • Apple Virtual Machines learned some new tricks like iCloud system integration and the Erase All Content and Settings feature.

  • Profile Settings in System Settings has been renamed to Device Management.

iPhone and iPad

  • New eSIM management restrictions give you the ability to lock and hide an app.

iPadOS 18

Apple announced Screen Sharing capabilities with iPad while on FaceTime calls, including these abilities:

  • Tap or draw on the screen to show where the other person should be clicking while screen-sharing.

  • Request control of the other person’s screen. (!!!)

Help Desk, rejoice! (Even if it’s just Help Desk for your parents.)

Apps and Books for Organizations API

Apple has updated its Apps and Books for Organizations API.

  • You can now configure Services IDs and authorization keys via your developer account.

  • By the end of the year, the API will feature a new endpoint offering App Store search functionality.

Managed Device Attestation

Soon, Apple will issue Managed Device Attestations only for devices that meet new hardware requirements:

  • iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices: Must have the A11 Bionic chip or later.

  • Mac computers: Apple silicon.

Apple Push Certificates Portal

Later this year, the Apple Push Certificates Portal will only accept Certificate Signing Requests (CSRs) signed with the more secure SHA-2 algorithm. CSRs signed with the older, less secure SHA-1 will not be issued certificates.

Other big takeaways from WWDC

Apple Intelligence

Apple Intelligence is finally bringing generative models natively to Apple Devices. A big part of Apple Intelligence is its capabilities around language, including:

  • Proofreading

  • Rewriting

  • Summarizing

RIP Grammarly.

Apple Intelligence also has a magic PhotoShop-type feature where you can select items to make them disappear from your photo. 📸

Apple announced further support for Apple Intelligence by integrating ChatGPT 4 into its search queries later this year.

In iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS 15, a new MDM restriction will allow organizations to prevent the use of ChatGPT integration in Siri and Writing Tools.

Apple Intelligence works on an architecture of Private Cloud Compute instead of sending Siri queries directly to servers.

Speaking of Siri...

Girly got a makeoverrrrrr. 💅 ✨

Siri now has a pretty rainbow loop frame that appears around your screen when activated.

Apple Intelligence requirements

Apple Intelligence works on the following software:

  • iPadOS 18

  • iOS 18

  • macOS Sequoia

As for hardware, here’s what’s required for Apple Intelligence:

  • iPhone 15+

  • A17 Chip

  • M Series Silicon Mac

Fun takeaways

iPadOS Calculator App

Y'all… after 15 years of waiting… the iPad finally gets its flowers in iPadOS 18. That’s right; the iPad is getting its very own native Calculator app. 🥹 No more third-party calculator apps required!

It’s been a long time coming.

Tiles

FINALLY.

Apple just announced that in macOS 18, separate windows can now snap to different parts of your screen, making split-screen that much easier.

Notable mentions

  • Tap to Cash

  • Nod head Yes and shake head No gesture support added to Siri for AirPods

  • Ability to filter screenshots out of Photos overview

  • SmartScript for Apple Pencil to improve legibility of handwritten notes

  • Smart Reply summary and UI clickable response for the native Mail app


WWDC24 FAQ

What is WWDC?

WWDC stands for Worldwide Developers Conference.

WWDC is an annual conference hosted by Apple every June at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. AT WWDC, Apple announces new software updates for its software platforms (iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, visionOS, and tvOS) and reveals emerging technologies for the Apple developer community.


Ready to get all these new features revving? 🏎️💨

Try a 30-day free trial of SimpleMDM today and take all these Apple updates for a spin!

Headshot of Andrea Pepper, SimpleMDM writer and MacAdmin
Andrea Pepper

Andrea Pepper is an Apple SME MacAdmin with a problematic lack of impulse control around a software update prompt. When not poking at machines, Pepper enjoys being a silly goose in sunny Colorado with her two gigantic fluffer pups.

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