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Apple WWDC Over The Years: A Timeline Of Top ML Updates

Apple WWDC Over The Years: A Timeline Of Top ML Updates

Apple is all set to kick off its flagship WWDC 2021, which will start later today. The five-day event will have 200 sessions teaching developers technology developed by Apple. This year along with software launches of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12, and more; Apple is also expected to launch its new redesigned MacbookPro models and the Operating system 15. 

Apple’s WWDC event is the company’s second most important event and the company has a history of launching flagship products at this event. For more than a couple of years now, AI and ML based technologies have taken a center stage at these events. Let’s take a look at all the major announcements from Apple in recent times:

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2016: Advancements in Metal

( Image credits: Apple Developer)


Apple unveiled significant advancements in Metal that paved the way for it in becoming a successful graphics processing unit (GPU). The year 2016 also marked the entry of Apple in the field of gaming and graphics previously dominated by others. The technology further evolved in the years to provide support for GPU-driven command creation. It enabled Mac users to tap into the power of Mac Pro and Pro display XDR.

2017: Apple goes on a patent frenzy

( Image Credits:


WWDC 2017 was rather exciting with technologies unveiled that were thought to be ahead of their time. Apple filed major patents and unveiled cutting-edge technology. While smartphone makers were working on facial recognition Apple unveiled Iris Reading technology as biometric identification. The company also implemented neural networks for automated speech recognition. It applied Natural Language Models to weighted finite-state transducers for automatic speech recognition. Apple also unveiled an AI chip in iPhone X that speeded up workloads. The dual-core bionic neural engine chip can carry out about 600 billion operations per second making it one of the fastest of its time. At this event, the company even teased about its work on Augmented Reality, which later paved the way for its advancements and developments in making AR headsets a reality.

2018: Siri echoes AI

(Image credits: Apple)


Like 2016 Apple WWDC event had no hardware launches this year. The year was dedicated to making the pre-existing technology better. Apple’s Siri was launched in 2011 with the promise that the voice assistant would make life easier. The evolved Siri powered by Artificial intelligence could understand the pattern of the user and use the data thus collected to make suggestions on his daily life like ordering his lunch. The voice assistant now works with third-party applications to accomplish tasks like booking flight tickets etc. The newly refurbished Photos app was sure to excite users. It is able to highlight key moments, people, and places to create an intelligently grouped photo collection. 

2019: An exciting year for developers

(Image Credits: Apple)


Apple took machine Learning to the next level as it revealed its cutting edge Core ML 3 framework. For the first time, developers were able to update machine learning models on-device using model personalization. The ML framework deeply understood Vision, natural language, and speech like never before. The framework was later used with Create ML to train and deploy custom Natural language Processor models. The Create ML app was another milestone in the field. It allowed developers to create and train machine learning models with no specific knowledge of machine learning expertise. The developers could train ML models with custom data on Create ML. The app was hailed as user-friendly by users as one could make machine Learning models without writing code. 

2020: The biggest WWDC ever

(Image credits: Apple)


Last year, Apple’s WWDC went virtual for its 23 million large developers community. The company made landmark announcements including those that made machine learning development easier. New tools were added in Core ML for encryption and model deployment, increasing the capabilities of Create ML, and more API’s for vision and natural language. Core ML supports Vision for image analysis, GameplayKit, and NLP for understanding and evaluating decision trees. The company wants to deliver the best experiences for understanding vision and speech. This can allow developers to develop customizable features without compromising user privacy. 

Developers’ expectations and hopes are always high around the event that creates a buzz in the software community for days before and after the event. While guessing games remain prevalent at the time we have understood that Apple always has one trick in the bag to surprise its audience. As for WWDC21, we have to wait and see what Apple’s chief will have in store for the ML community in his keynote speech.

Stay tuned to Analytics India Magazine for more updates from WWDC21

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