Apple's Image Playground is a new system-wide AI-powered image generation tool

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in iOS

During the 2024 WWDC, Apple announced an Image Playground -- an entirely new AI application that can be used to generate images and emojis across iOS 18, macOS Sequoia, and iPadOS 18.

A tablet screen shows a messaging app with conversations, a search bar, and customizable conversation bubble effects.
Image Credit: Apple



The new app is called Image Playground, which was originally known as Generative Playground in pre-release versions of Apple's latest operating systems. AppleInsider exclusively revealed the existence of Image Playground in our reports on Apple's internal AI projects -- Greymatter and BlackPearl.

Image Playground was announced during Apple's WWDC keynote, as part of the company's new generative AI software dubbed "Apple Intelligence".

The application features what Apple calls "Personal Context," meaning that it can utilize on-device AI to provide user-specific suggestions, with information from system apps such as Photos and Messages.

With Image Playground, users will be able to generate images related to concepts and people from their conversations in the Messages app, or of people from their photo library.

For instance, users will have the option to create an AI-generated image of a person they know, wearing a cape or a hat, and then send that image off via iMessage.

Users can create images either by selecting pre-defined image descriptors or by providing their own unique, text-based image descriptions.

This means that users will have the option to choose from Apple's image themes, costumes, and accessories for a character, or different places and locations such as nature or space.

With Apple's built-in descriptors, users could generate an image of a cat as an astronaut in space, for instance.

Alternatively, users can also come up with their own image descriptions. This practically means that the app can create a variety of different images on the fly.

Close-up of a phone screen showing style options for an image: Animation, Illustration, and Sketch, with Animation selected, and a Done button in the corner.
Apple's style options for Image Playground



During the event, Apple explained that the new app can generate images in the following three styles:


  • Animation

  • Illustration

  • Sketch



According to our own research, the company also developed a fourth image style called Line Art. It does not appear that Line Art made it to the final version of the app.

Image Playground features integration with system applications such as Freeform, Keynote, Messages, and Pages. With it, users can create so-called Genmojis along with other types of images.

Laptop displaying a colorful background with an open application window featuring colorful dice and various customization options at the bottom. The desktop icons are visible.
Image Playground running on a MacBook Pro



This will give users new ways of expressing themselves and their ideas across different apps, while also making message communication more fun in the process.

Apple has also created a new Image Playground API, which will give developers a way of embedding AI-powered image generation into their applications.

As mentioned earlier, Image Playground is only part of Apple's broader AI initiative. Apple Intelligence provides users with things such as AI-generated text summaries, advanced Siri functionality, and more.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Am I the only one who kind hates this new functionality? I really...don't love the art styles, and it feels like it's just going to create a lot of extra junk in my messages if people use it. I know, it's a bit of a cynical take, just wondering what peoples' response has been to the new feature.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 843member
    chromafox said:
    Am I the only one who kind hates this new functionality? I really...don't love the art styles, and it feels like it's just going to create a lot of extra junk in my messages if people use it. I know, it's a bit of a cynical take, just wondering what peoples' response has been to the new feature.
    I felt the same way about memojis in animojis.The tweens and teens will love it. They will be Apple customers for life. This is good for investors.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    chromafox said:
    Am I the only one who kind hates this new functionality? I really...don't love the art styles, and it feels like it's just going to create a lot of extra junk in my messages if people use it. I know, it's a bit of a cynical take, just wondering what peoples' response has been to the new feature.
    I don't see myself using it but I'm not bothered by it by it either. I also don't think every feature in iOS/iPadOS/MacOS needs to be built just for me. I'm also guessing there are features that I like that other's have no use for. It's a multi use device. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    MaxLe0p0ldMaxLe0p0ld Posts: 32unconfirmed, member
    Why not finally the Auto Creation Tool for MeMoji from a Picture taken?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,099member
    chromafox said:
    Am I the only one who kind hates this new functionality? I really...don't love the art styles, and it feels like it's just going to create a lot of extra junk in my messages if people use it. I know, it's a bit of a cynical take, just wondering what peoples' response has been to the new feature.
    I don't see myself using it but I'm not bothered by it by it either. I also don't think every feature in iOS/iPadOS/MacOS needs to be built just for me. I'm also guessing there are features that I like that other's have no use for. It's a multi use device. 
    This is correct. Apple engineering doesn't make hardware nor software just for one person's pleasure. They create things that have a fairly broad utility to a wide range of users.

    No one at Apple is pointing a gun at anyone's head saying they need to create a Memoji. Hell, you don't want to use spell checking, turn it off. You are free to send e-mails with a bunch of errors. You can even just enable Airplane Mode and use your iPhone like an iPod. Tim Cook isn't going to lose any sleep if someone doesn't use every single feature on every single Apple device.

    Sometimes I really wonder if some people online have any sort of grasp on reality.

    edited June 10 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,099member
    chromafox said:
    Am I the only one who kind hates this new functionality? I really...don't love the art styles, and it feels like it's just going to create a lot of extra junk in my messages if people use it. I know, it's a bit of a cynical take, just wondering what peoples' response has been to the new feature.
    You don't have to use it. You don't have use any of the features on an iPhone. You can just put it in Airplane Mode and use it as an iPod or a paperweight if that's your jam. Hell, at least in an older iPhone that had a SIM slot, you could just stick an expired SIM card into the slot.

    Don't like Face ID? Touch ID? Apple Pay? Bluetooth? Siri? Fine. Don't use them. No one at Apple is saying you need to create Genmojis, Memojis, whatever. If you don't want to create images on your phone, don't.

    You don't have to use the camera either. You can ignore it, even put tape over the lenses.

    You can switch to silent mode and change your ringtones to silent audio files if you want.
    edited June 10 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    mpantone said:
    chromafox said:
    Am I the only one who kind hates this new functionality? I really...don't love the art styles, and it feels like it's just going to create a lot of extra junk in my messages if people use it. I know, it's a bit of a cynical take, just wondering what peoples' response has been to the new feature.
    You don't have to use it. You don't have use any of the features on an iPhone. You can just put it in Airplane Mode and use it as an iPod or a paperweight if that's your jam. Hell, at least in an older iPhone that had a SIM slot, you could just stick an expired SIM card into the slot.

    Don't like Face ID? Touch ID? Apple Pay? Bluetooth? Siri? Fine. Don't use them. No one at Apple is saying you need to create Genmojis, Memojis, whatever. If you don't want to create images on your phone, don't.

    You don't have to use the camera either. You can ignore it, even put tape over the lenses.

    You can switch to silent mode and change your ringtones to silent audio files if you want.
    Um, I was literally just asking what other peoples’ opinions of the new feature was, and stating my own. Wondering whether other people like it or hate it or are meh about it. Why are you taking issue with that? 
    williamlondoneightzerowatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    I’m hopeful that it’ll allow for some truly unique slides for my Keynote presentations. I spend far too long searching in Safari for something close to what I require — almost every time. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    I’m hopeful that it’ll allow for some truly unique slides for my Keynote presentations. I spend far too long searching in Safari for something close to what I require — almost every time. 
    Well, it basically brings back Clip Art. Maybe people have been using that for presentations and such? I haven’t thought about “clip art” since the days of Corel Draw and their libraries of clip art on CD.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 10
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,094member
    mpantone said:
    chromafox said:
    Am I the only one who kind hates this new functionality? I really...don't love the art styles, and it feels like it's just going to create a lot of extra junk in my messages if people use it. I know, it's a bit of a cynical take, just wondering what peoples' response has been to the new feature.
    You don't have to use it. You don't have use any of the features on an iPhone. You can just put it in Airplane Mode and use it as an iPod or a paperweight if that's your jam. Hell, at least in an older iPhone that had a SIM slot, you could just stick an expired SIM card into the slot.

    Don't like Face ID? Touch ID? Apple Pay? Bluetooth? Siri? Fine. Don't use them. No one at Apple is saying you need to create Genmojis, Memojis, whatever. If you don't want to create images on your phone, don't.

    You don't have to use the camera either. You can ignore it, even put tape over the lenses.

    You can switch to silent mode and change your ringtones to silent audio files if you want.
    I hear this "fine, just don't use them" trope all the time, but it really is a tad more complicated. Often, these features simply get in the way. Sure, I'll just put tape over my iPhone camera. Really? What I *would* like is a nice physical hardware lens protector in the iPhone chassis. Or "you can ignore it." Often I can't - how many times has some strange prompt come up on Messages offering to send money to someone because I typed a dollar sign, and then it moves my keyboard and offers options I will never use. 

    Aside from that, many of the features get triggered accidentally. I use some of them so infrequently, that I forget they are there, then need to relearn how to use them. I'd like to just shut them off. How many times have I triggered Siri by holding the button down too long when I'm trying to lock my iPhone? Or taken a screen shot? Yes, I know this is configurable (and the new features of iOS18 will be welcome) but I value the iPhone not because of *all it can do* but because it does what I want *really well*. YMMV. 

    In Apple Device Land and all of the OS's, "I don't like it" should easily translate to "here's how to turn it off so it doesn't interfere with other features I value." 

    - insert OK Boomer eye roll genmoji here -
    edited June 13 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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