iOS 18: Here are the new AI features in the works

2024 is shaping up to be the “Year of AI” for Apple, with big updates planned for iOS 18 and more. The rumors – and Tim Cook himself – make it clear that there are new AI features for Apple’s platforms in the works. Here’s everything we know about the ways Apple is exploring AI features…

iOS 18: New AI features in the works

There have been a number of rumors about the various AI features in the works inside Apple. Bloomberg has reported that Apple thinks iOS 18 will be one of the “biggest iOS updates” ever, headlined by a number of new AI features.

Mark Gurman reported last July that Apple created its own Large Language Model (LLM) system, which has been dubbed AppleGPT. The project uses a framework called “Ajax” that Apple started building in 2022 to base various machine learning projects on a shared foundation. This Ajax framework will serve as the basis for Apple’s forthcoming AI features across all of its platform.

9to5Mac found evidence of Apple’s work on new AI and large language model technology in iOS 17.4. We reported that Apple is relying on OpenAI’s ChatGPT API for internal testing to help the development of its own AI models. 

Here are some of the rumors about new AI features coming to iOS 18:

  • A new version of Siri that is more intelligent and based on large language model technology, similar to platforms like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini.
  • New AI features for Apple Music that let users automatically generate playlists.
  • AI integration into Pages, Keynote, and Numbers for summarization, content creation, and more.
  • AI features for Xcode that can complete blocks of code, help test applications, and more.
  • An upgraded version of Spotlight Search that is powered by generative AI and can perform more complex tasks.
  • An AI-powered wellness coaching feature that is integrated into Apple Health and Apple Watch.
  • New AI features for the Messages app that can auto-complete messages, answer questions, and summarize incoming text messages.

Apple’s AI frameworks

Did you know that Apple has actually already launched a number of powerful AI frameworks and models? Here’s a recap of those:

Apple AI announcements coming this year

Apple's iOS 18 plans | Tim Cook speaking in Apple Park

During Apple’s most recent earnings call, Tim Cook offered a rare teaser for a future product announcement. According to Cook, Apple is spending a “tremendous amount of time and effort” on artificial intelligence technologies, and the company is “excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year.”

It’s extraordinarily rare for Cook to even remotely hint at Apple’s plans for future product announcements. Why did he do it this time? Likely to ease the concerns of investors and analysts worried about Apple falling behind the likes of OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft. Whether the teaser is enough to calm those fears until an actual product announcement materializes remains to be seen.

Wrap up

At this point, the question is which of the many rumors will come to fruition this year.

I’d be surprised if all of these rumored AI features are ready for this year. My assumption is that Apple is working on all of this stuff (and more), but will pare down the final list of features included in iOS 18. Features that don’t make the cut will likely come in a later update to iOS 18 or with iOS 10 in 2025.

Where do you want to see Apple direct its attention toward for new AI features this year? Let us know down in the comments.

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