iOS 17 was hailed as one of the best iOS updates in a long time, but iOS 18 is expected to be even bigger. It is possible that new AI features will be included in the latest iPhones. Apple’s top executives, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, believe iOS 18 will be ambitious and exciting, with many new features.
However, it appears that this major update is causing some issues. Craig Federighi (Senior VP of software engineering) did something odd last week. He halted work on Apple’s next updates for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other devices. This break is intended to address any early issues before they become major challenges.
While this could put a stop to a major overhaul for iOS 18, several reliable sources, including Ming-Chi Kuo, Jeff Pu, and The Information, have suggested that Apple is spending heavily on AI servers and planning on-device AI features for the iPhone that could arrive as soon as WWDC 2024.
It’s still too early for iOS 18 leaks, but these are the most likely ways that LLM (large language models) and conversational AI could revolutionize the iPhone, potentially beginning with iOS 18 and the iPhone 16.
1. Next-Gen Siri could take over Shortcuts
There are strong rumours that Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, will receive a major update in iOS 18, potentially replacing Shortcuts. This change would be a breath of fresh air for Siri, which has felt a bit outdated. It could eventually take voice assistants beyond simple chores like setting timers. According to reports, Apple intends to enable users to use simple voice commands for activities that involve multiple steps, such as creating a gif out of the last five pictures and sending it to a friend.
While Shortcuts right now handle similar functions, Siri’s redesign may make it a more user-friendly option for carrying out complex actions on iPhones. According to Apple’s new ‘Voice Trigger system for Siri’ paper, the transition process could begin to show initial results in the iOS 18 upgrade.
2. Improved Search Powers
Swiping down on the home screen to use the iPhone’s Search feature can be frustrating and restricted. While iOS 17 improved message search, incorporating on-device AI in iOS 18 might greatly increase your phone’s ability to find things. This update may broaden Search to include more apps such as Notes and Voice Memos, allowing you to ask natural language inquiries about your phone’s data. Similar to Fitbit’s AI coach, Apple may provide useful insights on the StandBy mode screen, reducing the need to jump between several apps for information.
3. iCloud becomes a must-have
According to a recent newsletter from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple may create on-device AI and cloud-based functionality. This could result in significant enhancements to iCloud, which Apple wants us to subscribe to. Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) features might integrate with an iCloud subscription or utilise its features to make it more appealing to users.
Imagine enhanced security, automatically organised files, and a search feature that works with both iCloud and iPhone. This might be a game changer if it outperforms other cloud providers.
4. Capture your creativity with the Camera app
The iOS 17 Visual Look Up app can detect plants, animals, and labels in images, showcasing Apple’s focus on machine learning. This could be expanded further in iOS 18. Apple currently uses computer vision in searches for video tracking and text recognition. Adding generative AI to real-world photos could spark creative ideas, allowing users to generate logos and designs in the Freeform app. With 3D capabilities, iPhones may evolve into creative tools that go beyond just capturing memories.
5. Apple Music takes it to Spotify
Apple Music is concentrating on generative AI, with the goal of auto-generating playlists. Eddy Cue heads the effort to explore new features. This strategy could help Apple catch up to Spotify’s features. Using on-device AI to improve Apple Music could lead to a better AI DJ and Discovery Station. Integration with GarageBand may happen in the future as more artists licence their voices for AI-generated music, however it may be a little later than iOS 18.