iOS 18 Update with AI Features! What Do We Know? 

The tech world is abuzz with anticipation as the 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) approaches, with iOS 18 poised to be the centerpiece of the event. Apple is gearing up to showcase a major overhaul to its iOS platform, integrating a myriad of artificial intelligence (AI) features across the operating system. From Messages to Siri to Photos, the enhancements promise to make the iPhone experience smarter and more intuitive. 

Revolutionary AI Features Across iOS 18 

A Smarter Siri 

One of the most significant updates in iOS 18 is the evolution of Siri. With a major AI-driven upgrade, Siri is set to become more adept at natural interactions and speech. Leveraging large language models (LLMs), Siri will deliver a more conversational and proactive experience. 

These improvements will enable Siri to handle more complex queries and provide contextually relevant responses, transforming it into a truly intelligent personal assistant.

Enhanced Spotlight Search

Spotlight search in iOS 18 will be more powerful, integrating more information from across the system. This means users can expect more comprehensive and context-aware search results, enhancing productivity and usability.

Messages Gets AI-Powered

The Messages app will see substantial AI enhancements, including auto-complete sentence generation and custom emoji creation based on message content. This feature aims to streamline communication and add a fun, personalized touch to messaging.

Apple Music and Photos

Apple Music is set to introduce auto-generated playlists, allowing users to enjoy personalized music experiences without the hassle of manual playlist creation. The Photos app will feature AI-powered photo retouching capabilities, offering users professional-grade photo enhancements with ease.

Customizable Home Screen and Icon Colors

Beyond AI features, iOS 18 will bring a more customizable Home Screen. Users will have the flexibility to place app icons anywhere on the grid and choose custom colors for app icons, allowing for a more personalized and aesthetically pleasing interface.

Industry Insights and Expectations

According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, iOS 18 is expected to be a “relatively groundbreaking” update with “major new features and designs.” Apple executives have described the update as “ambitious and compelling,” with the potential to be the “biggest” software update in the iPhone’s history. Apple CEO Tim Cook has emphasized the company’s significant investment in AI, confirming plans to share details of its AI initiatives later this year.

iPadOS 18: Extending iOS 18 to Larger Displays

As with previous iterations, iOS 18 will be accompanied by iPadOS 18, tailored for the larger displays of Apple’s tablet lineup. This version will incorporate many of the same features as iOS 18, with additional enhancements to take advantage of the iPad’s capabilities.

In-Depth Look at AI Features

Apple’s AI Investments

Apple is reportedly spending over $1 billion annually on AI research and the necessary hardware to run large language models. This substantial investment reflects Apple’s commitment to catching up with industry leaders like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and OpenAI in the AI space.

On-Device and Cloud AI Processing

While some AI features in iOS 18 will run on-device, Apple also plans to leverage cloud technology for more complex processing tasks. Security remains a top priority, with Apple utilizing the Secure Enclave in iOS processors to protect data processed on cloud servers.

Partnering with AI Giants

Apple is exploring partnerships with AI leaders like OpenAI and Google. These collaborations could enhance iOS 18’s capabilities, potentially integrating features like image creation, essay writing, and data summarization.

Key AI Features in iOS 18

  1. Photo Retouching: AI-based enhancements in the Photos app will allow users to remove unwanted objects and retouch photos effortlessly.
  2. Auto-Generated Playlists: Apple Music will use AI to create playlists tailored to users’ tastes and listening habits.
  3. Voice Memo Transcription: The Voice Memos app will transcribe recordings automatically, making it easier to search and reference audio notes.
  4. Suggested Replies: Both the Messages and Mail apps will feature AI-suggested replies, streamlining communication.
  5. Custom Emojis: Based on the content of messages, iOS 18 will generate unique emojis, adding a personalized touch to conversations.
  6. Improved Safari: The Safari browser will offer enhanced web search capabilities and smart recaps of missed notifications, messages, web pages, news articles, and notes.

Siri’s AI Transformation

Revamped Siri with LLMs

Siri will benefit from extensive improvements thanks to large language models. These models will enable Siri to process and understand a vast amount of data, providing more accurate and contextually appropriate responses. The assistant will also gain a more conversational feel, with enhanced proactive intelligence.

Expanded In-App Siri Controls

Siri will extend its functionality to control specific features within apps. Initially limited to Apple’s built-in apps, users can expect Siri to handle tasks such as opening specific documents, moving files, summarizing articles, and more. Apple aims to eventually support multi-step tasks, increasing Siri’s utility.

Delayed Siri Features

While many of these enhancements will be showcased at WWDC, the revamped Siri won’t be available immediately with the iOS 18 launch. Instead, these features are expected to roll out in a future update in 2025.

Spotlight and Siri on Apple Watch

The Spotlight search feature will see more intelligent results and better integration with apps like Contacts and Calendar. Siri on the Apple Watch will also improve, optimized for on-the-go tasks, enhancing the overall user experience.

Design Changes in iOS 18

VisionOS-Inspired Design

Mark Gurman suggests that iOS 18 might take design cues from visionOS. While a complete overhaul isn’t expected, subtle design changes will refresh the look and feel of the operating system.

Home Screen Revamp

iOS 18 will introduce the most significant update to the Home Screen since iOS 16’s Lock Screen changes. Users will have more control over app icon arrangements, including the ability to create blank spaces, rows, and columns.

Custom Icon Colors

Users will be able to change app icon colors, allowing for a cohesive and personalized Home Screen. This feature will enable users to match icon colors to themes or personal preferences.

Updates to Built-In Apps

Safari Overhaul

Safari will receive a significant update, featuring an “Intelligent Search” option that uses AI to summarize key topics on web pages. A “Web Eraser” tool will allow users to remove unwanted portions of web pages, with changes persisting across visits.

Messages and Mail Enhancements

Both Messages and Mail will offer AI-suggested replies. Messages will also support auto-generated emojis and text effects, enhancing communication with Android users through RCS support.

Apple Maps Improvements

Apple Maps will support custom routes, allowing users to select preferred roads. The app may also integrate the topographic map feature from watchOS 10, benefiting outdoor enthusiasts.

Photos App Upgrades

The Photos app will gain AI-based photo editing features, enabling users to retouch photos and remove unwanted objects effortlessly.

Notes and Voice Memos

The Notes app will support voice memo recordings, embedded in notes. It will also offer AI-generated summaries of audio recordings and notes, making information retrieval easier.

Calendar and Reminders Integration

The Calendar app will integrate with Reminders, allowing users to view and interact with reminders directly within the Calendar app.

Calculator App for iPad

iPadOS 18 will introduce a built-in Calculator app, with a similar look and function across iPhone, iPad, and macOS. This app will feature integration with the Notes app and improved unit conversion interfaces.

Freeform Enhancements

The Freeform app will include a “Scenes” feature for quicker navigation, allowing users to flip between saved scenes within their boards.

Apple Music Smart Transitions

Apple Music will introduce smart song transitions, allowing users to adjust crossfade durations for seamless music playback. The app will also feature auto-generated playlists based on user input.

iWork AI Features

iWork apps like Keynote and Pages will gain AI features, including automatic slide generation and text creation.

Health App Updates

While specifics are unknown, the Health app is expected to gain new AI features, enhancing health tracking and insights.

Notifications and Control Center

iOS 18 will introduce smart recaps of missed notifications and individual messages, making it easier to stay updated. The Control Center will be revamped, featuring a new Apple Music widget and improved HomeKit controls.

Settings App Streamlining

The Settings app will receive a new UI, offering a cleaner layout and improved search functionality for easier navigation.

CarPlay Updates

CarPlay will gain several new accessibility features, including voice control, color filters, and sound recognition for improved usability.

RCS for Enhanced Android Communication

Later in 2024, Apple will adopt the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard, enhancing text communication between iPhone and Android users.

This update will improve group chat performance, support higher resolution media, and introduce features like cross-platform emoji reactions and real-time typing indicators.

Accessibility Enhancements

Reduce Motion Sickness

A new Vehicle Motion Cues option will help prevent motion sickness by using visual elements to indicate real-time changes in motion, reducing sensory conflict without interfering with main content.

Eye Tracking

Eye Tracking will allow users to navigate the iPhone or iPad interface using only their eyes, leveraging AI and the front-facing camera for gesture control.

Music Haptics

The Music Haptics feature will convert audio tracks into vibrations, allowing users to feel the beat through the iPhone’s Taptic Engine or the Apple Watch.

Customizable Voice Generation

A new Voice Synthesis option will enable users to generate a custom voice from audio recordings, providing a personalized and more natural voice for Siri or Text-to-Speech.

Final Thoughts

The impending release of iOS 18 at WWDC 2024 is set to revolutionize the iPhone experience with AI-driven enhancements and greater customization options. From smarter interactions with Siri to a more personalized Home Screen, iOS 18 promises to redefine what users can expect from their iPhones. Stay tuned as Apple unveils these exciting updates and prepares to usher in a new era of intelligent and intuitive mobile technology.

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