Sunday, June 23, 2024

Apple’s AI plans for the iPhone just leaked. Here’s everything we know

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The back of a Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Apple is the only major name in the world of Big Tech that hasn’t made its ambitious AI plans public yet. But that will change in a few weeks, with a focus on reimagining the iPhone experience. Bloomberg, citing internal sources, has detailed how Apple plans to integrate generative AI experiences with iOS 18, the next major build of its iPhone operating system.

The company plans to push new AI-powered capabilities not just in such in-house apps as Safari and Maps, but also in experiences like the notification system and a supercharged Spotlight search. Notably, Apple will push the bulk of AI processing to the iPhone’s silicon, and only a minor portion of it will be pushed to the cloud.

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The likes of Google have been marketing processing as being on-device, allowing the Gemini Nano model to run natively on the Tensor silicon inside the Google Pixel 8 series phones for tasks like summarization, transcription, and smart reply. And it appears that Apple’s new AI tricks won’t stray too far off from what Google has showcased for Android phones.

Siri is about to get its AI moment. Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Per the report, the AI push by Apple will open the doors for capabilities like transcription of voice memos, mirroring what Google has served up with its excellent Recorder app. Moreover, Apple will also leverage AI for media editing, a trick that is already available under banners like Magic Eraser and AI Unblur on Android phones via the Google Photos app.

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The company is also said to be improving Spotlight’s capabilities while also enhancing the Safari web search experience. But the most notable upgrade will be to Siri, which is miles behind Google Assistant, especially in its new Gemini era.

“The Siri personal assistant will get an upgrade as well, with more natural-sounding interactions based on Apple’s own large language models,” says the Bloomberg report. Notably, Apple will lift the Siri experience not just on iPhones, but will also introduce a more powerful version for smartwatches.

Apple might finally tackle Google in the AI game this year. Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

On the fun side, Apple will leverage AI to let users create emojis on the fly, likely using the text-to-image pipeline. An automated version of this trick will also be available, one that dynamically reads the messages and suggests custom emojis tailored for the ongoing conversation.

Another notable upgrade that Apple has developed is related to notifications, something we haven’t seen so far. Using AI, the company aims to offer summarized recaps of notifications. This doesn’t just cover app notifications, call alerts, and messages, but will also include support for documents, news alerts, news articles, and webpages with different media formats.

A notable miss will be Apple’s own take on an AI chatbot, along the lines of Google’s Gemini or OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Instead, the company has reportedly partnered with OpenAI to create custom experiences built atop the GPT foundations. Interestingly, Apple is said to be still in talks with Google to offer Gemini tricks in a more meaningful way.

Apple is expected to announce its big AI plans at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 in just a couple of weeks.

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