Apple’s push for artificial intelligence will set the tone for this year’s WWDC, as well as its product strategy for the future.

In less than a few weeks, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage to share the company’s AI strategy at what might be the biggest Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in a decade. Big names, including OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google, have all hosted events in the last few weeks where AI headlined the major announcements. It’s time for Apple to make significant generative artificial intelligence announcements and share the progress it has made to keep up with its rivals in Big Tech. As a consumer, keep your eyes open for what the next iOS update, iOS 18, brings to the iPhone. iOS 18, as many believe, could supercharge the iPhone by bringing AI to the center while also introducing major new features and designs. Here are the notable changes coming to iOS 18.

Voice memo transcription

Apple has been working on bringing an AI-powered transcription feature to Voice Memos. This allows the app to automatically transcribe audio to text, making it useful for students and journalists alike. Pixel phones also have the ability to transcribe voice notes using AI through an app called Recorder. While it’s an Android app, it’s exclusive to the Pixel.

Also read | Apple addresses ‘rare issue’ with iOS 17.5.1 update

Smarter Siri

HomePod mini, iPhone, and AirPods (Image credit: Apple)

Although Siri has been around since iOS 5 in 2011, the voice assistant hasn’t improved significantly over the years. This, however, may change with iOS 18, which will introduce a smarter Siri using generative AI technology. Expect Siri to have more natural-sounding interactions based on Apple’s own large language models, allowing the voice assistant to respond to simple voice commands for more complex tasks. If that happens, Siri will finally transition to a more intelligent voice assistant that’s actually useful in daily life.

Custom emojis

New emojis introduced on iOS 17.4 update (Image credit:

Perhaps the standout feature of iOS 18 could be a new way to create emojis using AI. Apparently, the next iOS 18 update might introduce users to something called “custom emojis.” Simply put, the feature works based on what users are texting. That means the AI will do the heavy work in the background, and just by texting, you could have a new emoji for any reaction. To be clear, this would expand the catalog of options that Apple currently offers on the iPhone.

Gen AI improvements coming to Apple’s core apps

Apart from a smarter Siri and the Voice Memos app gaining an AI-based transcription feature, Apple is expected to bring the touch of AI to every core application it offers on the iPhone, including Safari, Photos, and Notes. For example, the Notes app is said to gain the ability to record and transcribe audio, as well as generate AI-powered summaries. Meanwhile, the Photos app will reportedly gain the same set of features that Google currently offers, such as Magic Editor. Changes are also coming to Safari, which may have an improved web search. Apple is also working on smart recaps of missed notifications, individual messages, web pages, news articles, documents, notes, and more.

Redesigned homescreen

Apple might make icons more rounded with iOS 18. (Express Photo)

The home screen on the iPhone has remained largely the same, and although Apple has made it more customizable, iOS 18 is expected to bring the next evolution of the iOS home screen. What’s supposed to change with iOS 18 is how users can place icons freely, rather than being confined to the current fixed, aligned grid. Specifically, iOS 18 will allow users to change the color of app icons. For instance, they could make all their social networking apps have a blue colour and all their finance apps have a green colour.

On-device AI vs Cloud

Many of the apps and features coming to iOS 18 will be powered by AI. For that, Apple's own large language models (LLMs) will be running in the background to power the generative AI features. The on-device AI approach that Apple is betting on comes with certain benefits, such as better privacy and faster response times, since the data doesn't have to be transmitted to the cloud. However, this approach may also make Apple's AI tools less suitable for tasks like powering a chatbot or features that require heavy AI processing. In that case, Apple may collaborate with OpenAI or Google and use their expertise to bring advanced AI technology to the iPhone and other “i” devices.

Also read | iOS 18: List of all possible AI features coming to your iPhone this fall

Apple may label iOS 18 AI features as a “beta preview”

Unlike Microsoft and Google, which continuously release new AI features at breakneck speed, Apple may adopt a cautious approach to how it wants to release AI-powered features to iPhone users. With the recent rollout of Google’s AI search tools having a tendency to produce flubs and fabrications, Apple may be thinking of taking it slowly and using beta labels judiciously. This means the AI features Apple plans to roll out at WWDC next month will come as a “beta preview”. This is another sign that AI cannot be trusted blindly.

Not all iPhones will support Apple’s upcoming “AI features”

Perhaps the biggest question is if Apple will bring the new AI features to every iPhone, even as old as the iPhone 11. Well, that’s not going to happen. Apparently, on-device AI may only be available for newer Apple devices, like the latest one or two generations of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. But what about those who still use the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13? For now, at least, it is safe to assume those devices won’t get the latest AI features. However, Apple may try to bring its marquee AI features to older devices using the cloud.

When is Apple’s WWDC?

Apple will most likely give an update on its long-anticipated AI roadmap at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will be online from June 10 to 14. Apple often announces new features and updates for its operating systems across devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and more. Cook has already indicated that Apple is "well positioned" in the AI space and he expects how AI can bring "big opportunities across our products.”

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2024-05-27T05:50:07Z dg43tfdfdgfd