Apple’s internal projections for its next-generation operating systems, including iOS 18, macOS 15, watchOS 11, and tvOS 18, are marked by ambition and promise. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, these updates are expected to bring significant advancements in software features and design across a range of devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac. Central to these innovations is the incorporation of generative AI, aiming to elevate Siri’s functionality to unprecedented levels.
The integration of large language models (LLMs) is poised to transform Siri into what is being touted as the “ultimate virtual assistant” and “Apple’s most powerful killer AI app”, as stated by the leaker @Tech_Reve. This overhaul is expected to enhance Siri’s interaction with the Messages app, allowing for more sophisticated responses and effective auto-completion of sentences.
Further possible applications of AI in Apple’s ecosystem include the potential for automatically generated playlists in Apple Music and AI-assisted features in productivity apps like Pages and Keynote, aiding in tasks like writing and slide deck creation. This ambitious AI project is backed by Apple’s significant investment, reportedly amounting to $1 billion annually, with key executives spearheading the development efforts.
Despite the enthusiasm, Apple is facing pressure to match the strides made by competitors like Google and OpenAI in the generative AI domain. This urgency is amplified by the predicted lack of major hardware innovations in the iPhone 16. Gurman suggests that iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 could be groundbreaking, especially when compared to updates in recent years.
In light of these high expectations, Apple is proceeding with caution in its software development. Recent reports indicate that Apple momentarily halted the development of new features to focus on refining existing software. This shift in focus followed the completion of the first “M1” versions of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS 15, which initially presented numerous bugs overlooked in internal testing.
Apple’s approach to deploying its new AI technology is still under deliberation, with options including cloud-based solutions, on-device experiences, or a combination of both. The LLM-powered version of Siri is expected to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 during the iOS 18 developer preview.
However, certain AI features might remain exclusive to the iPhone 16 models and could be revealed alongside the launch of these next-generation smartphones in September 2024.