Apple's Siri assistant just got a massive AI upgrade with free ChatGPT – here's what's new

A hand holding an iPhone showing the new Siri
(Image credit: Siri)

Apple's Siri assistant just got its biggest-ever upgrade as part of iOS 18 – including new ChatGPT powers thanks to an OpenAI partnership, and deep integration with supported iPhones, iPads and Macs.

The new version of Siri, announced at WWDC 2024, is powered by Apple Intelligence, which gives the voice assistant features like 'on-screen awareness' to make it work better with apps. Apple promised that "this year marks the start of a new era for Siri" and judging by the demos that certainly looks the case.

The next-gen Siri has been given a visual makeover, opening with a glowing light around the edges of your iPhone's screen rather than the typical symbol. Apple also promises that you'll be able to speak to Siri "more naturally" thanks to its upgraded language comprehension powers. 

But it's the deeper integration with apps that promises to make it a much-improved assistant. For a start, Siri will no longer be just a voice assistant – you can type questions to Siri by double-tapping the bottom of the screen, and switch between voice and text. The voice assistant will also helpfully be able to answer questions about how to use your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

If Siri can't answer a question, you'll also be able to connect it to the OpenAI's ChatGPT-4o model for free (if you want). Apple says your info and details of the requests won't be logged. And you also apparently won't need a ChatGPT account to use the chatbot with Siri in iOS 18.

One of the most helpful features of the new Siri is on-screen awareness. An example Apple gave is being texted a new address from a friend in Messages – you could simply say to Siri "add this address to his contact card" and it'll be updated. Apple has promised that Siri will be able to take "hundreds of new actions in and across apps".

Another example of this orchestration in action was telling Siri to "show me my photos of Stacey in New York wearing her pink coat" and it'll bring those up. Then you could say "make this photo pop" and Siri will do a photo edit. 

Alongside deeper knowledge of your iPhone, iPad and Mac apps, Siri will also be able to tap into some of your personal data – for example, photos, calendar events and files, or information in messages and emails, like hotel bookings or PDFs of concert tickets. 

Apple has promised that Apple intelligence, which powers the new Siri features, will have "powerful powerful privacy protections", using a combination of on-device processing and the new Private Cloud Compute (which uses Apple servers in the cloud running on Apple silicon).


♬ original sound - TechRadar

When will we get the new Siri?

A Mac, iPad and iPhone running the new Siri

(Image credit: Apple)

Unfortunately, it seems the new Siri will only be available on recent iPhones, iPads and Macs. Most of the voice assistant's new skills are powered by Apple Intelligence, which will only be available on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, or iPads and Macs with M1 chips or later.

If you're lucky enough to have one of those – or are holding out for a new iPhone 16 – then you'll be able to access Apple Intelligence and the new Siri in beta form "this fall" (in other words, sometime between September and November).


♬ original sound - TechRadar

While Apple's demos of the new Siri looked impressive, it was clear that there was also a lot of future-gazing happening – so it isn't clear exactly which features will be available when iOS 18 finally lands.

The new interface, improved conversational skills, ability to type questions to Siri and ask it questions about on-device features will all apparently "be available from the moment you start using Apple Intelligence". In other words, when iOS 18 drops later this year.

But on-screen awareness and the ability for Siri to use personal context are likely a little further off, with Apple suggesting that these features will be rolled out "over the course of the next year". Still, there's no doubting that this new Siri has the promise of becoming something closer to the all-knowing voice assistant that it promised to be when it landed 13 years ago.

You might also like


♬ Storytelling - Adriel
Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.