iOS 18 tipped to bring next-gen Siri and a time-saving AI notifications boost

iPhone Home Screen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We’ve heard for a while now that iOS 18 is going to be the biggest overhaul of Apple’s mobile operating system in its history, and over time there’s been a steady trickle of leaks revealing what we can expect. Now, we’ve just got another tasty morsel that lifts the veil a little further on iOS 18.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter, Apple will infuse iOS 18 with a range of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) tools that use a mixture of on-device processing and dedicated servers packed with Apple’s own chips. This time, Gurman has some claims relating to some of Apple’s most popular iOS apps.

Specifically, Gurman stated that Apple “will improve Siri’s voice capabilities, giving it a more conversational feel, and add features that help users with their day-to-day lives – an approach it calls “proactive intelligence.”

We'll have to wait to see if that "conversational feel" comes close to OpenAI's recent demos of its GPT-4o-powered voice assistant, which will gradually roll out this year. But that apparently isn't the only AI upgrade we can expect in iOS 18.

Apple's "proactive intelligence" could also include features ranging from "auto-summarizing notifications" to "transcribing voice memos" and "a quick synopsis of news articles". According to Gurman, we can also expect slightly more low-key improvements to features like app suggestions and automatic calendar entries.

Not all of the improvements are expected to be class-leading. Gurman also claims that AI-based photo editing is also en route for the Photos app, but it'll apparently pale in comparison to recent advances from Adobe. Don't expect anything like the incoming 'Ask Photos' tool in Google Photos either.

Can Apple catch up?

iOS 17 features

(Image credit: Apple)

Some of these features will sound familiar to existing iOS users – apps like Calendar and widgets like the Smart Stack already use AI to suggest events and apps, respectively. But any additional improvements will likely be welcomed by Apple fans.

The summarization tools could be more significant. Based on Gurman’s report, it sounds like they will veer more towards the kind of generative AI tools we’ve seen from rivals like Microsoft, whose Copilot AI is able to perform similar tasks. The arrival of features like this could help Apple close the gap with its competitors – something the company acknowledges it needs to do, according to Gurman, where executives have apparently admitted internally that they are “playing catch-up.”

That said, Gurman warns that “I don’t expect Apple’s in-house AI announcements to be nearly as impressive as what OpenAI and Google have already showcased.” Part of the problem is that Apple only hosts a major software event once a year (at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June      ), while rivals like OpenAI can release updates much faster.

Still, we know iOS 18 is likely to be a major step up for Apple, with the company reportedly working with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT alongside its own in-house and on-device AI tools. With the world going mad for artificial intelligence, Apple needs its next steps to be successful.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.