New iOS 18 rumors predict the 5 most useful AI features that could hit your iPhone soon

A phone showing an 18 logo
(Image credit: Shutterstock / QubixStudio)

We've known for a while that iOS 18 would bring with it lots and lots of AI upgrades, but as WWDC 2024 gets closer – where Apple will officially unveil iOS 18, on June 10 – the leaks and rumors are continuing to arrive at a steady pace.

Here we've listed five of the most recent tidbits that we've heard from various sources, and ranked them in order of how excited we are to test them out. These have all emerged in the last few days and weeks – and no doubt we'll hear more before June 10 rolls around.

1. Smarter Siri

iOS images

Numerous iOS apps could be in line for some extra AI (Image credit: Apple)

It's common knowledge that Siri could use an upgrade, and sources speaking to AppleInsider say it'll have a better understanding of context and what it's talking about, covering "people and companies, calendar events, locations, dates, and much more".

We've previously heard that Siri might be able to summarize documents, web articles, messages and notifications, and AppleInsider says the summary feature is known inside Apple as "Greymatter Catch Up" – Greymatter being the codename for Apple's AI projects.

2. Hands-free app control

Two iPhones on a blue background showing Siri and Shortcuts

(Image credit: Apple)

Here's another Siri-related feature we've heard about: Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reckons that Siri is going to get deeper app integration, which means more control over what apps can do: so moving files around, or emailing documents, or applying crops to photos.

Based on what Gurman and AppleInsider are saying, some form of Large Language Model (LLM) and "smart response framework" upgrades are coming to Siri, which should mean it gets more conversational in tone, and more capable in terms of the tasks it can complete.

3. Revamped settings

A close-up on an iPhone on a table showing the Settings app

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Tada Images)

Sticking with Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, he's recently hinted at changes coming to the Settings app in iOS 18 (and System Settings in macOS 15). This isn't strictly speaking AI, but we could well see AI used to intelligently surface, search through, or configure settings.

According to Gurman, there will be a "reorganized, cleaner layout" – something that iOS Settings really needs, as you'll know if you've opened it lately – as well as "updates" to Control Center. Sounds like we'll have to relearn a few settings shortcuts in iOS 18.

4. AI photo editing

A finger reaching to tap on the Photos app icon on an iPhone

Apple Photos could look different in iOS 18 (Image credit: Shutterstock / natmac stock)

This is another big one, and it's something that we've seen extensively elsewhere from the likes of Google, Samsung, Adobe, OpenAI and others: AppleInsider says iOS 18 will be able to clean up your pictures in various ways, and remove objects you don't want to see.

There's also apparently a "Generative Playground" tool in development, for creating images from scratch – it sounds as though this will be available through a variety of apps, including Messages, and could well be linked to the AI emoji rumor we've already heard.

5. Bonus chatbots

A hand holding a phone running ChatGPT in front of a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

On top of everything else, it sounds like Apple is also signing a deal with ChatGPT developer OpenAI for iOS 18, that'll be announced at WWDC 2024. With that in mind, Siri might not turn into a fully fledged generative AI chatbot like ChatGPT or Google Gemini.

As per the information obtained by AppleInsider, Siri won't be able to answer complex questions or work in a variety of modes – across images and video, for example. That means we might well see third-party AI integration included in iOS 18 as well.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.