Apple Intelligence: What Can the New AI Tools Offer for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS?

This technology will be integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and MacOS Sequoia, and ChatGPT technology from OpenAI will be even more deeply connected to these platforms

by Sededin Dedovic
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Apple Intelligence: What Can the New AI Tools Offer for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS?
© Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Apple Intelligence, the long-awaited deeper dive into AI by Apple, made its debut at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday. This technology will be integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and MacOS Sequoia, with OpenAI's ChatGPT technology being even more deeply connected to these platforms.

Apple has been using AI in its products for years, but the widespread popularity of ChatGPT has placed a greater emphasis on generative AI – models trained on large amounts of data that can create content in response to queries.

While rivals like Samsung, Google, and Microsoft have already embedded this technology into their flagship products, everyone was eager to see how Apple would bring generative AI into its products. At WWDC 2024, we finally got the answer.

Apple Intelligence and the New Siri

Understanding personal context when providing responses and performing tasks is a significant part of Apple's approach with Apple Intelligence. Apple employs this tactic to differentiate its AI efforts from those previously announced by competitors.

For example, the company explained how Apple Intelligence can understand multiple factors such as traffic, your schedule, and your contacts to help you understand if you can make it to an event on time. Apple also began the AI-focused portion of the presentation with an emphasis on privacy.

They explained how many of their AI models operate on the device, which is generally considered more private because information doesn't have to travel over the internet. When tasks require larger models, Apple will use a system called Private Cloud Compute.

When necessary, tasks requiring greater computational power will be executed on servers specifically created by Apple and running on Apple Silicon. Apple Intelligence will decide whether the task can be processed on the device.

The new Apple iPhone 15 is displayed at an Apple Store in Corte Madera, California© Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Enhancements for Siri

Siri is a significant part of Apple's AI initiative. The voice assistant becomes more natural, relevant, and personalized with this update.

You'll be able to speak in natural language, and Siri should understand you even if something isn't well-phrased. Since it understands context, you can ask follow-up questions, and Siri will know what you mean. Apple's virtual assistant will also support text input.

Siri will become better at helping you use your iPhone by being able to answer questions about specific phone features. Over the next year, more updates for Siri are expected. It gains the ability to take actions based on what's on your phone screen, which sounds similar to an enhanced version of Google's Gemini announced last month.

An example might include adding someone's address to their contact card after receiving it via text message. Siri will be able to take actions within apps, such as sharing photos on your behalf, and be able to use your personal context to help you accomplish tasks.

If you ask when your loved one's next flight is, for example, it will compare flight data you may have received via text message or email. Siri will also be able to include other information, such as upcoming lunch reservations, so you can ask how long it will take you from the airport to the restaurant without switching between apps.

Several new features in Apple Intelligence are productivity-focused, similar to tools we've seen from Google and Microsoft over the past year. Apple Intelligence can, for example, help you rewrite emails in different styles and can highlight and summarize priority notifications.

There's also a proofreading tool that checks things like grammar and word choice. These so-called Writing Tools will be available in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and MacOS Sequoia through apps like Notes, Mail, Pages, and third-party apps.

Image Generation and Productivity

Like Microsoft and Google, Apple also wants to use AI to manage your email. A new feature called Priority Messages will display urgent emails, such as flight tickets, and you'll be able to see email summaries without opening the message.

As for notifications, priority alerts will appear at the top, and there will be notifications that help you quickly get a synopsis of important information at a glance. As expected, you'll also be able to create emojis on the fly with a new tool called Genmoji.

This allows you to create custom emojis based on textual inputs, including the ability to create Genmoji friends or family based on their photos. Apple is also introducing an image generation tool called Image Playground. You can choose themes, accessories, locations, and more, and those elements will be added to your playground.

If you have something specific in mind, you can input the idea to add it to your playground. There are three styles for generating images: sketch, illustration, and animation. Since it understands your context, it will also provide suggestions.

Image Playground is available as an app but will also be integrated into apps like Messages. All images are created on the device. The Notes app gets a new tool called Image Wand, which allows you to sketch a rough outline within the note and open Image Playground to create a more realistic image.

You'll also be able to record, transcribe, and summarize audio within the Notes app. Apple Intelligence can also take actions on your behalf. You'll be able to ask it to show you files from last week, play a podcast sent by a friend or loved one a few days ago, and much more, as reported by CNet.

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