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Will you need iPhone 16 to run iOS 18 AI? Apple tipster weighs in


Apple’s AI-based enhancements for iOS 18 will be available for iPhones already on the market, according a reliable Apple insider.

In his weekly Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman says A-Series chips within iPhones from “the last year or so” will be powerful enough to handle the on-device elements of the AI tasks. That means if you bought an iPhone 15 in September, the device won’t feel out of date within a year.

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Other tasks that require cloud processing will be handled by M2 chips within remote server machines, the erstwhile Cupertino watcher writes:

“Apple is bringing the new AI features to iOS 18 and macOS 15 — and both operating systems will include software that determines whether a task should be handled on the device or via the cloud. Most of the on-device features will be supported by iPhone, iPad and Mac chips released in the last year or so. The cloud component, meanwhile, will be powered by M2 Ultra chips located in data centres.”

Gurman also says the iOS 18 AI-based features will include emojis generated by what the iPhone or iPad user is typing, beyond what the burgeoning emoji dictionary can produce.

It’s just one of the features coming to the phone as part of Apple’s attempts to catch up with rivals in the generative AI sector, according to Bloomberg reporter Gurman.

Others include the ability to use the power of AI to touch-up and edit photos, as well as suggested replies to emails and texts. These are powers Google users have become acquainted with as machine learning tech has slowly been incorporated into key apps and services.

Apple also plans on a transcription tool for voice memos, after already adding the tech to its Podcasts app. That would be handy for students (not to mention your humble tech journalist pals).

Elsewhere, Spotlight is getting an AI infusion for faster and more reliable search of the device, while Safari web search is also getting a boost, Gurman says.

As expected, Siri will see a major AI-based overhaul within iOS 18, with Gurman saying the voice assistant will benefit from “more natural-sounding interactions based on Apple’s own large language models.”

Gurman also says Apple wants to provide co-called ‘smart recaps’ for users to catch them up with all of their missed notifications and interactions since they last picked up their phones.

He writes: “A big part of the effort is creating smart recaps. The technology will be able to provide users with summaries of their missed notifications and individual text messages, as well as of web pages, news articles, documents, notes and other forms of media.”

Apple is likely to reveal its big AI plans at WWDC 2024, which begins on June 10.

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