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Apple may classify iOS 18’s AI features as a beta preview, suggesting Apple is still playing catch-up.

Apple may classify iOS 18’s AI features as a beta preview, suggesting Apple is still playing catch-up.

In the latest version of Mark Gurman’s Newsletter Per Bloomberg, he reported that Apple’s long-awaited AI features for iOS 18 and other operating systems may be released with a “beta” or “preview” label.

Perhaps this is another sign that Apple has been caught off guard by the AI ‚Äč‚Äčrevolution, and that its features planned for this cycle aren’t yet reliable or good enough to launch loosely, without a beta tag.

While Apple is seen as a laggard at the moment, with disastrous postings of AI overviews in Google Search last week, perhaps more companies could benefit from taking it slowly and using beta taxonomies wisely.

Apple is expected to adopt a multi-pronged approach, where some AI requests will be handled locally on the device and others will be released to Apple’s cloud infrastructure for processing.

On a task-by-task basis, the code running locally will determine if the device can handle the request or if it should be migrated to Apple’s backend. On-device processing may only be available for newer Apple devices, such as the latest generation or two of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple is also said to be preparing a special on-device mockup dedicated to the Apple Watch.

AI-powered features will reportedly include summation of text messages and notifications, voice memo transcription, AI photo editing, automatic replies to suggested messages, and updates to Safari search and Spotlight. Siri is also planned for a revamp. It appears that users will also be able to quickly create new variations of emoji, thanks to generative AI.

The big question is how Apple will present its new AI strategy, given that it has spent many years talking about the benefits of doing everything on the device. But now in the age of generative AI, customers expect features that can currently only be addressed by having a large server cloud to do so.

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Apple’s cloud will run on silicon chips in its servers, but it’s still by definition less private than if the data never left your device in the first place.

iOS 18 will also include a separate chatbot, powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology. It looks like Sam Altman may appear during a WWDC video to announce the partnership. The partnership with Google for Gemini may still be in the works as well.

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