Apple is reportedly planning a series of changes and updates with iOS 18 that would make it one of the biggest iOS updates the company has ever released, according to a new Bloomberg report.
In the latest edition of the weekly Power On newsletter, it is said that Apple is working on “ambitious” upgrades as part of iOS 18, which should be unveiled as usual at the company’s annual WWDC event in June. While the headlining features of the iPhone’s next major software release will revolve around generative AI and Siri, iOS 18 should still introduce massive changes across the board.
The exact details of these changes remain unclear at this stage, but the report describes the planned upgrade as one of the biggest ever in Apple’s history, potentially rivaling iOS 7 with its groundbreaking redesign that did away with skeuomorphism in favor of a flatter and more simplistic user interface.
Generative AI features built around Large Language Models (LLMs) will not be limited to Siri, but will also span other apps like Music and Messages as described in an earlier report. For example, one of the goals calls for apps such as Messages and Siri to better understand questions contextually and to provide more accurate auto-complete predictions for sentences and phrases.
AI features beyond iOS 18 could also be heading to software development tools like Xcode, allowing developers to write and test apps faster than before by presenting auto-complete suggestions for written code. Other rumored features include AI-generated playlists on Apple Music as well as auto-generated slide decks and writing assistance on Keynote and Pages.
The company is deliberating whether to pursue a wholly on-device large language model (LLM) to prioritize speed and privacy, or to opt for a cloud-based setup for enhanced capabilities. The former choice could limit quick adaptability in a rapidly evolving industry, potentially steering Apple towards a hybrid approach. This would involve leveraging on-device processing for specific functions while utilizing the cloud for more sophisticated tasks.
Apple is rumored to be pursuing a licensing deal worth millions of dollars with established publishers around the world to use their news and content archives for accurately training its LLM AI models.