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Sneak Peek: Upcoming Apple Intelligence Features for Your iPhone

Apple Intelligence iOS 18
© Apple / edit: nextpit

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iOS 18 was officially unveiled at WWDC 2024, introducing Apple Intelligence as the primary new feature. The new artificial intelligence promises to make Siri a true personal assistant on your iPhone with a major focus on privacy. We talk you through the main features of Apple's AI for your iPhone.

What is Apple Intelligence?

Apple Intelligence combines the content creation/generation capabilities of AIs like ChatGPT with the interaction and automation capabilities of a virtual assistant like Siri.

Basically, you can generate a birthday message for one of your loved ones using ChatGPT, while Siri will schedule it to be sent at the right time, directly via the application of your choice. This is definitely something ChatGPT is unable to do on its own.

Unlike the approach made by competitors such as Galaxy AI (review) which relies heavily on Google's cloud, Apple wants to let you perform as many tasks as possible on your device locally. Apple Intelligence offers three levels of processing:

  • Locally, directly, and exclusively on your iPhone.
  • Via the secure Apple Private Cloud Compute: Apple servers that are used only for your required function, with no data stored on them. Apple itself has no access to your personal data.
  • Via third-party AIs like ChatGPT: Apple lets you use ChatGPT in its secure environment, free of charge and with no need for an OpenAI account. Apple should even let you choose between several AIs and not just ChatGPT.

This means when your e-mails are prioritized, photos organized into a memory album, or texts are grouped together, your data won't end up in some cloud somewhere.

Given the enormous power required to perform these actions locally, Apple is reserving the compatibility of Apple Intelligence for its latest iPhones, iPads, or Macs equipped with its most recent SoCs. In other words, you'll need a MacBook or iPad with at least an M1 SoC, or an iPhone powered by the A17 Pro SoC or better.

The best Apple Intelligence features for your iPhone

A new Siri with contextual understanding

Siri is not only more beautiful, more understandable, and more natural to use, it can also now read and write! In other words, you can decide to interact by voice or enter text.

Basically, Siri will no longer simply perform precise actions. You can interact with Apple's assistant as you would with ChatGPT, using prompts like a chat. Siri will be able to understand the context of your request, analyze it, and perform the corresponding actions in the most automated and intuitive way possible.

Siri has been reborn.
Siri now appears in a new form. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

An entirely new design

Siri has a wholly new design and now manifests itself with an elegant, shimmering light that wraps around the edge of your screen.

This is what Siri looks like now.
The new face of Siri. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Onscreen awareness

With Apple Intelligence, Siri understands what's happening on the screen and can act based on the elements displayed on it. If a friend sends you their new address by SMS, you can say, "Add this address to their contact card" and Siri will take care of it. Contextual actions are adapted to what's happening on your screen.

Siri is aware of what's happening on your device.
Siri now knows what's happening on your screen. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Tutorials by Apple and for Apple

Having trouble figuring out a feature? Do you want to adjust certain settings without knowing how? You can benefit from Siri's in-depth knowledge of your devices' features and settings. You can ask questions to learn how to do something new on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and Siri can provide you with step-by-step instructions.

This old dog can definitely learn new tricks!
Siri can teach you things. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

No need to talk to Siri

By double-tapping the bottom of your iPhone or iPad screen, you can write to Siri from anywhere in the operating system when you don't want to speak aloud. It's a handy way to send prompts without people around you hearing your instructions.

More natural conversations with Siri

Siri has a richer understanding of language and an improved voice now, making conversation more natural. When you refer to something you've mentioned in a previous request, such as the location of a calendar event you've just created, and ask "What will the weather there be like?" Siri will understand what you're talking about and provide a contextually correct answer.

Siri can create content and use it across multiple applications

Siri can now act seamlessly within and between applications. You can make a request such as "Send the e-mail I wrote to Jean-Michel and Marie-Eudes", and Siri will know which e-mail you're referring to and the application it's located.

You can also combine several content creation functions and interactions between several apps. For instance, you can record a voice memo in Notes, where Siri will summarize it for you and e-mail it to one or more specific contacts.

Siri is now able to interact between different apps.
Siri can interact between different apps. / © Apple/ Screenshot: nextpit

Siri remembers your personal context

Knowing your personal context enables Siri to help you in a way that's unique to you. Can't remember whether a friend shared this recipe with you in a note, SMS, or e-mail? Siri can use its knowledge of the information on your device to help you find what you're looking for, without compromising your privacy.

Siri's great at understanding the overall context of the situation.
Understanding context is Siri's greatest strength. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Apple Private Cloud Compute

During the keynote, Apple repeatedly emphasized the important role of privacy, the fact that Siri performs many tasks locally, and how it is now even more integrated into the overall system.

If an action is not performed locally, you will be asked beforehand whether the data can be sent to special servers running on Apple Silicon chips, where no data will be stored, but used only for that specific action.

Apple dubbed this Private Cloud Compute and wants to make it a new standard. To prevent your data from being misused, the Cupertino-based firm stated this promise of data protection can be verified by independent experts.

ChatGPT integration

Apple enlisted the services of OpenAI, or to be more precise, GPT-4o. In its press release, Apple wrote:

In addition, access to ChatGPT is integrated with Siri and the system's writing tools on all Apple platforms. This allows users to access the knowledge and comprehension capabilities of images and documents without having to switch from one tool to another.

In concrete terms, when Siri doesn't have the answer to a question, it will suggest you ask ChatGPT without launching the application. ChatGPT can also, for instance, analyze a photo or PDF directly from Siri, which will transmit it upon request. ChatGPT can also generate text from nothing in any application, thanks to a prompt.

A story is generated and illustrated using the ChatGPT prompt
Generate a bedtime story on the iPad with corresponding images? Soon possible thanks to ChatGPT integration. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

We'll have to wait a little longer, as ChatGPT integration has been announced for "later this year". Siri and ChatGPT will thus become common and complement Apple Intelligence, connecting to the cloud when local possibilities aren't sufficient.

Apple showed an example of generating a story for a young child with corresponding images to boot. We also saw an example where ChatGPT indicated which dish could be prepared from ingredients shown in an image.

It's good to know that you won't need an OpenAI account to use ChatGPT on your iPhone, and best of all, it is free!

Image Playground

Apple Intelligence will also offer the Image Playground function, enabling you to generate images. You can choose between illustrations, animations, or sketches. You can use this function directly in the Messages app or as a stand-alone application.

Screenshot of the Image Playground function
The image you want will be generated quickly with the Image Playground function. / © Apple/ Screenshot: nextpit

You can create images in the blink of an eye by specifying different parameters. For starters, if you specify your chat partner's name, a birthday cake, and a pirate ship, you'll get a drawing of your chat partner representing exactly what you want. Image Playground will be similar to what other AIs such as DALL-E or Midjourney offer.

Genmoji

With Genmoji, Apple wants to take the emoji experience even further. From the emoji keyboard, it will be possible to generate a custom emoticon with a phrase (in the "Create a new emoji" section). Like emoji, Genmoji can be added to messages, or shared as stickers or reactions.

Two newly created emojis on the iPhone
Yes, emoji poverty will soon be a thing of the past on Apple Intelligence-enabled devices. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

You'll be able to create Genmoji of your friends and family from their photos. You can even have Genmojis that correspond exactly to what you want to express, something that emojis don't always manage to do well.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

Good

  • Titanium case is elegant and robust
  • More compact and lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro
  • A17 Pro is faster and has impressive graphics performance
  • New triple camera with 48 MP
  • USB-C port offers countless possibilities
  • Very practical action button

Bad

  • Relatively slow charging despite USB-C
  • Action button partly immature
Apple iPhone 15 Pro
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Apple iPhone 15 Pro

Rewrite

This function lets you edit text from any application. All you need to do is select and click on a small colored button. You can change the tone of a text (friendly, professional, or concise), correct spelling and grammatical errors, summarize a text with a bullet list, or create a summary. In all these cases, Apple Intelligence will explain its corrections.

Let Apple Intelligence improve your e-mails and messages.
The Rewrite function will help you improve your e-mails. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Clean Up

Like the Magic Eraser function on Android, the Clean Up function in Apple Photos lets you clean up your photos. Is there someone in the background of your photo? Make them disappear using a generative model! Clean Up can also eliminate shadows and reflections, thanks to an advanced understanding of the image.

Apple now has its very own magic eraser.
Apple has also implemented its magic eraser function. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Memories

Apple lets you generate a Memory Video using a prompt. All you have to do is write a sentence with requests, and you'll have a little montage in just a few seconds. You won't be able to edit the video with AI, but it will be possible to adjust it manually. Apple Intelligence will automatically suggest a title.

Create Memory Videos using Apple Intelligence.
Apple Intelligence will also be able to help you create videos. / © Apple / Screeshot: nextpit

Priority notifications

Priority notifications now appear at the top of the stack, so you know at a glance what to pay attention to. They are also summarized so you can analyze them more quickly, without having to expand them by tapping on them.

Only important notifications will be displayed.
Find your way around your notifications. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Priority Messages

This function places urgent messages at the top of your inbox, such as an invitation with a deadline today or a check-in reminder for your flight this afternoon.

Keep tabs on your life with the most important messages.
Siri will highlight your most important e-mails. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Summary

Just tap to display a summary of a long e-mail in the Mail app and get straight to the point. You can also view e-mail summaries directly from your inbox.

Those who are short on time can now read summaries of e-mails.
No need to read your entire e-mail. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Voice recording in the Notes and Phone applications

Simply press Record in the Notes or Phone applications to create audio recordings and transcribe them. Apple Intelligence will generate summaries of your notes so you can access the most important information at a glance.

Recording  audio notes and transcribing them are now easy to do.
Recording and transcribing notes will be easier. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Reduce interruptions

This is a new Concentration mode that understands the content of your notifications and alerts you of those that might require immediate attention, such as a reminder to pick up your child from daycare later in the day.

There is a new Focus Mode in town.
Apple Intelligence brings a new Focus mode. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Smart Reply

Smart Reply lets you use an intelligent reply in the Mail app to quickly reply to an e-mail with all the necessary details. Apple Intelligence can identify the questions you've been asked in an e-mail and suggest relevant selections to include in your reply. With just a few clicks, you'll be ready to send a reply containing answers to key questions.

Let Siri craft an answer to your emails.
Siri truly becomes a personal assistant by preparing answers to your e-mails. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Search for photos and videos in your photo gallery

In the Photos app, simply describe what you're looking for, and Apple Intelligence will be able to find a particular moment in a video clip that matches your search description and direct you there.

Searching for specific photos and videos have become easier.
Photo and video searches have been simplified. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

What do you think of Apple's approach to artificial intelligence? What's your favorite Apple Intelligence feature? Can you replace your old Apple device to take advantage of it?

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