Apple’s New and Improved Siri Isn’t Coming Until iOS 18.4

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Many of us have been waiting years for Siri to smarten up, so it was welcome news last month when Apple showed off a more personalized and contextually aware Siri that will debut as part of the Apple Intelligence features in iOS 18.

However, don’t expect the new Siri to be available right out of the gate this fall. Even if you’re ready to shell out for a shiny new AI-capable iPhone 16 Pro Max, not all of the new Apple Intelligence features will be ready for iOS 18.0 — and that includes the most significant Siri improvements.

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As we reported in June, the initial Apple Intelligence features will include things like priority notifications, summaries, writing tools, and generative AI image creation features like Image Playground and Genmoji.

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On the other hand, we’ll have to wait a few more months for the personal context and semantic indexing features that will let Siri dig deep into your data.

In this week’s Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shares a few more details on Apple’s timeline. According to Gurman, the new Siri features won’t even go into beta testing until January, like in the first iOS 18.4 betas that typically arrive around that time.

As for the public release? Well, if it’s indeed planned for iOS 18.4 and Apple follows its usual playbook, we’re looking at March 2025 before the new Siri is unleashed on the world. Except for iOS 14.4, which came out in January 2021, every other point-4 release in the past few years has been in March (and before iOS 13, these releases came even later in the year; iOS 11.4 was late May, and iOS 12.4 saw a July release).

Fortunately, it’s not entirely bad news. Some of the new Siri-related Apple Intelligence features, including the new design and ChatGPT integration, are still expected to arrive later this year. It’s also likely that Siri will get better at understanding what you’re saying and converse more naturally, but we’ll have to wait and see.

However, what’s expected to take Siri to the next level are the personal context and on-screen awareness features, and it’s extremely unlikely any of these will show up before early 2025. This much deeper integration lets Siri piece together information on your iPhone to respond to requests you’d ask a human assistant. For example, you can ask Siri if you have time to make it to a family event after a work meeting, and it will be able to check your work calendar, find the event information in your email, and check travel times and predicted traffic between the office and the event and come back with an intelligent response.

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Similarly, on-screen awareness will let you ask Siri to take action on something you’re looking at without having to explain it. That could be as simple as “Save this person’s number to my contacts” while viewing a conversation in Messages, but it also promises to go much deeper, letting you do things like asking for more information on a webpage you’re looking at, or buying tickets for a concert from a snapshot of the photo.

When Apple Intelligence launches in September, it’s expected to carry a prominent “beta” label and be limited to US English. It’s unclear if Apple will have moved past those stages by the time Siri arrives in iOS 18.4, but several reports indicate that it’s likely to be considered a “beta” until at least iOS 19.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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