The Most Powerful Apple Intelligence Features May Not Arrive Until 2025

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The high point of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) Keynote last week was Apple Intelligence, but we may have a long road ahead of us before we’re able to take advantage of everything the company showed off.

Apple Intelligence is Apple’s own brand of artificial intelligence, which it’s billing as “AI for the rest of us.” There’s a lot of stuff packed in here, from a much smarter Siri voice assistant to emoji and image generation. Apple Intelligence will also help you improve your writing, summarize blocks of text, emails, and messages, and enhance your photos.

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Sadly, all that cool new stuff comes with a big catch: we’re not getting it all at once. When iOS 18.0 launches in September, Apple Intelligence will still be considered “beta” and likely only available in US English. You’ll also only be able to use it on an M-series Mac or iPad or an iPhone 15 Pro or one of the iPhone 16 models that Apple will undoubtedly launch at the same time.

However, according to what Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has heard from his sources, a few features won’t be ready for prime time in September.

It’s clear that many of the AI features won’t be ready in time. Several employees involved in Apple Intelligence’s development have told Power On that a subset of the service won’t launch until next year.Mark Gurman

For one thing, Apple has to train its AI models for other languages, which is why it will be limited to US English at launch. For another, it still has to build out its cloud infrastructure to handle those Apple Intelligence features that are beyond the capabilities of on-device processing, and it “can’t risk having too many users trying the new capabilities at once and crashing its network” Gurman says.

Then there’s the problem of AI being prone to “hallucinating.” Feeding too much information into a generative AI system can cause it to soak up misinformation that will, in turn, teach it to provide bad results. We don’t need to look much farther than Google’s wonky glue-on-pizza answers to see how that can be a problem.

Which Apple Intelligence Features Will Be Available When iOS 18.0 Launches?

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Although none of the Apple Intelligence features are in the first iOS 18 developer beta, Gurman notes that Apple plans to have an initial version of Artificial Intelligence ready for iOS 18.0 that will be “packed with features.” These include:

  1. Priority Notifications: Devices that support Apple Intelligence will use machine learning to ensure that essential notifications get through and show up at the top, regardless of Focus mode or Do Not Disturb settings. This promises to let you mute everyone, including family members, without worrying about missing urgent messages.
  2. Summaries: The iPhone, iPad, and Mac will be able to provide summaries of webpages, voice memos, call recordings, meeting notes, emails, and more. These summaries will also show up instead of the first two lines of email messages in Mail so you can see at a glance what an email is about without opening it.
  3. Writing Tools: Features for proofreading text and changing its tone will also be ready to go right away.
  4. Image Playground: AI image generation is also being prioritized to let you create new and unique images based on descriptions or even your existing contacts.
  5. Genmoji: Like Image Playground, the ability to create custom emojis is expected to be available when iOS 18.0 launches.
  6. Some Siri Improvements: While the biggest Siri improvements won’t come until later, out of the gate, the voice assistant should be able to carry on more natural conversations and better understand what you’re saying.

Those are all fun features that we’re sure everyone will enjoy playing with, but what they have in common is their relatively standalone nature. There’s not a lot here that you can’t already do with other generative AI engines like ChatGPT and Google Gemini. Having them integrated into the iPhone, iPad, and Mac user experience will be a huge bonus, but they’re not the things that make Apple Intelligence Unique.

What’s Coming Later?

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According to Gurman, the more powerful features that will make Artificial Intelligence an eminently personal assistant won’t appear until early 2025, likely in an iOS 18.3 or 18.4 release.

  1. Personal Context: The ability for Siri to dig deep into your data — all on-device, of course — and ferret out relevant information so you can make requests that factor in an array of different information. Examples Apple provided are where you ask if you’re free for a meeting and Siri finds messages and emails that contain PDFs of an event invitation, or you want to know what time a family member’s flight lands and Siri can put together text conversations and emails to provide a response to a simple request.
  2. Semantic Indexing: This will likely power the personal context features, allowing your iPhone and other devices to build contextual models of your data to put the pieces together quickly when you make a request.
  3. App Intents: Apple showed developers how they can build Apple Intelligence into their apps, but as Gurman shared before WWDC, these capabilities won’t actually be available to developers until next year.
  4. On-screen awareness: Siri’s ability to analyze what’s on your screen using Apple Intelligence so it can handle requests with less interaction. Asking Siri to save contact information from a message, for example, or being able to say something like “What was the score last night?” when chatting with a friend about a recent game.

Apple may also not have ChatGPT integration ready to go when iOS 18.0 launches, although that might still arrive a bit sooner than the rest, perhaps later this year.

[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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