Upcoming iOS 18: Siri Enhancements and Apple Intelligence Features Unveiled

Apple is set to release iOS 18 in September, but the most significant Apple Intelligence features are not expected to debut until a future update in 2025. This upcoming version promises to bring a comprehensive Siri overhaul, transforming how users interact with their devices. Here’s an in-depth look at what to expect from Siri and Apple Intelligence in both the initial release and future updates.

Initial Siri Improvements in iOS 18

Despite the delay in major enhancements, Siri will still see notable improvements in the initial iOS 18 release. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, users can look forward to several exciting features:

  1. New Interface: Siri will sport a refreshed look with a glowing light around the edge of the screen, enhancing the visual interaction and making it more engaging.
  2. Richer Natural Language Capabilities: Siri will be better equipped to understand natural speech, even if users stumble over their words, ensuring smoother and more accurate responses.
  3. Greater Knowledge of Apple Products: Siri will have an enhanced understanding of Apple products, offering improved on-device support and more intuitive assistance.
  4. Type to Siri Option: Users will be able to enter queries via text, providing an alternative to voice commands and enhancing accessibility for different user preferences.

Significant Siri Enhancements in 2025

The most significant Siri enhancements are expected to arrive in an iOS 18 update in 2025. These improvements are set to revolutionize how users interact with their devices:

  1. Personal Context: Siri will leverage data from your photos, calendar events, Messages, and other apps to provide more informed responses. For instance, if you ask when your mom’s flight is landing, Siri can deduce the answer from recent text conversations and emails.
  2. Semantic Indexing: Apple Intelligence will create an on-device semantic index, storing data retrieved from emails, images, websites, and apps. This will enable more intelligent and context-aware responses from Siri.
  3. App Control: Siri will gain the ability to control individual features within apps, expanding its functionality. For example, Siri can open specific documents, move notes between folders, delete emails, summarize articles, email web links, and open specific news sites in Apple News.
  4. On-screen Awareness: Siri will develop an understanding of on-screen content, allowing it to take action based on the user’s interactions. For example, if a friend texts you their new address in Messages, you can instruct Siri to “Add this address to his contact card,” streamlining the process.

Apple Intelligence Features

Although some significant features are delayed, the initial version of Apple Intelligence in iOS 18 will still offer a plethora of useful functionalities:

  • AI-Prioritized Notifications: AI will help prioritize notifications, providing quick recaps of alerts and text messages to keep you informed without overwhelming you.
  • Summarization Capabilities: The software will be able to summarize webpages, voice memos, meeting notes, and emails, making it easier to digest large amounts of information quickly.
  • New Writing Tools and Image Generation: Includes new tools for writing, generating images, and creating custom AI-generated emojis called Genmoji, adding a fun and personalized touch to your messages.

AI Updates Coming Later in 2024

Gurman notes that some AI features for the Mail app and other services won’t be ready until later in 2024. These updates include:

  • Mail App Redesign: The Mail app will receive a redesign, introducing the ability to group emails into categories like newsletters, announcements, and shopping for better organization.
  • Swift Assist: A new programming companion for Xcode, Swift Assist will utilize cloud-based AI models to aid developers, making coding more efficient and accessible.
  • Siri Integration with ChatGPT: Although it may not be ready for the initial release, Siri’s integration with ChatGPT is expected later in 2024, enhancing conversational capabilities and response accuracy.

Expected Timelines

Based on past release timelines, these features are likely to arrive in an iOS 18.1 or iOS 18.2 update around October or December. Despite some enhancements missing from the initial release, the debut version of Apple Intelligence will still provide a robust set of features that are highly anticipated by users.

MacReview verdict

The upcoming iOS 18 release and subsequent updates represent a significant step forward for Apple Intelligence and Siri. With improvements ranging from richer natural language capabilities to personal context awareness and advanced app control, users can expect a more intuitive and powerful virtual assistant. Although the most groundbreaking features will come in 2025, the initial updates will still offer plenty of exciting enhancements, making iOS 18 a must-have for Apple enthusiasts.

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