Apple's annual event, the Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC), is approaching. It is slated to kick off with the keynote on June 10th and run through to June 14th. And the tech community's excitement is palpable, even more so this year because of the tech giant's expected tango with AI (finally!). As with every year, we're expecting Apple to announce their latest OS for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

There have been many reports and rumors about what Apple's foray into generative artificial intelligence might bring. Apple has reportedly been spending millions a day to train its in-house AI models. But it is also talking to companies like Google, OpenAI, and Anthropic for potentially using their generative AI models for cloud-based services, as reported by Bloomberg.

There have also been reports of Apple's own Large Language Model (LLM), called AppleGPT, which could power Siri and bring more advanced, ChatGPT-like capabilities to the assistant with iOS 18. It is also possible that Apple would use its own AI-engine to handle tasks required by the operating system, while a partnership with one of other tech giant's AI, possibly Gemini, could power a chatbot-like experience within the OS.

But as expected from Apple, the company is moving cautiously when it comes to the integration of generative AI, as they figure out the best approach to handle privacy concerns associated with it.

iOS 18 with new AI Features

Here's everything the reports are suggesting that iOS 18 – being hailed as one of the biggest OS updates – could bring to the table, with a huge focus on AI.

  • More advanced Siri powered by a generative AI chatbot, quite like ChatGPT or Gemini. However, Apple could use on-device processing for more speed and privacy.
  • AI integration in the Messages app that could be capable of auto-completion of sentences, fielding questions, and summarizing incoming messages on your iPhone.
  • AI features in system apps, like Apple Music (for automatic playlist generation) and Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (for content creation, summarization, etc.)
  • A new AI-powered version of Spotlight Search capable of performing even more complex tasks.
  • New AI-integrated features in the Apple Health app and Apple Watch, like an (artificially) intelligent wellness coach. The Health app is also reportedly coming to iPads this year.
  • There are also reports of AI features coming to Xcode to help developers write and complete code and test applications, among other things.

Apart from these AI features, there are also rumors about other updates, like the ability to place app icons anywhere (somewhat like Android), new accessibility shortcuts, and scenes in the Freeform app that'll allow you to mark certain parts of the board.

Just like every year, the developer and public betas for iOS 18 are expected in June and early July, respectively, with the public release expected in September of this year.

Hardware Upgrades in iPhone 16 to Accommodate AI

Along with AI additions that could be coming to the OS, the new iPhone 16 models (expected in September) could also receive hardware upgrades to accommodate the AI features. Reportedly, the new iPhone 16 range could have the base models with either 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, or even both, to let the new AI features work smoothly. This would be a huge upgrade from the base iPhone 15 models, which feature 6 GM RAM and 128 GB SSD.

Apart from the generative AI features possibly coming to iOS 18, Apple has also been working on other AI technologies, like editing photos using text prompts, generating animations with still images and text commands, and another multimodal LLM training on text and images, delivering state-of-the-art results.

While these are rumors and speculations, as Apple hardly ever announces anything ahead of time, it won't be a surprise if most of them make their way to iOS 18 next year. The only thing I know is that I'm beyond excited for this year's WWDC, just like most of the tech community, and it couldn't arrive earlier.