NIXSOLUTIONS: Apple Intelligence – New Era of AI-Powered Features

Apple has announced Apple Intelligence (AI), a new set of artificial intelligence-powered features for the company’s iPhone, Mac, and other devices. The company, which once refrained from using the term “artificial intelligence” when discussing its AI features, now offers AI-powered enhancements across all its platforms. Apple is playing catch-up in the world of AI, where Google and Microsoft have been implementing AI functions extensively for over a year.

Apple’s artificial intelligence features promise to perform a wide range of tasks for users within apps. AI will manage notifications, automatically write or summarize text in mail and other applications, and link to one app to perform an action in another, such as asking your iPhone to play a podcast a friend sent you.


Privacy and Device Requirements

As expected, Apple emphasized privacy in its AI features. The company asserts that AI processes will be handled locally on the device to ensure information remains private. However, this capability requires a device equipped with the A17 Pro platform or an M1, M2, M3, or M4 series processor. Among smartphones, AI will operate locally only on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. M-series chips are found in all modern Macs and most iPads.

Apple will also introduce a “semantic index” where AI collects personal data as needed and utilizes it across applications. Apple assures users that this data will be securely protected.

Understanding that not all AI functions can be executed on the devices themselves, Apple plans to leverage the cloud when necessary. The company refers to this as a “private cloud,” ensuring that requests and data sent to it will never be stored on servers, and Apple will never have access to it. Independent experts will verify these claims, the company noted.

Enhanced Siri and AI Integration

In iOS 18, users will experience a more natural interaction with Siri, making conversations feel like they are talking to a real person. Users will also be able to interact with Siri via text, typing requests manually, which can be extremely useful in certain situations. Siri will be able to perform more actions on behalf of users, such as setting up schedules for sending text messages and understanding context to determine which applications to use.

Most intriguingly, Siri will be able to perform actions in applications not only from Apple but also from third-party developers. For instance, Apple demonstrated how a user can ask Siri to edit an image in the Photos app they are currently viewing.

Siri’s capabilities will extend to screen awareness. For example, if a user fills out a form on a website requesting a driver’s license number, Siri can automatically find a photo of the ID and retrieve the number to fill out the field.

AI will also aid in writing texts. Apple has added functions for composing emails and taking notes. Users can ask Siri to complete a message or change the tone of their text in the Mail app. Similar features will be available system-wide, regardless of where users type.

The Voice Memos app will support speech-to-text transcription, and the Phone app can record calls and automatically transcribe them, with the interlocutor being notified of the recording.

Apple also introduced Genmoji, a feature that generates emoji-like reactions on the fly, useful when a user cannot find the desired emoji. Additionally, iOS 18 will feature an AI image generator called Image Playground. This feature works across multiple apps, but it also has its standalone app called Image Playground. Third-party developers will have access to the API to include Image Playground in their products.

The Photos app will see enhanced AI integration. iPhone users can already search for objects in their photo library, but Apple plans to improve this feature to enable searches for specific activities, such as a person doing a cartwheel. Smart photo editing features have also been added, such as the ability to erase a person from a photo, similar to Google’s Magic Eraser.

Finally, Apple announced that ChatGPT-4o will be coming to iOS, macOS, and iPadOS “later this year” as a chatbot that Siri can turn to when it cannot fulfill a request. The device will ask for user permission before doing so. Apple will start with this chatbot but plans to support other AI models in the future, notes NIXSOLUTIONS.

Apple Intelligence will launch in beta this fall on iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia. Initially, AI functions will be available only in the US and exclusively in English. In the future, Apple plans to add support for other languages and expand the service’s geographical availability, though specific timelines have not been disclosed. We’ll keep you updated on further developments.