iOS 18 might bring AI to the iPhone search and I’m ready for it

iOS 18 will deliver Apple’s first generative AI features for iPhone. That’s the expectation, at least, considering what’s available out there. ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, and Google Gemini are only getting better, with updates dropping frequently. Apple isn’t ready to announce anything. But Tim Cook did tease recently big AI announcements for later this year. That can only mean WWDC 2024, where Apple should unveil iOS 18 and all its other software updates.

Separately, Apple has released studies that teased the kind of generative AI features it might be working on. Apple MGIE lets you edit photos via text prompts. Keyframer can animate static images once you tell the AI what from a photo. 

A new report detailing Apple’s AI plans for the upcoming future gives us good news about the kind of generative AI product I want to see on the iPhone once iOS 18 drops. A direct rival to ChatGPT that can answer anything you’d throw at it. Well, at least attempt to do it, anyway. And that ChatGPT alternative might sit exactly where you might look for it, inside Spotlight search.

I hardly use Spotlight on my iPhone, and when I do go to it, I’m looking for something on the iPhone rather than the web. I might change my habits if iOS 18 adds generative AI features to Spotlight. 

According to Bloomberg, that might be the case. The report focuses on Apple’s plans to bring generative AI features to Xcode. That’s Apple’s software development platform for the iPhone. AI should help developers write and test code faster than before. Similar features are available on competing platforms, like Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot.