Apple's much-vaunted iOS 18 AI focus won't feature a cloud server component, report claims

Apple's iOS 18 update is set to bring new AI features to the iPhone later this year but that update won't use cloud servers according to a new report.

1 minute & 38 seconds read time

Apple has long been rumored to have plans to preview a big new iOS 18 software upgrade during the WWDC on June 10, with many reports claiming that there will be a new AI focus for the iPhone update. What that will look like in terms of features and capabilities still isn't clear, but a new report now suggests that whatever Apple's software does, it won't use cloud servers to do it.

That's according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, writing via the paywalled version of his weekly Power On newsletter that was then reported on by MacRumors. According to Gurman, the first wave of new features will be limited to on-device processing rather than using server-side compute as is often the case. That's how generative AI apps like ChatGPT work, for example, but Gurman says that there will be no cloud server component for Appl'es fledgling large language model.

Apple's much-vaunted iOS 18 AI focus won't feature a cloud server component, report claims 01

Apple had been rumored to be in discussion with OpenAI and Google about integrating their own services into iOS 18, but it now appears that such a feature will miss the iOS 18 release window. It isn't clear whether the integrations will still come further down the line, however.

Some generative AI capabilities are more suited to on-device processing because of speed and privacy concerns, and Apple is expected to bring generative AI capabilities to Siri, Safari, Spotlight, and other apps and features within the iPhone. It's also thought that improvements to Siri will stretch to things like responding to messages and more.

Despite the June preview, it isn't expected that Apple will release the iOS 18 update until around the middle of September, likely alongside the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro releases. Those new iPhones are expected to include the flagship iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max alongside the cheaper iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus. All models will likely be announced in the first part of September before being made available for preorder the same week and then going on sale the week after that.

Long before then we have more Apple hardware on the way. The company is expected to announce the new OLED iPad Pro and refreshed iPad Air models within weeks, while there is also an expectation that Apple will launch more Macs before the year is out. The upgraded M4 chips are likely to be part of that equation, but firm timescales and models are yet to be confirmed so far.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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