iOS 18's massive Siri AI overhaul just leaked, but don't expect the best changes until 2025

Siri on iOS
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

With Apple Vision Pro officially launching, and the Apple Car project being canceled, Apple AI is currently Apple’s most secretive project — and we have just got our biggest glimpse yet of how Siri’s AI functions will improve the experience on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a reputable Apple insider, Siri’s AI overhaul could come with tons of cool new functions.  This could include making transcripts of voice memos, setting up automated message replies, and AI-generated emojis. Some more simple tasks will be processed on-device, whereas more complex ones will use cloud computing. You will have to maintain an internet connection for the most complex AI functions and these aren’t “planned for release until as soon as next year.” 

2025 and beyond

The most complex Siri AI function being worked on is its ability to analyze what you do on your device and generate shortcuts and functions based on that context. Gurman says “It will be limited to Apple’s own apps at the beginning, with the company planning to support hundreds of different commands.” Given the layers of complexity to controlling and monitoring potentially hundreds of apps on devices, this function will take some time to launch but is expected to be part of an update to iOS 18

Initially, Siri will be able to process commands you give it, but the virtual assistant won’t yet be able to string multiple commands together in a single action. The example given is asking Siri to summarize a meeting recording, and then text the findings to a colleague. You will have to do both acts separately until it gets smart enough to handle both at the same time. 

Part of the complexity of new AI functions is what parts it chooses to run on-device and which functions will rely on the cloud. On-device AI use is faster and doesn’t require a connection to the internet, whereas cloud-based AI use is more powerful and much more complex. Apple will want to run as many functions on-device as possible for a much cleaner user experience but some of these functions need more powerful equipment. 

It is unclear as of yet if Apple's chatbot will function on-device. Apple has signed a deal with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, to bring it to iPhone and remains in talks with Google to potentially use its Gemini chatbot in the future. We are due to hear more about these functions and Apple’s choice of chatbot at WWDC 2024 in just a few weeks. 

iPhone 15 Plus | $899 at Apple

iPhone 15 Plus | $899 at Apple

If you're looking to get the most out of Apple AI when it launches, an iPhone 15 Plus, with its great battery life and excellent screen, is the best way of doing so. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.