iOS 18 Siri update could include AI-powers for using apps with voice

Siri on Apple iPhone 12 Mini stock photo 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • In iOS 18, Siri could have AI-based powers it hasn’t had before.
  • One of these new abilities could be manipulating apps using voice commands.
  • iOS 18 and this new Siri upgrade will almost certainly be announced at WWDC on June 10.

Google is all-in on AI, as evidenced by the Google I/O keynote this year. Microsoft is also all-in on AI, as evidenced by the recent launches of Surface machines and Copilot Plus. Meanwhile, Apple is…well, no one really knows what Apple’s doing with AI yet.

However, reliable leaker Mark Gurman (via Bloomberg) has shed a little light on what we can expect. Apparently, Apple has conducted a “revamp of Siri’s underlying software using large language models.” This restructuring of Apple’s digital assistant will give it a new AI-based power: the ability to manipulate apps using voice commands.

I know what you’re thinking: can’t Siri already do things with voice commands? Yes, it can, but only in a broad sense. For example, you can ask it to open an app, play a music playlist, search for something on the web, etc. But the “new” Siri will allegedly be able to be much more granular than that. For example, it could be able to open an individual document, move a file from one folder to another, send or delete an email, open a specific news source in Apple News Plus, and more.

Essentially, instead of being locked to certain commands Apple has programmed Siri to do, the generative AI smarts of this upgraded Siri would allow it to do whatever you can think of (within some limits, obviously).

Initially, Siri will allegedly only be able to handle one command at a time. Eventually, though, Apple could increase this to a multi-step chain. This could enable you to, for example, ask Siri to open a specific photo, crop it, and then email it to a friend, all with one voice command.

Before you get too excited about this, we might have a while to wait. Even though it’s likely Apple will announce this alongside iOS 18 at WWDC 2024 on June 10, we don’t expect the feature to be accessible for quite a while. According to Gurman, this wouldn’t launch with iOS 18 in September but rather land as soon as next year in a point update. In other words, the iPhone 16 will have been out for months before this lands on an iPhone.

It’s possible this new Siri feature could be a planned product of the partnership between Apple and OpenAI, which was just confirmed earlier this week. We’ll find out more on June 10.

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