Is Apple bringing ChatGPT to iOS? Probably, along with every other AI

Apple and OpenAI
(Image credit: OpenAI and Apple)

As we get closer to Apple’s WWDC developer conference the rumor mill goes into overdrive about every aspect of the hardware and software. This year that includes how Apple will integrate artificial intelligence into its ecosystem — and which company will provide the AI.

Earlier this year it was rumored Apple was in extended talks with Google over bringing Gemini to the iPhone. Tim Cook is also said to have been discussing similar possibilities with Baidu in China and now it looks like OpenAI is back at the negotiating table for GPT-4.

The latest rumor comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and suggests the latest round of talks with the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT maker are gathering pace.

What does this mean for iOS 18?

WWDC 2024 logo from Apple

(Image credit: Apple)

This isn’t the first time Apple has been in talks with OpenAI about bringing certain AI functionality to the iOS system. ChatGPT also debuted as an app on iOS before Android.

On top of the integration with iOS 18, Apple will also likely make it easier for developers to integrate the model of their choice into an app.

However, Apple is building its own AI models and has hinted that the AI features in iOS 18 will be “on device” — which GPT-4 certainly isn’t.

In my view Apple is taking a “little bit of everything” approach to generative AI until it settles on a formula that works. This includes using its own models, cloud solutions and user choice.

The main functionality of a GenAI powered Siri will likely come from Apple’s own models running on device, but additional features like image and long-form text creation will come from a third-party such as OpenAI, Baidu or Google.

On top of the integration with iOS 18, Apple will also likely make it easier for developers to integrate the model of their choice into an app. This could include making Google’s tiny Gemini Nano model — currently on some Pixel phones — available on device by default.

What are the latest iOS 18 AI rumors?

Siri presenting 'Go ahead, I'm listening' in text on iPhone screen.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

This is Apple, so we’re not going to hear anything concrete until WWDC on June 10, but partnering with third-party companies more used to working in the open makes leaks more likely. That said, it currently feels like Apple is going to be taking this up to the wire.

Apple has made it clear that iOS 18 will see a major AI upgrade. This will likely also include upgrades to apps like Notes, Fitness, Pages and Podcasts to add generated content, text summaries and analysis of complex personal data — with much of the processing on device.

Aside from rumors that a cloud provider like OpenAI or Google will be involved to some extent, most of the hints center around bringing some of the functionality we've started to see on Android to iOS. That, and using AI to make iOS easier to use and customize.

One app likely to see the biggest upgrade is Siri. The question is whether that is powered by Apple's own models or something like ChatGPT or Gemini. Given Apple has said it will focus on running AI locally, neither of the big players make sense.

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Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?