iOS 18 could be getting generative AI features in biggest OS update yet

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple's next software update, iOS 18, is expected to involve generative AI capabilities and more storage space to house them, according to a new report from Bloomberg

iOS 18 is expected to be one of the most important updates in the operating system's history, with the focus heavily on artificial intelligence. We've previously reported that the software is expected to be announced at WWDC 2024, scheduled for June this year.  

According to a newsletter by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, "When Apple announces iOS 18 at WWDC 2024, the company is expected to spend a considerable amount of time discussing how it views AI”. This will reportedly include how AI should be integrated into Apple products and why the company's approach differs considerably from that of its competitors. 

"Apple also is still figuring out how to handle privacy with AI features — one reason that the company's in-house initiatives will be more conservative than those of rivals," Gurman speculates.

The newsletter also notes that in the US, the company has held talks with Google, OpenAI, and Anthropic about becoming partners for AI features in iOS 18. Gurman adds, "the idea is to have Gemini power a chatbot within Apple's operating systems, while Apple's own AI engine will handle more behind-the-scenes tasks throughout the new software."

While it's far too early to truly speculate whether a partnership between the tech giants will ensue, recent reports suggest that it could come to fruition for the newest iPhone 16 models, due for release in September. Gurman notes, however, that a direct partnership between the two may be unlikely, and Apple is more likely to work with several partners for iOS 18's AI capabilities instead. 

New iPhone 16 specs

iPhone 16 camera pill design

(Image credit: MacRumors)

Additional rumors from South Korea (via @Tech_Reve) also suggest iPhone 16 is set to debut with RAM and storage upgrades to accommodate new AI features. 

The report says the iPhone 16's base model could come with either 8GB RAM, 256 SSD, or both to allow for integrated AI features to surmise, store, and process commands. The report suggests that extra storage space is needed for the generative AI features. 

Compared to the current iPhone 15 model, this would see a significant boost on both RAM and SSD fronts, with the base 15 model coming with 6GB RAM and 128GB SSD. 

In other news, Gurman noted that the new iPhone models could have more customization options for the home screen. While Bloomberg was rather scant on the details, we hope to see a comprehensive redesign alongside the new generative AI features.

Lucy Scotting
Staff Writer

Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.