iOS 18 could bring three big upgrades to Safari on iPhone

An image of an iPhone screen showing the Safari app icon in the center
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

iOS 18 could give you more reasons to move out of Chrome, as AppleInsider claims that the next version of Apple's Safari browser for the iPhone will feature some tasty AI upgrades.

Safari 18, as the new version will be known according to the report, looks set for several changes including a small interface refresh. But the meat of the upgrades begins with an Intelligent Search feature, which is thought to use on-device AI to generate a summary of your web page for quickly getting the gist of what you're reading.

Another addition to next-gen Safari is Web Eraser, which can remove specified parts of a webpage, such as advertising or images, and restore them when required. These changes will be remembered between sessions, and flagged to the user upon revisiting a Web Eraser-ed page too — meaning you won't have to set it up each time you go to a certain site, or forget that you made alterations.

Both of these apparently need activating from the page controls menu. This is a revised version of the "AA" menu already seen in Safari that will provides access to the new tools as well as some basic browser options like text size and reader mode that were previously split up across different menus.

More to look forward to

While the report from AI focuses on iOS 18, these features will make their way to Macs and iPads with their respective macOS 15 and iPadOS 18 updates. So it won't just be iPhone users who get to play with Apple's upcoming AI toys.

AppleInsider also tells us about a feature to look forward to in a future iOS updates, likely in 2025. The iPhone's Visual Lookup feature is already a powerful way of learning more about the contents of your photos, but Apple apparently has plans for a more powerful version of this tool to help users learn more about "consumer products" featured in a picture. This image-searching feature may be usable on any image you open on the iPhone, not just those you save to your gallery.

Apple's WWDC event, which begins on June 10, is normally where it announces its big new software updates for the coming year, and we expect to hear all about iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15 and more at the keynote presentation. But if that's too far off for you, there's a chance we'll hear about some new software as part of Apple's assumed hardware announcements at its Let Loose next week on May 7.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.