iOS 18 may not feature an Apple chatbot — but it’s not all bad news

iOS 18
(Image credit: Rafapress/Shutterstock)

Rumor has it that iOS 18 will be a big leap forward for AI on the iPhone, and there are countless rumors about what sort of generative AI features Apple may have planned. Unfortunately, it sounds like we may not see an Apple-made chatbot debut later this year.

This news comes from Apple sleuth Mark Gurman, who claimed Apple will not be adding its own chatbot to iOS 18. However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be some kind of chatbot on the software — just that it’ll be licensed from someone else. Gurman claims Apple has been in talks with the likes of Google, OpenAI and Baidu for this very purpose.

We’ve already heard some rumors that Apple could bring Google Gemini or OpenAI’s ChatGPT to iPhones later this year. But this is probably the first time that an Apple-made chatbot has been completely ruled out for iOS 18. 

While there’s no guarantee things won’t change between now and WWDC 2024, Gurman usually has a pretty good idea of what’s going on behind Apple’s closed doors. The question is how long it will take Apple to develop its own chatbot for future versions of iOS. 

In the past, Apple has proven it would rather offer its own services and not rely on a third party. That's why we have apps like Apple Maps and Apple Music, rather than continuing to make iPhone users rely on the likes of Google Maps and Spotify. So It’s probably not a matter of "if" Apple makes its own chatbot, and more a matter of "when" it’s ready to be released.

But chatbots or not, Gurman confirmed that Apple’s upcoming WWDC keynote will have a big focus on AI and the company’s ongoing strategy. Though that much was obvious in the way it announced the start of the conference, with references to WWDC 2024 being “Absolutely Incredible”.

We’ve already heard that iOS 18 will be featuring some form of generative AI, though what form it might take isn’t clear. It’s been claimed that iOS 18 will be the “biggest update ever” and AI will be playing a huge part of that, Especially in terms of Siri, which is well overdue for an upgrade. So home-made chatbot or not, iOS 18 is looking to be a very big deal.

We’ll have to wait until WWDC 2024 kicks off on June 10 to find out more. But in the meantime you can keep on top of the latest news and rumors in our iOS 18 and WWDC 2024 hubs.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.