Look out — AI features on iOS 18 may be 'especially buggy' after being revealed at WWDC

iOS 18
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Today's the day Apple's WWDC 2024 event kicks off, and we're expecting to see iOS 18 and more gain a whole bunch of AI abilities. But be warned, as Mark Gurman, source of many rumors about Apple's upcoming updates, believes: the initial beta version of iOS 18 could be "especially buggy," as it sounds like several elements have only just been finished.

He also claims that Apple could keep its AI features in “beta” all the way up to the assumed stable launch of iOS 18 this fall, since they’ll still be rather rough and ready. He noted this a month or so ago too, saying Apple will describe its new AI as a preview rather than finished tech.

Rumors of Apple's plans point to it utilizing generative AI to enable enhanced Siri, text summaries and image editing. These are all roughly equivalent to features we've seen on other AI-focused phones like the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 series, so Apple is no doubt capable of making these work well. The only question is when precisely these features will transition from experimental to fully polished.

AI: Apple Intelligence or Awkwardly Incompelete?

Anyone who's keen enough to download the iOS 18 beta to try out these features likely won't be put off by these features staying in beta for a while. But even these wannabe power users could end up frustrated if certain rough edges remain down the line.

As for regular users, who won't be installing iOS 18 until later this year, they may be dissuaded from trying these features if they've still got a beta badge attached. Plus with the leak-o-sphere suggesting you'll need at least an iPhone 15 Pro to use everything, the adoption of these features could take some time to really get going.

Fortunately Apple's thought to be introducing other upgrades to iOS 18 that are less AI-reliant. We particularly like the sound of the new Passwords app, reworked and more customizable Control Center and smoother track transitions in Apple Music, plus the fact that more accessibility features such as better voice shortcuts could also be added.

WWDC officially starts at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern and 6pm U.K. time, and you can watch along with us via our WWDC live blog. Before it all starts, you can read up on all the iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS 15 rumors in our news hubs, but we plan to update those with the latest confirmed information as soon as it's available.

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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.