Siri's best new AI features may not arrive until next year — here's what you'll get first from Apple Intelligence

WWDC 2024
(Image credit: Apple)

Siri's Apple Intelligence-powered upgrade won't appear in full until 2025, so a number of iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia features announced at WWDC last week won't be initially available. But let's focus on the positive, and the features you may get initially.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims that by the end of the year, Siri will be powered up with its new listening UI (a glowing border around your phone rather than the swirling Siri glow we're used to), a natural language update to allow it to understand you better, the ability to type out your questions instead of asking them verbally and greater Apple product knowledge to help you troubleshoot issues or locate hard-to-find options in the Settings menu.

We'll be happy to put these to use once the new Siri's available on our devices. But that means missing out on Siri being able to check your device for links and files and present them when asked, knowing what's on your screen and answering contextual questions accordingly, and it being able to control photo editing and drafting and sending messages, at least initially.

Slowly gathering Intelligence

Several of Siri's new features are reliant on Apple Intelligence, a big new project from Apple that it's being deliberately slow to launch, according to Gurman. He writes that this is in order to make sure everything works from launch and avoid the problems that have struck its rivals, such as AI hallucination (when the models make things up and present them as fact) and inadequate server infrastructure, as well as allow time for further training of the underlying models.

This is also why Apple's allegedly keeping Apple Intelligence as a preview build for the foreseeable future, and is only offering access to it from specific devices. When Apple Intelligence does go live, you'll need a Mac or iPad with an M-series chip or an iPhone 15 Pro — a relatively small number of devices. These will have to be set to American English too, locking out even more users. And did we mention there's a rumored waitlist?

Apple Intelligence

(Image credit: Apple)

Developer access to Apple Intelligence opens later this summer, outside of the beta releases of Apple's new software. A "preview" will launch in the fall for those with the compatible devices mentioned above, likely at the same time we expect to see the stable iOS 18 launch and the iPhone 16 series reveal, going by Apple's previous release patterns.

When users do finally get access, they'll be able to sample features like notification prioritization and recaps, a summary function to help you read through long passages of text wherever you find them, AI writing and image tools, and the option to create AI-made Genmoji.

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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.