Apple is working on iOS 18 — the successor to the company’s latest iPhone operating system (OS) update that rolled out to eligible models last month — and the next major OS upgrade could come with notable AI upgrades, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In his weekly Power On newsletter published earlier this week, Gurman stated that Apple is working on AI features for apps and services like Apple Music, Siri, Messages, and is exploring the use of AI in its productivity apps.

Gurman reports that Apple is working on adding support for user-facing AI features as part of the iOS 18 update that is expected to arrive next year. The iPhone maker’s competitors Google and Microsoft have already added AI-powered functionality to their products, while ChatGPT creator OpenAI has also introduced several AI features to its mobile apps. The development of AI features for Apple’s apps and services could reportedly cost Apple around $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,300 crore) over the next year.

With the iOS 18 update, Apple’s Messages app is expected to offer improved reply suggestions, powered by AI, according to Gurman. Rival Google’s Messages app on Android uses on-device intelligence to suggest smart replies for messages that can be sent with a tap. The firm is also looking to introduce AI features for its Xcode platform to equip developers with features like code completion.

Just like the Messages app, Siri is also expected to debut with major upgrades to the voice assistant’s capabilities. The revamped version of Siri will be powered by Apple’s large language model (LLM) that will also support improved suggestions for the Messages app. Gurman states that there are “concerns about the technology” at Apple, but the new AI features for Siri could be ready by 2024.

The company is also reportedly looking to develop other AI-powered upgrades, including the ability to automatically generate playlists, according to Gurman. Meanwhile, Apple’s productivity apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, could also get new AI capabilities — Microsoft earlier this year announced new AI-based features for its Microsoft Office productivity suite, along with its Microsoft Copilot assistant.

While Apple’s existing apps and services perform a lot of machine learning tasks on the user’s device — such as detecting faces in the Photos app — the company could decide to use cloud-based servers for some features that would offer more advanced features offered by its rivals, while some experiences would work entirely on the user’s device — in order to preserve the user’s privacy, according to Gurman.

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