The Cupertino-based tech giant Apple has reportedly started working on the next version of iOS, the operating system for iPhones. Reports suggest that the company plans to use language models to enhance Siri’s intelligence in iOS 18, which is expected to be announced in July next year.
According to The Information, Apple wants Siri to be able to help users automate complex, multi-step tasks with voice-based commands. As an example, imagine if Siri could easily take five photos, create a GIF from them, and send that GIF to a friend, all with just one command.
Automatically converting photos into a GIF is possible right now with the Shortcuts app, but it has to be set up manually. Siri’s functionality will be similar to what is possible with the Shortcuts app, and it is likely that it will see Siri integrating more deeply with Shortcuts, MacRumors reported.
Shortcuts are important in the iPhone system, enabling powerful automation. Apple offers a gallery of shortcuts for various tasks, like background removal from images or task lists.
As per the report from The Information, the iPhone maker is aiming to release the new Siri capabilities as part of the iPhone’s operating system next year, which suggests that it will be part of iOS 18.
Google is also trying to make its Google Assistant smarter so it can do more complicated tasks. So, Apple might want to release its improved features before Google does, or at least release similar features at the same time.
“Apple’s Siri personal assistant has long been criticised for being notably behind voice assistants from other companies like Google and Alexa, primarily due to Apple’s focus on security and privacy,” MacRumors said.
Many Siri tasks are performed on-device rather than through a cloud server, so the Cupertino-based tech giant will need to find a balance between privacy and functionality with the adoption of language models for Siri, it added.