The Cupertino-based tech giant, Apple, is reportedly in the early stages of developing the next iteration of iOS, the operating system powering iPhones. According to reports, Apple is exploring the use of language models to enhance Siri’s capabilities in iOS 18, which is expected to be officially announced in July of the following year.
As per information from The Information, Apple’s objective is to empower Siri with the ability to assist users in automating complex, multi-step tasks through voice commands. For instance, imagine a scenario where Siri can seamlessly capture five photos, create a GIF from them, and send that GIF to a friend, all executed with a single voice command.
Although it is currently possible to automatically convert photos into GIFs using the Shortcuts app, this process requires manual setup. The functionality that Siri is expected to offer will closely resemble what is already achievable with the Shortcuts app, and it is likely that Siri will integrate more deeply with Shortcuts, as reported by MacRumors.
Shortcuts are a pivotal feature within the iPhone ecosystem, enabling robust automation. Apple offers a library of shortcuts tailored to various tasks, such as background image removal and task list management.
According to The Information’s report, Apple is aiming to introduce these new Siri capabilities as an integral part of the iPhone’s operating system next year, suggesting that they will be incorporated into iOS 18.
Meanwhile, Google is also working on enhancing the capabilities of its Google Assistant, enabling it to perform more complex tasks. Consequently, Apple may aim to release its improved features ahead of Google or, at the very least, introduce similar functionalities simultaneously.
As noted by MacRumors, “Apple’s Siri personal assistant has often faced criticism for lagging behind voice assistants from other companies like Google and Alexa, primarily due to Apple’s strong focus on security and privacy.”
Many of Siri’s tasks are executed on the user’s device rather than relying on cloud servers. As a result, Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, must carefully balance privacy and functionality when integrating language models into Siri’s capabilities.