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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

iOS 18’s AI features: Not all iPhones will support on-device processing

Despite the broad compatibility of iOS 18 with existing iPhone models, certain advanced on-device AI features will be limited to newer models.

Apple is set to introduce a significant artificial intelligence (AI) overhaul in its upcoming iOS 18, showcasing both basic and advanced AI features. This two-part strategy aims to enhance user experience by leveraging AI to automate and streamline various tasks.

Rearchitecting Siri with Large Language Models

At the core of this AI transformation is a revamped Siri. To achieve this, Apple engineers have restructured Siri’s underlying software using large language models (LLMs), the same technology that powers generative AI. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the updated Siri will be capable of performing tasks such as organizing notes, summarizing articles, opening specific documents, deleting emails, and emailing web links. These improvements are designed to make Siri a more efficient and versatile virtual assistant.

Read More: iOS 18: Apple’s Next big leap in customization and AI

On-Device AI Processing

A significant portion of the new AI capabilities will be processed directly on the device, powered by the iPhone’s processor. This approach aims to enhance performance and privacy by reducing reliance on cloud computing. Apple’s LLM will determine if a request can be handled on the device or if it requires communication with Apple’s servers. Tasks deemed “basic” will be processed on-device, ensuring quicker responses and enhanced privacy.

Compatibility and Hardware Requirements

Despite the broad compatibility of iOS 18 with existing iPhone models, certain advanced on-device AI features will be limited to newer models, specifically the iPhone 15 Pro and later versions. Gurman highlights that the hardware capabilities, particularly the amount of RAM, play a crucial role in supporting these AI features. Standard iPhone 15 models, with 6GB of RAM, may not support all on-device AI functionalities, while the Pro models, equipped with 8GB of RAM, will fully leverage these enhancements.

The iPhone models expected to run iOS 18 but without some of the on-device AI features include:

  • iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 14 series
  • iPhone 13 series
  • iPhone 12 series
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone XS series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (second and third generation)

Read More: Apple responds to criticism over iPad Pro advertisement

Apple’s AI advancements are not limited to iPhones. Both iPadOS 18 and macOS 15 are anticipated to share many of the same AI features. For macOS, Apple Silicon Macs with at least an M1 chip will be required for on-device AI capabilities, ruling out Intel-based Macs. Similarly, iPad models older than the fifth-generation iPad Pro will not support these on-device features.