Tech Published: 17 April 2024 Update: 17 April 2024

iOS 18 AI features are rumored to be ‘on device.’ But there’s a catch.

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By now, you’ve likely heard that Apple is making big moves in the AI space in order to compete with competitors like Microsoft and Google. Its upcoming M4 chipset for its Macs and MacBooks is being built for AI. And, when it comes to mobile devices, the soon-to-be-released iOS 18 is going to have a heavy focus on AI, bringing new AI-powered capabilities to your iPhone.

According to Bloomberg’s Apple insider Mark Gurman, Apple is looking to continue its privacy-focused ethos with its AI products, too — at least, where it can.

“As the world awaits Apple’s big AI unveiling on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device,” Gurman writes in his paid Power On newsletter (first highlighted by MacRumors). “That means there’s no cloud processing component to the company’s large language model, the software that powers the new capabilities.”

What does this mean?

Basically, Apple looks to be continuing its commitment to user privacy by making sure your data stays “on device.” Most AI platforms do require that your data be sent to their cloud computer servers because generative AI models are usually extremely resource intensive. If Apple stays the course though, the company won’t do that. Instead, it’ll use the iPhone’s processing power to handle its AI features, meaning your data never leaves your iPhone.

One problem here is that even newer iPhone models may struggle to handle some particularly intensive AI features. Some AI features may not be available on older iPhone models at all.

However, there does seem to be a catch here. Apple can only really fully commit to its user privacy standards for the products that it builds. Given that Apple is relatively behind in the AI race compared to its competitors, the company is looking to work with third-party companies in order to roll out its AI products sooner rather than later.

According to Gurman, Apple has discussed AI partnerships with OpenAI, Google, and even the China-based Baidu. iPhone owners utilizing iOS features powered by the cloud computing infrastructure of those companies will find that their data is being sent off of their device.

Apple is reportedly creating its own cloud infrastructure to handle AI work, but according to these reports, it doesn’t seem like it will be ready in time for the big iOS 18 announcement. And that’s where these third parties will likely come in.

Again, all of this information is subject to change, but Gurman’s reporting is credible. Nothing will be set in stone, of course, until Apple makes these announcements and that will probably be at this year’s WWDC in June.

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Author:
Flavius Trica Creatif Agency Flavius Trica

Web designer and Co-Founder of Creatif.Agency, with more than 8 years in the design industry and a strong passion for digital art, has successfully managed to deliver one of the most creative web design agencies in San Francisco, California. Valuing quality, creativity, and customer satisfaction, always strive to improve!

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