iOS 18’s generative AI features might use Google Gemini


iOS 18 with Gemini logo
Google could power many of iOS 18's AI features.
Concept logo/Graphics: Kevin Kall/Google

Apple could use Google Gemini to power the generative AI features reportedly coming this year in iOS 18. Apple and Google are reportedly in “active negotiations” about the possibility, but have not yet finalized a deal. If it happens, it would be the first time in years that the two tech giants have collaborated so closely.

Apple also held talks with OpenAI and considered using ChatGPT, according to Bloomberg’s report.

Google Gemini might power some of iOS 18’s AI features

Apple is widely seen as playing catch-up in AI, currently tech’s hottest sector. But after quietly acquiring dozens of AI startups, and canceling its secret car project to focus on generative AI, Apple is starting to make some noise.

Sunday’s Bloomberg report offers more details about Apple’s work on AI features for iOS 18 using its in-house AI models. These models will power the core OS features and, for privacy reasons, run on-device. iPhone 16 might ship with an upgraded Neural Engine to power these features.

However, for generative AI and cloud-based features, the company is looking for a partner to do things like “creating images and writing essays based on simple prompts.”

Apple supposedly worked on Apple GPT to power its applications and services. However, citing anonymous sources, the report says Apple’s chatbot “remains inferior” to what Google and others offer,” according to the Bloomberg piece. This is why the Mac-maker is considering a partnership.

If the deal goes through, it will benefit Google. It will allow the company to reach more than 2 billion iPhone and iPad users worldwide. Samsung already works closely with Google to power many Galaxy AI features on its 2024 flagship smartphones.

Apple’s AI efforts lag behind the competition

Tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Facebook have been showcasing impressive advances in their AI models every few months. Apple has not yet added any generative AI feature to iOS or its services.

During the Q1 2024 earnings call in February, CEO Tim Cook teased that Apple’s AI revolution is coming later this year. The company’s researchers have released the MGIE AI model that uses natural language prompts to alter an image and other similar experiments, but that’s about it.

Still, Apple recently acquired Candian startup DarwinAI, presumably to boost its AI development efforts. And Apple reportedly bought dozens of other AI companies in 2023.

In contrast, Google already integrated Gemini — which has been dinged for generating “inaccurate or even offensive” images — into its productivity suite. It is also working on replacing Google Assistant with Gemini as the default assistant on Android.

If Google and Apple proceed with the partnership, the official announcement might come at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2024.


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