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What is Apple Intelligence? Here’s how iOS 18’s AI features will change the way you use your iPhone, Mac, and iPad

The biggest news on one of Apple’s biggest days of the year was Apple Intelligence, a new suite of AI features coming later this year to iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia.

Apple’s WWDC presentation covered a lot of ground as it outlined what Apple Intelligence can do. Since then, we’ve gained even more details.

Here is everything you should know about Apple Intelligence, including the features it will bring to your iPhone, Mac, and iPad when it launches.

What is Apple Intelligence?

Apple Intelligence in action

Apple Intelligence is Apple’s unique branding for its suite of AI features debuting later this year across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Craig Federighi summed it up this way during the WWDC keynote:

Apple Intelligence is the personal intelligence system that puts powerful generative models right at the core of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

There are five key pillars of Apple Intelligence that, in combination, distinguish it from other AI (artificial intelligence) tools that already exist.

  • Powerful: Capable of offering truly useful help
  • Intuitive: Easy to use and accessible
  • Integrated: Baked into the core of your devices
  • Personal: Understands your personal context
  • Private: Built from the ground up for privacy

Apple believes no one else has an AI offering that checks all these boxes—and they certainly seem right.

The goal of Apple Intelligence? Tim Cook put it well in the keynote: “to make your most personal products even more useful and delightful.”

What can Apple Intelligence do?

Here’s what Apple Intelligence will enable your iPhone, Mac, and iPad to do once it ships later this year.

Language tools

AI language tools
  • Writing Tools: AI will be able to rewrite and proofread your text anywhere you write it, even third-party apps. This will be especially useful when sending an email or writing an article or social media post.
  • Priority notifications: AI will understand from context which notifications are most important and surface those to the top for you.
  • Priority messages in Mail: Similarly, AI will prioritize the email messages that most merit your attention.
  • Smart Reply: AI will generate email replies for you, offering them up for your approval before being sent.
  • Reduce Interruptions: This new Focus mode works like Do Not Disturb, but intelligently allows important notifications to break through.
  • Summaries of content: Whether in a transcript from a meeting or when viewing an email, AI will summarize content for you.

Image tools

AI-generated images
  • Image creation: Create totally original images with a simple typed request, even ones that feature a loved one.
  • Genmoji: Create totally original emoji on demand for any occasion.
  • Clean Up: Remove unwanted objects from a photo with ease.
  • Powerful search: Find exactly the photos you’re looking for in the Photos app.
  • Image Wand: Use the Apple Pencil to draw a circle in a Note and AI will automatically create a new image with its awareness of the other note contents.
  • Create Memories movies: Type a request in the Photos app to have a new Memories video created using the best-matching images in your library.

New and improved Siri

Siri in iOS 18
  • Richer language understanding: Siri with Apple Intelligence is far more forgiving of clunky requests. For example, you can say, “Siri, set an alarm for — oh wait no, set a timer for 10 minutes. Actually, make that 5.”
  • Personalized assistance: Siri can perform new actions with a deep awareness of your personal context. For example, you can say, “Play that song my wife sent me the other day.”
  • Onscreen awareness: Now Siri will know what’s on your screen and can assist accordingly. For example, you might say, “Add this address to their contact card.”
  • Take action across apps: Siri can now perform cross-app actions that save you time. For example, you could ask, “Siri, add this location to my Road Trip note.”
  • Fresh look: Activate Siri, and rather than popping up in one place, the assistant will instead animate all around the borders of your device with a beautiful glowing light.
  • Quick typed requests: With a quick double tap at the bottom of your iPhone or iPad’s screen, a keyboard will pop up so you can type a request to Siri rather than speaking it.
  • Deep Apple product knowledge: Now you can ask Siri questions about any of your Apple devices and OS features and it can provide the info you need.

ChatGPT integration

Apple has officially partnered with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT deeply into the iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia systems.

Here’s how Apple details the ChatGPT feature:

With ChatGPT from OpenAI integrated into Siri and Writing Tools, you get even more expertise when it might be helpful for you — no need to jump between tools. Siri can tap into ChatGPT for certain requests, including questions about photos or documents. And with Compose in Writing Tools, you can create and illustrate original content from scratch.

For more info, check out the following from my colleague Zac:

ChatGPT will not require an OpenAI account, nor will any of the information it processes be saved or shared with others. Apple is maintaining its privacy standards with this integration rather than depending on OpenAI to do so.

Which devices will support Apple Intelligence?

These are the iPhones, iPads, and Macs compatible with 'Apple Intelligence'

Because of the advanced computing resources necessary to properly power these features, Apple Intelligence is limited to a select number of modern devices:

  • iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPads with M1, M2, or M4 chip
  • Macs with M1, M2, or M3 chip

Top comment by Hiltegard

Liked by 5 people

So think about this... If you don't have an iPhone 15 or newer (16 coming this fall), is iOS even worth updating to being that Apple intelligence is the biggest set of features iOS 18 has to offer? I don't think so. Outside of the AI, iOS 18 really just gives you more UI customizations.

View all comments

This means on the iPhone, only the newest and highest-end phones will support these powerful AI features—at least for now. The iPhone 16, 16 Plus, and 16 Pro models are all expected to support Apple Intelligence.

Wrap-up

If your device supports Apple Intelligence, all the features outlined above will make for a whole new computing experience later this year.

Apple seems set to truly take AI mainstream, and in its own unique way.

Which AI features are you most looking forward to? If your device doesn’t support Apple Intelligence, do you plan to upgrade soon? Let us know in the comments.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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Author

Avatar for Ryan Christoffel Ryan Christoffel

Ryan got his start in journalism as an Editor at MacStories, where he worked for four years covering Apple news, writing app reviews, and more. For two years he co-hosted the Adapt podcast on Relay FM, which focused entirely on the iPad. As a result, it should come as no surprise that his favorite Apple device is the iPad Pro.

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