Apple’s big AI push could include custom emoji


apple iphone 15 app drawer on table

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman has shed plenty more details on Apple’s AI features for iOS 18.
  • Apple will use generative AI in iOS 18 to create custom emojis based on what you type.
  • The iPhone 15 series will likely get most of these new on-device AI features.

We’ve seen plenty of recent leaks pertaining to Apple’s AI plans for iOS 18. Now, a trusted source has revealed loads more apparent Apple AI details.

Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman used his Power On newsletter to outline plenty of AI features coming to iOS 18. One previously unreported feature is that Apple will apparently use generative AI to create custom emojis based on what you type.

“That means you’ll suddenly have an all-new emoji for any occasion, beyond the catalog of options that Apple currently offers on the iPhone and other devices,” Gurman explained.

We’ve previously seen Google offer the Emoji Kitchen feature on Android, allowing users to mash up two emojis to create a new one. but we’re keen to see what kind of custom emojis are possible with this feature. In saying so, we’re guessing that these custom emojis will only be compatible with other iOS devices.

Other AI features coming to iOS 18

We previously heard that Apple was working on AI-powered summaries in Safari and Messages. Gurman expanded on this functionality, saying that it’ll summarize missed notifications, individual messages, webpages, articles, documents, notes, and more. Siri will reportedly get upgrades too, bringing more natural interactions based on Apple’s own AI models and a more advanced Siri for the Apple Watch. He further claimed that Apple is working on voice memo transcription, ostensibly in line with Google’s Audio Message Transcription feature.

He also corroborated other leaks about AI features in iOS 18, such as AI-powered photo editing, improved Spotlight and web searches, and reply suggestions for emails and messages.

One non-AI feature apparently coming to iOS 18 is the ability to change the color of your app icon and freely move it around. Gurman gives the example of making all your finance apps green and all your social media apps blue.

What about supported devices?

You might not have to buy a new iPhone to try out the majority of these new AI features, either. The journalist reports that most of the on-device AI features will be supported by iPhone, iPad, and Mac processors released in the “last year or so.” This suggests that the iPhone 15 series will support the majority of these new local AI features at the very least. But it stands to reason that some features might require new silicon due to the expected increased in on-device AI horsepower.

We’re also guessing that the cloud-based AI features will come to much older iPhones, iPads, and Macs, as you typically only need an internet connection for these features. Then again, Google restricted its cloud-based Video Boost feature to the Pixel 8 Pro, leaving the Pixel 8 in the lurch.

In any event, it looks like Apple is embracing cloud-based processing with iOS 18 after many years of extolling the virtues of on-device processing. Gurman suggests Apple might defend the U-turn by claiming that it isn’t building a profile on its customers, much like Google and Meta. He also moots the possibility of Apple touting the security of its cloud servers, which are expected to use custom Apple processors.

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