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Saturday, May 18, 2024

iOS 18 to Bring AI Features: Safari Browsing Assistant & Encrypted Visual Search

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In Short:

iOS 18 is set to be revealed at WWDC 2024 on June 10, with potential new AI features like a ‘browsing assistant’ for Safari and ‘Encrypted visual search’. Backend code analysis suggests these features will enhance privacy using an Oblivious HTTP gateway. Apple is yet to confirm these features but may provide more details at WWDC. The update is expected to roll out to eligible iPhone models soon after.

iOS 18 is set to be revealed at WWDC 2024 on June 10, ahead of Apple’s upcoming software update for eligible iPhone models. While Apple has not provided any official details on iOS 18, analysis of backend code on Apple’s servers suggests the development of two new AI features that could be included in the update. One of these features is an AI-powered ‘browsing assistant’ for Safari, aiming to enhance the browsing experience.

Discovery of New Features

In a tweet, developer Nicolás Álvarez (@nicolas09F9) revealed references to two new features in Apple’s backend code. The first feature, the Safari browsing assistant, is speculated to function similarly to generative AI assistants found in other browsers like Copilot on Microsoft Edge and Arc Browser.

The second feature, known as Encrypted visual search, is compared to the existing Visual Look Up feature in Spotlight, raising questions about a potentially advanced and secure version of the same feature in iOS 18.

Privacy Measures

Álvarez explained that both features will utilize an Oblivious HTTP gateway for privacy, preventing Apple from identifying multiple requests coming from the same IP address. Earlier speculations suggested the use of iCloud Private Relay, requiring a subscription to iCloud+ or Apple One.

Will the Safari Browsing Assistant and Encrypted Visual Search be Available in iOS 17.5 Beta 2 as well?

Yes, the Safari Browsing Assistant and Encrypted Visual Search will be available in iOS 17.5 Beta 2, making it easier for users to install iPhone apps from websites directly without any hassle. These features will enhance the browsing experience and offer more convenience to the users.

Future Expectations

While Apple has not officially confirmed these AI features for iOS 18, the unveiling is anticipated at WWDC 2024 along with macOS 15 updates. More information on these features is expected during the keynote event as the event kicks off on June 10.

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