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These Apple Intelligence and Siri features are coming after the iOS 18 launch

Easily the hottest feature of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and MacOS 15 is Apple Intelligence, the brand Apple has chosen for its own particular suite of mostly-on-device, privacy-protected, personal AI features.

But when you update your devices this September, you’ll probably be left scratching your head as to where all the AI features are. First, because Apple Intelligence is only going to run on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max (or later) and M-series Macs and iPads, but also because many of the cool features you’ve heard about just aren’t there.

The best parts of Apple Intelligence aren’t coming at launch. Some will come later in 2024 through some software updates, and others will come in 2025. It’s sort of a slow rollout of AI features through the lifespan of iOS 18, and we’ll probably be downloading updates with new AI features until it’s nearly time for next year’s WWDC.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has a good breakdown of the AI features rollout plan. Loosely, it looks something like this.

Available at launch

These Apple Intelligence features are likely to be available at launch, though labeled Beta, and only available for U.S. English speakers.

Siri’s new interface: A glowing edge around the whole screen, and the ability to type requests to Siri.

Siri natural conversation: Siri’s ability to understand you better, even when you mess up what you’re saying.

Writing support: Generate text, re-write passages, and create summaries and lists.

Image generation: Genmoji and other image generation, and the Image Playground app.

Clean-up tool: Remove unwanted background items in Photos.

Call recording and transcription: Record a call, see a transcript of it, and generate a summary.

Math Notes: Write complex equations with variables and adjust them on the fly. On the iPad it can even sort of mimic (and clean up) your handwriting.

Coming later in 2024

The features we expect at launch, in beta form, are pretty exciting. But there are some notable gaps not coming until later in 2024.

Mail app features: Automatic categorization and other new Mail app design features like showing summaries of your emails and digests.

Swift Assist programming companion: An AI coding tool in Xcode that helps you write code or answer coding questions.

ChatGPT integration: Apple’s marketing materials aren’t quite clear on this, but it seems as though the ChatGPT integration is a “coming later this year” feature.

There are some other general iOS 18 features, not related to AI, that are coming after the initial launch. You can read all about those here.

Coming in 2025

In the first half of next year is when Apple Intelligence is really going to shine, as it adds some core Siri features that will take it to the next level.

Siri on-device context awareness: The ability for Siri to give sensible answers based on data found in Messages, Mail, Contacts, and other on-device information.

Siri on-screen awareness: Siri will be able to see what is on your screen when you ask it to perform a task and take that information into account.

Siri application control: A big expansion of App Intents, which lets Siri perform actions in your apps. Currently limited to things like playing music or getting directions, there will be hundreds of actions Siri can take in apps. This will start with Apple’s own apps and expand to third-party apps over time.

Of course, all of this is subject to change depending on how smoothly Apple’s AI development goes, and how beta testing progresses. Even if everything goes well, these advanced AI features will only be available in U.S. English (though it’s not yet clear if U.S. English speakers overseas will be able to access it). It could take years for many other languages and regions to be supported, as AI large language models require extensive training and massive amounts of data for each supported language.