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What is Apple Intelligence? Apple’s new GenAI features explained

Apple Intelligence is official, and it’s a game-changer not only for the iPhone, but the iPad and Mac too. It brings with it an overhauled Siri experience, complete with new advanced functionality and features and even integration with competing LLMs.

Whether you want to use Siri to generate a recipe for dinner based on what’s in the fridge, create a custom emoji using Genmoji or simply rewrite your snarky email to sound a little professional, Apple Intelligence is on its way to help.

Here’s everything you need to know about Apple Intelligence, from the key new features and functionality to device support and the latest information on its release. 

All-new Siri experience

With Apple Intelligence, Siri has had its biggest upgrade to date, not only sounding more natural than ever, but able to understand and do more with your requests. This is because Siri has been essentially rebuilt to utilise large language models, meaning it’s smarter than ever. 

Aside from a general face-lift, with a new all-screen Siri UI that looks much cleaner and still allows access to your apps during use, Siri can understand what’s going on on-screen, allowing Siri to perform actions like saving a friend’s new home address that he just texted you in the Messages app.

New Siri UI

It’ll also support advanced in-app functionality, meaning you can get very specific with Siri when looking up photos, for example. 

As well as searching for people and places, you can get very specific with the images you want. Apple showcased the example of Siri correctly finding all photos of a woman called Stacey in New York, but only those where she’s wearing a pink jacket, but it’ll also work in other first-party apps and third-party apps via a new developer API.  

It can also maintain conversational awareness across multiple prompts, allowing you to follow up contextually to previous Siri queries and responses and continue the conversation.

There’s also a new awareness of your personal information, garnered from everything from incoming messages to photos, event invites and even the links that you share with friends, and can use this information to help you in day-to-day life. 

Say, for example, you need your driver’s license ID number, Siri can look up images of your driver’s license, copy the ID number and paste it into the app in question. You can also ask Siri what your plans are, and it’ll not only check the Calendar app but messages, emails and more to make sure nothing has been missed. 

Adding drivers license information to form

Siri can also double up as a product expert, having been trained extensively on Apple products, and if you don’t want to speak to Siri out loud, you’ll be able to double-tap the bottom of the screen to activate Type to Siri. 

Improving your writing skills

Considering that Apple Intelligence utilises Large Language Models to function, it comes as no surprise that it’ll offer the ability to change the tone, or completely rewrite, chunks of text. It can also summarise large chunks of text, be it on a website, email or heartbroken text from an ex, and it’ll also enable smart replies in the Mail app, a la Gmail. 

This functionality should work across your iPhone, iPad or Mac regardless of the app, and if you’d rather Apple Intelligence leave your words alone, you can always ask for a simple proofread. 

Proofreading on macOS

This likely sounds familiar, and that’s because it is; it’s a key feature of the competing Galaxy AI available on the Samsung Galaxy S24 range. 

Genmoji and Images Playground

Genmoji may be one of the best features to come out of WWDC 2024 for one simple reason; it lets you create your own custom emoji to send to friends and family. 


It’s baked directly into the Messages app, and essentially generates entirely new images based on your description. You can further customise this however you’d like, including the option of basing an emoji character’s look on a friend or family member, and then share away. 

Another related feature is Images Playground, which takes the concept and cranks it up a notch. The functionality is both baked into apps like Messages and Notes as well as being available in a standalone Images Playground app set for release later this year, and essentially lets you generate images based on prompts.

Photo generation in Images Playground

From within the app, you can select a range of options from themes to costumes, accessories and more, and just like Genmoji, you can add images of friends and family to get more personal images generated. You then choose the style of the images – animated, sketched and illustrated – and wait for the magic to happen. 

A smarter Photos app

Not to be outdone by GenAI editing tools from the likes of Google and Samsung, Apple Intelligence is bringing generative fill capabilities to the Photos app later this year. 

It’s not quite as advanced as what you’ll find on the Pixel 8 series, with features like Best Take essentially mashing a slew of photos together to make sure everyone’s looking at the camera and smiling, but the new Clean Up tool gives you the ability to remove people from photos.

Natural language search in Photos app

As well as editing photos, the new Photos app will use AI to help surface the exact content you’re looking for, and it’ll even search through video clips to surface the relevant results too.

It’ll also be way better at creating montage videos, with a new understanding of your images and videos that allows it to craft more of a storyline than the random smattering of images and videos you currently get. 

ChatGPT integration

Apple Intelligence is a cool new feature for Apple devices, but it still can’t quite do everything that competing LLMs can do – and that’s why Apple is actively working on integrating third-party LLMs into the Apple Intelligence experience, starting with ChatGPT.

That means that Siri can lean on ChatGPT to help you with your queries. Say you want to create a menu for dinner based on the ingredients in your fridge – in that scenario, Siri is smart enough to know that ChatGPT will be the most useful, and it’ll automatically redirect the query to ChatGPT to handle. 

ChatGPT integration

It also means that you can use the ChatGPT integration to get help using images, i.e. asking for advice on what colour to paint your wall with an image of your front room, and if you’re a ChatGPT Pro subscriber, you’ll be able to access all your premium features from within Siri too.

It’s limited to ChatGPT for now, but Apple has teased that other LLMs could be supported in future. 

Other handy tweaks and features

These are only a handful of the features that Apple Intelligence will enable at launch later this year. 

Apple discussed other features like the ability to surface emails and other notifications based on priority, as well as a new focus mode that’ll only send you the most important notifications, email summaries in the Mail app, as well as the ability to transcribe voice recordings and phone calls, with a promise that “this is only the beginning” of what Apple Intelligence will be able to do. 

Which devices will Apple Intelligence be available on?

Apple has confirmed that Apple Intelligence will be available across iPhone, iPad and Mac with the rollout of iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia respectively later this year – but it seems like there may be other hardware restrictions, as Apple specifically mentioned the A17 Pro and M-series chipsets during its reveal. 

We’ll update this section once we get firm confirmation from Apple.  

When will Apple Intelligence be available?

Apple has confirmed that Apple Intelligence will be available as part of the iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia Public Beta programs this summer, before an official rollout to devices later this year – likely around September going by previous Apple software releases. 

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