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Apple to unveil AI emojis & OpenAI partnership at WWDC 2024

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Apple is preparing to make its foray into mobile AI next month. The company is expected to announce several new AI features for iPhones at WWDC, which kicks off on June 10. Leaks have already revealed a few new AI tools that will debut with iOS 18 at the upcoming event. A credible source has revealed more of those, including AI-generated custom emojis and AI transcription of voice memos. An OpenAI partnership is also on the cards.

Apple to introduce AI-generated emojis with iOS 18

Unlike its rivals, Apple’s AI journey will reportedly begin on a slow note. The company doesn’t plan to make a splash with showy AI features. Instead, it is betting on its massive user base to give it a competitive edge in the long run. The idea is to impress users with simple but practical AI tools that help them with various tasks in their daily lives. The iPhone maker doesn’t want to focus on “whiz-bang features,” Mark Gurman said in his latest Power On newsletter.

According to Gurman, Apple will spend a lot of time talking about AI at WWDC. It has prepared many new features under Project Greymatter, its AI suite for iPhones. The suite includes various tools integrated into core apps like Safari, Photos, and Notes. Most of those tools will run on the device itself. However, a few resource-hungry features will work over the cloud. That is what Samsung does with its Galaxy AI for Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

However, since Apple is late to the AI party, its AI suite may not have many bells and whistles. Features like AI-powered editing of photos, transcription of voice memos, and AI reply suggestions to emails and text messages are already prevalent in the mobile industry. The company will look to convince customers with an improved Siri, making the personal assistant capable of interacting in natural-sounding language. It will also introduce an advanced Siri.

One of the standout AI features on iOS 18 will be AI emojis. Apple will let iPhone users create custom emojis based on what they are texting. This likely means the tool will use text prompts to create emojis as you type out your message. It is unclear whether you can save these emojis for later use or if they will be automatically created and appear as suggestions during conversations. The AI feature will certainly make conversations more fun.

Customizable homescreen icons & more

With iOS 18, Apple also plans to let users customize homescreen app icons. You can add any color to an app icon. “For instance, you can make all your social icons blue or finance-related ones green — and they won’t need to be placed in the standard grid that has existed since day one in 2007,” Gurman states. The new iOS version will also introduce AI-powered smart recaps or summaries of missed notifications, messages, and more.

Additionally, Apple is teaming up with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into iOS 18. The company also held talks with Google over a potential partnership. The two parties were close to a deal in March. However, OpenAI eventually snapped it up. This partnership will reportedly be announced at WWDC next month. Interestingly, Apple is still pursuing Google to come on board, offering Gemini as an alternative to ChatGPT on iPhones. It remains to be seen if it can integrate both chatbots into iOS 18.

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