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iOS 18 may get Safari AI assistant and encrypted visual search

Big new AI improvements coming to Safari.

iOS 18 mock up
Image: MacRumors/KnowTechie

Apple is all set to announce the next iteration of its mobile operating system, iOS 18, at the WWDC 2024 set for June 10. 

Rumors indicate the new version of iOS will be nothing short of a revolution, with AI powers, a redesigned interface, and more. Of course, Apple is pretty tight-lipped about the entire thing. 

However, a new report suggests that iOS 18 will also change how iPhones browse the internet. 

According to a few recently discovered backend codes spotted by Nicolás Álvarez and shared on X/Twitter, Apple is working on Safari browsing assistant and something called Encrypted Visual Search.

Álvarez speculates both features use Apple’s Private Relay to send data back to the company and are likely a part of Apple’s privacy-preserving practice.

While iCloud Private Relay is currently only available to iCloud Plus subscribers, Álvarez later clarified that he is not talking about the iCloud Private Relay but an “Oblivious HTTP gateway.”

On the other hand, Apple already offers a different visual search feature with Spotlight and the Photos app, and it is unclear if “encrypted visual search” is a more secure and accurate version of the same feature. 

Safari browsing assistant with iOS 18

iPhone lock screen with picture of a sunset at the beach.
Image: KnowTechie

Like all the other big brands, Apple is currently focused on generative AI, and the Safari browsing assistant could be part of it with iOS 18. 

Interestingly, it seems that Apple plans to bring AI features to Safari similar to those of other browsers. 

For example, the Microsoft Edge browser has built-in Copilot AI.

The last time we heard about it, Apple talked with Google about using Gemini on its iPhones, and we haven’t heard anything more about it. 

However, we could get an announcement of a partnership at the WWDC 2024, but we are unsure. 

Álvarez has previously reported that iOS 18 will bring two more features to Apple Maps and iPhones: custom route creation and new topographic maps.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Please leave a comment below or take the discussion to Twitter or Facebook.

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Saurav loves writing and tech. So, after engineering, he didn't look back and embarked on a journey to become a tech writer. Saurav has worked for various tech websites across the globe. Saurav has recently joined Know Techie and is proud to be a part of it.

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