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Surprise: Apple eyeing Google Gemini for iPhone's new AI features

Google Gemini could take care of cloud-based generative AI features, while Apple's own LLMs handle OS-level AI features.
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Published onMarch 18, 2024

Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Apple is said to be in talks to adopt Google’s Gemini AI into the next version of iOS for iPhones, primarily for cloud-centric generative AI features like creating images and writing essays.
  • The company could bank on its own homegrown AI models for OS-level AI tasks within iOS 18 and partner with a company like Google or Open AI for the cloud-centric features.
  • The deal with Google is still in the works, so there is room for competitors and even multiple partners.

We’re pretty deep into AI wars, with every company aiming to somehow use AI features in their products. We’ve seen the likes of the Google Pixel 8 series and the Galaxy S24 series successfully incorporate generative AI features in meaningful ways, giving them the edge in features. The iPhone is surprisingly missing from this race so far, but Apple has been rumored to be working on generative AI features for iOS 18. As it turns out, Apple could end up banking on Google’s Gemini for the AI smarts on the next iPhone.

As per a report from Bloomberg, Apple is in talks to incorporate Google’s Gemini AI engine into the iPhone. The two companies are said to be in active negotiations to let Apple license Gemini to power some of the generative AI features coming to iOS 18.

Apple is also said to have held discussions with OpenAI about this. Still, Apple’s deal with Google (if it materializes) would build upon the existing agreements related to making Google Search the default search engine on iPhones.

The report suggests that Apple and Google haven’t yet decided on the terms of the agreement, the branding, or how it would be implemented. So, there is still room for surprises, especially if you were hoping for OpenAI’s ChatGPT integration or Apple’s own take on generative AI models. Apple could also go for multiple partners.

Apple is said to be preparing new capabilities as part of iOS 18 based on its own AI models. However, the report differentiates this by adding that these enhancements focus on on-device features. Apple is seeking partners for cloud-delivered AI solutions, including generative AI functions for creating images and writing essays based on simple prompts.

Apple has been said to be testing its own large language model, codenamed Ajax, internally. Some employees have also been trying out a basic chatbot nicknamed Apple GPT. However, these remain inferior to offerings from Google and competitors, so a partnership makes better sense.

The report suggests that the generative AI features under discussion for iOS 18 at large could be baked into Siri and other apps. Capabilities from Apple’s homegrown models would be woven into the operating system, with features like proactively providing information and conducting tasks in the background for users.

We expect to learn more about Apple’s AI efforts at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will likely be held in early June. Are you excited? Let us know in the comments below!

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