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Apple iOS 18 to feature Google Gemini AI functions

Apple and Google are currently negotiating the integration of Google's AI engine Gemini (formerly Bard) into iOS 18.
Google Gemini

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is in talks with Google to integrate its Gemini AI engine into the iPhone as part of iOS 18. In a report citing people familiar with the situation, Gurman claims that the two companies are in “active negotiations.” In the best case scenario, Apple can license Google’s large-scale generative language models to take advantage of some new features in iOS 18. “TThe two parties haven’t decided the terms or branding of an AI agreement or finalized how it would be implemented”, the report said.

According to rumors, iOS 18 brings new AI features to the iPhone operating system later this year. However, Gurman says Apple focuses on features that work on the device and don’t require an internet connection. Apple is looking for a partner for additional cloud-based generative AI functions. This includes, for example, creating images and writing text based on individual prompts. The right partner must have the necessary hardware infrastructure and computing capacity.

According to previous reports from Gurman, Apple is internally testing an “Apple GPT” rival that could compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The company has also developed an Ajax framework for large language models. Reportedly the company spends millions of dollars a day on conversational AI research because training language models requires a lot of hardware. However, the technology is not yet as advanced as that of Google and other competitors. A partnership therefore currently appears to be the better option, according to the new report.

However, if the discussions lead to a conclusion, this could offset the losses of the existing search partnership. Google has paid Apple billions of dollars for several years to keep its search engine the default option in the Safari browser on Apple phones. Nevertheless, the existing agreement is currently being examined by the US Department of Justice and the European Commission. Authorities fear it is helping Google maintain a search monopoly.

Both The Information and analyst Jeff Pu expect Apple to make some kind of generative AI feature available on the iPhone and iPad toward the end of 2024, when iOS 18 launches. However, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in August that there is “no sign” of generative AI technology in 2024. Kuo also claimed that Apple’s work on generative AI is “significantly behind its competitors.”


Toni Hobrecht
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