How Apple and Google Are Overhauling Our Phones With AI


Every year, Apple and Google announce major software updates that bring new features to our smartphones, like cosmetic overhauls to the home screen, stronger privacy protections and fun messaging tools. This year, the changes will feel more radical because the companies are focusing on reinventing our phones with artificial intelligence.

At its annual software developer conference on Monday, Apple showed a host of enhancements coming this fall to iOS 18, its operating system powering iPhones. The new tools include a revamped version of its voice assistant, Siri, that is easier to talk to and an A.I. system that will generate images, create summaries of web articles and craft responses to text messages and emails.

Apple’s news followed Google’s Android announcements last month, which included an A.I. system that automatically summarizes audio transcripts, detects whether a phone conversation is likely a scam and helps students with homework.


Because A.I. tech is still new, it’s unclear whether these improvements will resonate with the masses. The change that will have a more immediate effect has to do with old-school text messages — also known as the green bubble. Apple said its new software would adopt a messaging standard that would let iPhone users send higher-quality messages to Androids, addressing an issue that has made it more difficult for people to communicate for more than a decade.

Apple and Google are set to release their free software updates for iOS and Android this fall. Here’s what to know about how our smartphones will change.

Apple said it had completely reworked Siri, its 13-year-old virtual assistant.

The assistant will soon be powered by Apple Intelligence, the company’s version of a “large language model.” That type of A.I. technology uses statistics and complex algorithms to guess what words belong together, similar to the autocomplete feature on your phone. It’s the same type of underlying technology we’ve seen powering chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini. Apple said its system was more private than others’ because people’s data would remain on their iPhones.

We are having trouble retrieving the article content.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Want all of The Times? Subscribe.