Safari gets internet assistant in iOS 18 (what should you do with it?)

iOS 18 is rumored to have new artificial intelligence features. One of those features is the ‘Safari internet assistant’.

Safari gets an internet assistant in iOS 18

X user Nicolas Álvarez recently shared two new features currently in the works at Apple:

  • Safari internet assistant
  • Encrypted visual search

In his first message, Álvarez says that both functions ‘Private transfer in iCloud‘ to send data back to Apple. Álvarez speculates that this is a privacy-protecting measure by Apple, so that no user IP addresses are passed on. Currently, ‘Private Transfer in iCloud’ is only available to iCloud+ subscribers.

Álvarez has now provided another update. It states that they do not use ‘Private Transfer in iCloud’, but that it does have a similar function.

Encrypted visual search

Apple already offers several visual search features, integrated into Spotlight and the Photos app. It’s not explicitly clear at this time whether Encrypted Visual Search is simply a more secure version of these existing features or something entirely new.

safari internet assistant

Safari internet assistant

The ‘Safari Internet Assistant’ feature sounds like it will bring some sort of AI feature to Safari, similar to what other browsers already offer. For example, Microsoft’s Edge browser has several AI features from Copilot built into it. Arc from The Browser Company also combines several AI features with web browsing.

We previously heard that Apple will probably collaborate with a company like Google for the new AI functions. This may also apply to the ‘Safari internet assistant’ function. We expect an announcement from Apple about such a collaboration at WWDC at the earliest.

Álvarez also reported that iOS 18 will bring two new features to Apple Maps on iPhone, including custom route creation and new topographic maps:

Apple will unveil iOS 18 and all the new features at WWDC 2024 on June 10. That’s Apple’s annual presentation to developers.

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