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Here’s why ChatGPT would be better than Google Gemini for Apple’s iOS 18 AI features

Published Apr 29th, 2024 12:07PM EDT
iPhone 15 Screen and USB-C port.
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Apple will bring generative AI features to the iPhone via the iOS 18 release this year, and there’s no question about it. Of course, Apple has not confirmed that native GenAI features are coming to the iPhone. But the company can’t afford to wait much longer. The AI industry has been moving incredibly fast in the past two years. It seems like we get new, exciting AI features every day.

Rumors also say that Apple will make a big deal about on-device AI experiences in iOS 18. This fits well with its big focus on privacy and security. But many of the GenAI features out there might need cloud processing. Apple will reportedly partner with third-party providers for cloud-based GenAI features.

According to recent reports, Google’s Gemini is one option for Apple. Baidu could power Apple’s cloud-based GenAI features in China. But OpenAI’s ChatGPT is also a potential solution for Apple. And a new report says that discussions between the two companies have been heating up recently.

As a longtime iPhone user and ChatGPT user, I’ll say that I’m more excited about a partnership between Apple and OpenAI than a deal between Apple and Google for Gemini AI.

I explained before why it makes sense for Apple to choose a partner for cloud-based AI features in iOS 18, rather than trying to create its own cloud-based AI services. On the one hand, Apple’s own AppleGPT might not be ready to compete with Gemini or ChatGPT. Then there’s the cloud infrastructure that companies like OpenAI (with the help of Microsoft) and Google can offer to power cloud-based AI for hundreds of millions of users.

Finally, there’s also the reliability aspect of chatbots like ChatGPT. Apple could always blame any issues on its partners, while simultaneously buying time to perfect its real ChatGPT rival. That’s all speculation from yours truly, of course. Nothing is confirmed at this time. But what seems to be certain is that Apple is still looking for a partner.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said in his recent PowerOn newsletter that Apple has re-opened talks with OpenAI for potential access to ChatGPT for chatbot features in iOS 18.

Gurman says that Apple wants to integrate AI across iOS 18 rather than pasting AI elements on top of existing apps. Apple also intends to offer “more privacy and security than rival systems.” However, Apple will not release its own chatbot that you can converse with:

The company is aiming to integrate AI into many of its applications and features, including ones that automatically write text, summarize articles in Safari, and recap missed notifications. The new features will use Apple’s AI model, dubbed Ajax internally, but the company isn’t planning to release its own ChatGPT-style chatbot.

That’s where OpenAI’s ChatGPT might come in handy. ChatGPT already works as a separate app in iOS, which I already have installed on my iPhone. But a partnership with OpenAI would mean a deeper integration than that.

ChatGPT with no login or signup
Using ChatGPT on the web without a login. Image source: OpenAI

What’s the difference between chatbots and other generative AI features, you ask? Well, with ChatGPT or Gemini, you can hold conversations about various topics. The chatbots will understand your prompts and answer accordingly. Not all answers might be correct, but that’s a different matter.

Generating text, summarizing articles, and recapping missed notifications are GenAI features that do not involve an active conversation with a chatbot.

I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of Gemini integration on the iPhone, but I’ve come to terms with it since the first rumors emerged. If Apple goes that way, it’ll certainly dictate the privacy terms. That’s all I care about when it comes to GenAI products like Gemini and ChatGPT.

I would prefer the latter because that’s what I use the most when it comes to chatbots. ChatGPT isn’t perfect, but I choose it over rivals for now. I’m a Plus subscriber, and I’ve taken advantage of OpenAI’s ChatGPT privacy features to prevent my data from training the AI. I would also expect this to be possible if Apple chose OpenAI over Google for chatbot duties in iOS 18.

Nothing is decided, however. Moreover, Gurman says Apple executives at the highest levels are concerned about whether iPhone users will take advantage of the new features.

Thankfully, WWDC 2024 is just around the corner, at which point Apple will probably share more details about the generative AI features coming to iOS 18. It’ll be interesting to see whether Apple will invite OpenAI or Google execs to announce an AI partnership for the iPhone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.