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« on: April 12, 2024, 04:05:07 pm »

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time.

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Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a privacy-focused manner. If so, perhaps the feature will require an iCloud+ subscription, but this is merely speculation.

<strong>Update:</strong> Álvarez has since said that iCloud Private Relay might not be related to this feature.

A browsing assistant in Safari could be one of the many new generative AI features that are rumored to be coming to the iPhone with iOS 18 later this year. There are already multiple iPhone web browsers with AI tools, such as Microsoft Edge with a GPT-4-powered Copilot and Arc Search, which can summarize web pages to provide concise information.

Álvarez also uncovered a so-called "Encrypted Visual Search" feature in the backend code on Apple's servers, but no specific details are known. MacRumors contributor Steve Moser last year discovered a new Visual Search feature for Apple's Vision Pro headset in visionOS beta code, which would allow users to copy and paste printed text from the real world into apps and more, but the feature has yet to launch. It is possible that Apple is planning to debut a more secure version of the feature. However, the code could also relate to the iPhone's existing Visual Look Up feature that can identify objects in photos and videos.

Apple is set to unveil iOS 18 during its WWDC keynote on June 10, so we should learn more about these potential new features in a few more months.<div class="linkback">Related Roundup: iOS 18</div>
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