The iPhone’s web browser could gain a few cool AI-powered tools in iOS 18.

TL;DR: iOS 18’s Safari Changes

  • Safari: The web browser in iOS 18 is rumored to gain some new AI tools. 🌎
  • Web Erasure: This tool will allow users to erase parts of websites they don’t want to see. ✏️
  • Intelligent Search: This tool will allow Safari to summarize the content of a web page. 📃
  • Release date: iOS 18 will be previewed in June and launch in September. 📆

We’re now just six weeks away from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2024, where the company will show off its new software offerings including iOS 18, the iPhone’s next operating system.

iOS 18 is rumored to be packed with new AI features, and thanks to a new report from AppleInsider, we now know some of those AI features may be integrated into Safari, the iPhone’s web browser made by Apple. 

It should be noted that the features revealed by AppleInsider are also likely to make their way into Safari in iPadOS and Safari in macOS.

Perhaps the coolest new feature that could come to Safari is currently called “Web Erasure.” As AppleInsider reports, “As its name would imply, it’s designed to allow users to remove, or erase, specific portions of web pages, according to people familiar with the feature…Users will have the option to erase banner ads, images, text or even entire page sections, all with relative ease.”

This feature sounds pretty amazing, especially because its not a feature other mainstream browsers like Chrome or Firefox have. Another element of the feature is that it is designed to be persistent. So if a user erases an ad from a website, when they come back to that same web page later, the ad will remain erased.

Of course, such an AI tool could spell trouble for online publishers who find their work primarily via ad revenue. Yet, Web Erasure isn’t only meant to target ads—it could erase other elements on a web page too, such as, perhaps, comments.

AppleInsider also says that Apple is working on a Safari feature called Intelligent Search. This feature isn’t as technically impressive as Web Erasure since other AI tools can do what it will supposedly do, which is summarize the content of a web page for the user. AI summarization is one of the strengths of current AI technology, so it’s not too shocking Apple is working on adding such a summarizing tool into Safari.

Apple will also reportedly centralize many existing Safari tools, which are currently spread around the UI into a single location via a new page control tool panel. This isn’t a major feature, but it’s nice that Apple is making Safari more straightforward to use.

AppleInsider says that all the above are currently being tested at Apple, but notes that there’s no certainty that any or all of them will make it into the final version of Safari that ships with iOS 18 and macOS 15.

But the Safari news is just the latest iOS 18 news that shows Apple is working on enhancing myriad apps across the iOS platform. iOS 18 is also expected to see the Notes app gain new features, including advanced mathematical notation support and the ability to record voice memos directly in a note.

A major update is also bound for the iOS 18 home screen. For the first time ever icons won’t have to be placed sequentially next to each other in a grid pattern. While the grid layout will still remain, iOS 18 will reportedly allow users to leave spaces between app icons, allowing for further home screen layout customization.

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