Safari May Be Getting This AI Upgrade This Year (and More)

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۲۰۲۴ is shaping up to be the year Apple jumps on the AI bandwagon. Most analysts are expecting the company to roll out new AI features with the company’s latest updates, including, of course, iOS 18 and macOS 15, as Apple has yet to adopt generative AI in any meaningful way.

While we’ve heard about many different AI functions Apple may be planning for this year, the latest rumors point to Safari: AppleInsider’s sources say Safari 18 will add at least one new AI-powered feature that may bring it more in-line with existing services like Gemini in Chrome, Copilot in Edge, or Aria in Opera. In addition, the website shares some other non-AI changes Apple may be cooking up.

Intelligent Search

One AI feature engineers have reportedly discovered is “Intelligent Search,” which may evaluate a web page for key words and phrases to build a summary for quick reference. These engineers say the feature uses Apple’s on-device AI model to look for particular sentences that explain or describe a problem, as well as repeating words and sentences, to inform this summary.

According to these insiders, Intelligent Search isn’t enabled by default, and isn’t currently up and running, so it’s still not clear exactly how this will work. However, it only makes sense for Apple to offer an AI assistant within Safari: Most other companies that offer internet browsers also offer some type of AI boost alongside it. If Safari 18 didn’t include an AI web page summarizer, it’d be a bit of a surprise.

Web Eraser

This feature is aptly named: With Web Eraser, you can “erase” parts of a web page you don’t want to see, including advertisements, pictures, blocks of text, etc. Plus, Safari remembers your previous eraser settings, so when you return to a web page, the same selections will be missing.

We’ve seen this type of tool in other services before, namely ad blockers, but it’s certainly a first for Apple. The company will likely rope Web Eraser in with its other Safari privacy settings, such as iCloud Private Relay.

Quick settings

Intelligent Search, Web Eraser, and other Safari features and settings (such as the Aa menu on iOS and iPadOS) may all be available under Safari’s quick menu. Right now, macOS Safari’s quick menu includes privacy features, the share menu, and the option to bookmark the page, so it makes sense to fold all of Safari’s biggest features into one place.

Will Safari 18 make an impact in the browser world?

It might not be everyone’s first choice, but there’s an argument to be made that Safari is the best web browser right now. Apple has an opportunity with Safari 18 on iOS 18 and macOS 15 to make the browser even better: I’m not quite sold on how useful AI can be for day-to-day use, but if Apple can figure out how to add genuinely useful AI tools to Safari (especially if you can turn them off or ignore them) I’m all for that.

While AppleInsider only broke these three changes for Safari 18, there are no doubt more changes in the works, big and small. In fact, the outlet claims Apple is aiming to release an improved Visual Lookup tool for Safari in 2025, which could let you search images you find on the web and learn more about them. While that big swing isn’t coming this year, there are likely more features and adjustments to Safari on the way with iOS 18 and macOS 15. We’ll keep an eye out for any new rumors, but luckily WWDC isn’t that far away.

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