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All the hidden AI features you haven't realized your iPhone already has

All the hidden AI features you haven't realized your iPhone already has

Your iPhone uses plenty of AI - it just doesn't shout about it.

After two years of non-stop announcements around artificial intelligence features from basically every corner of the tech world, there's been one massive name that has stayed quiet - Apple.

It's widely rumoured that the Cupertino giant will be leaning into AI heavily when it announces the iPhone 16 lineup later this year, but for now there are no labelled AI features propping up the iPhone. Or, are there?

While Apple might not make a song and dance about any of them, there are in fact a fair few features on your iPhone that very much utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning, and some of them are hugely useful.

Take, for example, the Live Text feature - this lets you point your phone's camera at text in the real world, wait for it to be detected, and then press the Live Text button at the bottom-right of the viewfinder.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

This will select the text, and let you copy and paste from it at will, or look it up on the internet - and it works on photos you've already taken, too.

The feature uses AI to detect and read the text, and in just the same way you can also search for particular people's faces on Photos.

Tap on your Photos app, then Albums at the bottom of your screen - from here, scroll down and you'll see a section called 'People, Pets & Places'. Tapping on the grid of faces will take you to a page showing the people who seem to often be in your photos - and you can assign them to contacts.

This will let your phone gather photos you've taken of these people, and make it so that you can easily search for them by name in your gallery.

That's the definition of helpful AI, and it's been in Apple's locker for ages at this point, making it clear that AI isn't exactly totally new.

Another example also relates to the iPhone's camera - Night Mode was added years ago to make night-time and low-light photos look better. It's not some physical wizardry, though, but a software solution that uses a machine-learning algorithm to interpret the visual information of a series of photos in order to create one brightened image.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

When Apple added the so-called 'Photonic Engine' to the iPhone 14 and later this got even more impressive, showing how AI can be harnessed usefully.

Finally, if you want to see a really obvious implementation of AI that you might have missed, there's an even older feature - predictive text.

For years, iPhones have suggested your next words for you while you type (unless you turn it off), and when you think about it, this really isn't that different from what generative text AI models do.

Instead of writing essays, though, Apple's system is just learning your patterns to get a sense for what word you might want next. So, AI might not be such a radical departure for Apple after all.

Featured Image Credit: Fiordaliso/ AFP Contributor / Contributor / Getty