Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

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.


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.

Update: 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.

Article Link: iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'


macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2015
North of Sweden
DuckDuckGo has already integrated chatGPT and other ai features into its search platform. Not sure what exactly will be any different than this?

Unless, you can use the ai answers to bypass Googles sorting/”you get the results we say you get” algorithm.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2011
Oh man... if this tries to "help" me the way Siri try's to "help" I'm gonna throw my iPhone against a wall (and even after over 10 years I still hear the excuse "give Siri time, it'll be great! Any employee that was as bad and slow to improve as Siri would have been fired long ago... which I guess is what turning Siri off is).


macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2020
I don't know the veracity of these claims, but I do want to say that I don't think Apple should monetize privacy in this way. There are already people, like myself, who flock to Apple precisely because of (although not only because of) the privacy and confidentiality issues so we are already willing to pay to get into the Apple ecosystem. At that point, Apple shouldn't again monetize privacy and confidentiality by offering additional services for that. They should just make it a part of the default of being part of their ecosystem.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.