APPLE

Apple is testing a more powerful version of Spotlight Search based on LLM

In a report detailing new AI coding and testing features coming to Xcode later this year, Bloomberg also shares some interesting details about the ways Apple is considering using artificial intelligence to power Spotlight. The report describes a version of Spotlight that is much more powerful than what we have today, thanks to the use of generative artificial intelligence.

Spotlight Search is Apple's search utility available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. In addition to allowing users to find documents and files stored on their devices, it can also search the web, the App Store, and perform other basic tasks.

Today's report says that this “upgraded version of Spotlight” based on large language model technology is “under consideration”; inside Apple. This will give Spotlight the ability to perform more complex tasks, bind to specific applications, and more.

The new version will be able to switch between specific application functions and answer complex questions based on data obtained from large language models. LLM, the technology behind artificial intelligence tools, is developed by bombarding software with a torrent of data.

Early projects for the Spotlight update include using LLM to answer more complex questions and the ability to go deeper into applications to run specific functions. The current version of Spotlight is mostly limited to launching apps, doing basic Internet searches, and getting information like weather and sports scores.

No word at the moment about when—or if—it will a new version of Spotlight will be released. Bloomberg is simply saying that Apple is considering this as part of its rollout of artificial intelligence across all of its platforms.

9to5Mac Principles

Although the rumored synthetic coding and testing features for Xcode sound great for developers, I'm not the target audience for this. However, I'm very excited about the prospect of a more powerful version of Spotlight Search.

There are alternatives to Spotlight on the Mac that are much more powerful than Apple's offerings, such as Raycast and Alfred. While they're great on the Mac, Apple doesn't give developers a way to beat Spotlight on the iPhone and iPad.

In fact, I'd argue that a more powerful version of Spotlight Search is one of the best ways Apple can bring LLM technology to the iPhone and iPad (besides improving Siri itself, of course).

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