Apple will introduce the Safari browser with support for artificial intelligence along with new operating systems

Safari gets new AI tools in iOS 18

Apple is testing a version of its Safari web browser How to AppleInsider has learned that it includes UI tweaks, advanced content blocking features, and a new AI-powered tool called Smart Search.

Software — Safari 18 is expected to debut later in 2024 — According to people familiar with the matter, updates to Apple's next-generation operating system, namely iOS 18 and macOS 15, are currently being evaluated along with internal builds. If all new features reach the release candidate stage, users will receive a new user interface (UI) ) to customize popular page controls, Web Eraser, and AI-powered content summarization tools.

Intelligent search – AI- Improved text browsing and summarization

Engineers evaluating the latest builds of Safari 18 may find a toggle for a new page management menu in the browser's address bar. The menu combines — and provides quick access to — old and new page management tools, including the new Smart Search browser feature.

Safari's new Smart View feature can mimic features like article summaries in Arc Browser

This feature is not automatically enabled in test builds of Safari 18 and instead requires manual activation from the Page Controls menu. Once enabled, the tool is believed to use Apple's built-in AI technology — in particular, the Ajax language learning model — to identify topics and key phrases on a web page on which to base a summary.

When you select key phrases, Apple's LLM program identifies sentences that explain or describe the structure of objects, depending on the text in question. Text themes are words that are repeated in the text and key sentences.

These early signs suggest that Apple is aiming to bring text summarization to Safari 18 later this year, although the exact implementation of the feature remains unclear.

Apple's text summarization features could be a response to competing generative AI tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT. But Apple's on-device designs and technologies, such as Private Relay, can make this experience much more secure for users. Smart Search will likely be the same AI browser assistant that one user X hinted at a couple of weeks ago.

Web Eraser for better content blocking

Also available from the new Page Management Menu, this is a feature Apple is testing called “Web Eraser”. As the name suggests, it is designed to allow users to delete or erase certain parts of web pages, according to people familiar with the feature.

The feature is expected to build on Safari's existing privacy features and allow users to remove inappropriate content from any web page of their choice. Users will be able to remove advertising banners, images, text, or even entire sections of a page with relative ease.

Removing parts of a web page by blocking specific HTML code, such as an existing function in 1Blocker

The removal is said to be permanent and not limited to browsing session pages. This means Safari will remember the changes even after you close the original tab or window.

When visiting a web page with previously erased content, Safari will inform the user that the page has been modified to reflect the desired changes. The browser will also provide the user with the option to undo the changes and restore the web page to its original, unmodified state.

As for Apple's inspiration for Web Eraser, the company could have blocked the feature in a third-party app called 1Blocker. The app implements a similar method for removing ads: users click on the ad to make it disappear.

The updated user interface will move key tools into one convenient place

The new page management menu mentioned in this article will try to offer Safari 18 users quick and easy access to several options previously located in different menus and on the general sheet . For example, when running preview versions of macOS 15, the menu also includes the “Aa” menu, which is common in existing versions of the iPadOS browser. These include zoom options, web page settings for privacy controls, content blocking options, extension shortcuts, and access to new AI and erasure tools.

The new Safari menu will make it easier to access numerous features that were previously available in the share sheet and address bar.

These various options existed previously in macOS, but were found in Safari's settings menu. Placing all of these controls in one central location in the address bar will make these options more accessible to end users. Other options such as on-page text search and reading mode are also found in this menu.

All of this suggests that Apple intends to merge the iPadOS and macOS Safari user interface paradigms when it unveils its new OS releases during the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

AI-enhanced visual search could be available in 2025.

At the same time, Apple is also working on a much more powerful visual search feature, with integration planned for 2025. It will allow users to receive information about consumer products while browsing. through images. People familiar with the tool say it's similar to the visual search feature that Siri can use to identify plants, pets and landmarks from photos.

Visual search could get AI support and become available in iOS

Visual search could be implemented as a system-wide feature. So, instead of displaying search results in the Photos app, the user can use visual search directly in Safari by selecting an image.

Since the development of this tool is in the early stages, it remains unclear how Apple will ultimately implement it. It also remains to be seen whether this feature will pass internal testing.

The iPhone maker has shown significant interest in artificial intelligence and recently published research related to on-device language learning models. This comes alongside widespread rumors about several other AI-powered software features, many of which are expected to debut later this year with iOS 18.

Another big year for Safari

From the very beginning, Safari was always intended to compete with existing web browsers.

Features like built-in password tools make Safari a great browser.

Safari was originally added to macOS as a replacement for Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac. , which was the default browser. Over time, the app arrived on the iPhone and has received various updates since then.

Later versions of Safari provide users with personalized web experiences and provide greater privacy protection with features like iCloud Private Relay.

This latest set of improvements is designed to improve Safari's standing among its competitors in the ever-growing range of generative AI tools and third-party ad blockers.

Although Apple tests many of these features at various stages of development, it is important to remember that not all of them make it to release. Apple has been known to delay features or cancel them outright, so there's always a chance we won't see these new Safari features after all.

Along with Safari 18 and its related improvements, we should also see an updated calculator with math notes in iPadOS 18. Free-form scenes and adaptive voice shortcuts are new OS features that are also expected to debut . later this year.

Apple is expected to introduce various AI-related improvements in iOS 18 and macOS 15, which are due to be announced at the company's annual WWDC conference on June 10.

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