Apple is Building an App Store for AI Products

Apple is Building an App Store for AI Products

Apple is reportedly working on an AI App Store for June unveiling among a host of AI products as the iPhone maker makes bold moves in the industry.

This is expected to be one of the firm’s “surprises” in the AI arena that will come along with iOS 18 update – including a revamped home screen – scheduled for announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

A “slightly odd” idea

Apple has been criticized for being slow-paced and a bit relaxed on the AI scene at a time other tech giants were making bold moves and huge AI announcements. But experts have argued this has always been Apple’s approach, to first observe the landscape and later come up with surprises.

And now, a latest leak shows the company might be building an AI App Store that will be announced in June.

During an interview with CNBC, Ben Reitzes, who is the head of technology research at Melius Research claimed Apple is negotiating with other tech firms like Google on the App Store.

He said the company is “talking to Google, but they’re talking about Google being one of the many models you have access to, so that this new kind of App Store can take advantage of AI.”

According to Techradar, the idea of an App Store for AI alone sounds “slightly odd.” They argue that Apple could simply add an AI segment on its existing App Store, which already hosts AI products like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

But Reitzes went on to say that “in June we should start to see them lay the groundwork for this new App Store, for how it’s going to work with AI; for how you can buy AI apps through the App Store.”

While there isn’t much known about the Apple AI App Store, it is anticipated to be revealed at the WWDC 2024, which is also scheduled to be held in June, which, according to Techradar, “is the obvious venue for a big software announcement.”

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Extending AI to mobile phones

AI enthusiasts also anticipate release of the iOS 18 updates at the WWDC 2024. Apple is working on updates and introducing changes to its devices’ home screens as part of the iOS 18 updates.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple expects the iOS 18 to be its “biggest update ever with AI at the center.” It is also anticipated that AI powered features will make their way across the operating systems in addition to adding chatbot functionality through Google’s Gemini.

Although more and actual details of the updates are yet to be known, one of the anticipated changes are the “ability for iPhone users to place app icons freely on the grid.”

These developments come as AI continues to gain traction with tech firms this year adding AI capabilities to mobile phones to enhance user experience. Now, Apple is playing catch up with other smartphone makers like Samsung that have introduced some AI-powered features in their operating systems.

According to some reports, Apple is also enhancing Siri along with AI generated playlist for Apple Music, AI document generation in iWork suite, and smarter suggestions in iMessage among many more.

Partnerships with other tech giants

Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly partnering Chinese search engine giant, Baidu for AI tech on its upcoming iPhone 16 in the Chinese market.

Apart from the iPhone 16, South China Morning Post further explains that Apple will incorporate Ernie Bot – Baidu’s chatbot – for Mac OS and iOS 18 in China. This follows talks Chinese companies, among them Alibaba and an AI company that is affiliated with Tsinghua University.

The alliance with Baidu is reportedly due to compliance issue in the mainland market. However, Apple will continue to use its proprietary AI model outside the country.

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