Apple's Notes app might get an AI assistant that transcribes audio — everything we know so far

 IOS Notes app icon.
IOS Notes app icon.

Apple has big plans for AI and is reportedly playing catch up, but the Cupertino-based company is moving quickly. The latest AI rumor is that the iPhone maker plans to bring real-time transcription to the Voice Memos and Notes apps, which would let users see a live transcription of audio recordings in the apps.

Shared by The Verge, the integrated AI in Voice Memos and Notes apps is expected to arrive with the release of iOS 18, which won’t be here until September. You may notice that Notes does not currently let users record audio. Allegedly, that feature will also be coming in iOS 18. If voice recording is added to the Notes app, could we see a consolidation of the Voice Memo and Notes apps? For now, it appears that they will remain separate.

Transcription services in the Voice Memos app would be a nice feature. It would enable users to just glance at the Memos without having to relisten to recordings, especially if they’re looking for a specific topic. Notes is supposedly getting other AI tools as well, as Apple is looking into adding AI-written summaries of recorded audio.

Apple's roadmap for AI

With the release of iPads with M4 chips and the M2 Ultra chip, Apple is working on a mixture of onboard AI tools and cloud-boosted AI. Apple execs have made statements about protecting privacy with the integration of AI, but it’s hard not to wonder if complex tasks like transcription services will stay on-device or if they’ll be farmed out to a third-party server. There are claims that Apple is building its own M2 Ultra-based servers to handle cloud AI requests.

Even Siri might be getting summarized texts in the Message app. Safari is reportedly getting an AI-based summarization feature as well. While not every AI feature and tool is available yet, it’s sounding like this June’s WWDC is going to be heavily AI focused. The iOS update iOS 18 is reported to have text message summaries, a super-powered Siri, and even AI responses to text messages to name a few rumors that we’ve seen.

Much of that functionality is expected to be funneled into the already existing iPad Pros and the forthcoming iPhone 16. Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that AI will be implemented in the Apple Watch if they figure out a way around the ongoing ban and lawsuit.

More from Tom's Guide