Apple’s Mail app to get an AI upgrade with smart replies, sorting, and summaries

AppleInsider has a scoop on “Project Blackpearl,” which it claims is the code name for the enhancements coming to Apple’s Mail app in iOS 18 and macOS 15. According to the site’s information provided by “people familiar with the matter,” the Mail app is going to get some big new AI features in Apple’s operating systems this fall.

Much of AppleInsider’s information jibes with previous rumors while adding a little more detail.

The most significant new feature is said to be “smart replies,” which will generate email replies for you. It goes along with a system-wide writing tools framework that developers can tap into. AppleInsider says “the exact implementation of this new framework remains to be seen,” but that it could allow users to make adjustments to their emails using AI. An example is to “make this more professional,” for example, that changes some of the language and tone to be more formal. Smart Replies are expected to appear in Messages and Siri as well.

The Mail app will also get better organization features, powered by AI. Search (as well as Spotlight and Siri) will take into account other data on your iPhone or Mac like location, contacts, calendar appointments, and so on. On-device AI will also classify messages into the following types: commerce, news, other, social, promotions, and transaction. It’s not known if these are categories that will appear in the Mail interface (via folders, flags, or tags) or will just be used internally to help Siri understand different types of email.

While not part of the Mail app, Siri is expected to gain the ability to summarize all sorts of content on your iPhone or Mac, including notes, notifications, messages, and of course email. AppleInsider’s sources say that Apple tested three different levels of summarization:

  • Topic-level summaries – consisting of three topic words, representing the key concepts of a text
  • 10 or 20-word summaries, which use clauses rather than full sentences
  • Paragraph-level summaries – concise three-sentence paragraph with no more than 60 words

The idea is that different levels of summaries would be used in different places. The AI feature is said to be able to summarize both individual emails and email threads.

We’re only a few days away from the start of WWDC 2024, where we’ll find out all about Apple’s grand AI ambitions.

Source : Macworld