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Key Takeaways

  • Apple Intelligence features in iOS 18 are likely to have a limited preview and a waitlist.
  • The public beta for iOS 18 could launch in July, but may not include Apple Intelligence, which might be saved for the official release in September.
  • Installing developer or public betas of iOS 18 might get you higher on the waitlist for Apple Intelligence, but it comes with risks such as app compatibility issues.



If you watched the keynote from WWDC 24, and you own an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, then you’re probably itching to give Apple Intelligence a try. While the developer beta of iOS 18 is already available to install, it doesn’t include any of the Apple Intelligence features which Apple says will be “coming in beta this fall”.

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When the beta does arrive, you may not be able to access it straight away, however. You may still have to wait a little longer before you can try out Apple’s new AI features in iOS 18. Here’s why.


The iOS 18 code hints at an Apple Intelligence waitlist

Apple Intelligence may first launch in a limited preview

Apple Intelligence

Apple/Pocket-lint


As first reported by MacRumors, the code for the current iOS 18 developer beta contains references to a waitlist for the Apple Intelligence features, which are codenamed Graymatter. The code includes strings such as “Join the Graymatter Waiting List” indicating that when the Apple Intelligence beta launches, there will be an option to join the waiting list to use it.

The code also includes the following text:

While Graymatter is in limited preview, you may experience unusually slow response when not in a supported region.

It is not entirely clear if “limited preview” refers to a limit on the number of people that can use the features, or whether it means that the initial release of the Apple Intelligence beta will not include the full feature set.


When is the Apple Intelligence beta likely to become available?

Possibly July, but likely to be much later

iOS 17.5 beta

While the developer betas for new versions of iOS are usually released the same day as the WWDC keynote, the public betas are not released until closer to the official launch of the OS. Last year, the public beta for iOS 17 was first made available on July 12, with the official version of iOS 17 launching on September 18.

Assuming things follow a similar pattern, we might see a public beta of iOS 18 launched in July. However, with Apple indicating that the Apple Intelligence beta will be coming “this fall” it’s probably the case that, just as with the current developer beta, the initial public beta won’t include any Apple Intelligence features.


It could even be the case that the Apple Intelligence features are only released with the official version of iOS 18 in September and that a waitlist is then used to limit the number of people who have access to this beta version while the bugs are worked out.

Will installing the developer or public betas get me higher up the waitlist?

It’s impossible to say and installing betas comes with risk

apple-intelligence-wwdc-2024

Apple (screenshot)

If there’s a waitlist to use Apple Intelligence when iOS 18 official launches in September, then it’s possible that by installing a developer or public beta, you may see the option to “Join the Graymatter Waiting List” sooner than most other people. This may mean that you’re higher up the waiting list and get access to the features sooner.


Related

All the ways iOS 18 lets you customize your iPhone

With iOS 18 on the way, customization is in at Apple.

This is not definitely the case, however, and installing beta versions of iOS does come with significant risks. At worst, a buggy beta could completely brick your iPhone. Even when they mostly work flawlessly, you may find that some apps on your iPhone aren’t supported in the beta. For example, last year when I installed the iOS 17 public beta, I was initially unable to use my banking app and my rewards card app for a popular coffee chain, both of which caused me considerable anguish.

If you’re unsure about installing a beta, it’s definitely safest to wait for the official launch. If you do decide to install a developer or public beta, you do so at your own risk.

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