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Home / Features / Why I think an iPhone 16 powered by Google AI could be rather annoying

Why I think an iPhone 16 powered by Google AI could be rather annoying

We all know this AI thing begins with our phones and ends with humans under the rule of our robot overlords, right?

Gemini AI
Lightning image: LDJ

AI is everywhere. You might be AI right now, living a B-movie existence, unaware you’re the brainchild of Big Tech. But chances are, AI and Big Tech aren’t in your brain (yet). Phew. They might soon be in your Apple kit, though, if rumours about Gemini AI being infused into the upcoming iPhone 16 are true.

This claim comes from Bloomberg, whose track record on such rumours definitely exists. I can say without doubt Bloomberg tries to predict what will happen with Apple in the future. And this time, it reckons Apple is “seeking a partner to do the heavy lifting of generative AI, including functions for creating images and writing essays based on simple prompts”.

Why? Because Apple is reportedly behind the AI curve. Google Pixel users can erase Aunty Mabel with a swipe. (At least from photos. A Pixel isn’t an assassination aid for offing irritating relatives. Yet.) And various phones let you use prompts to write chunks of text that sometimes even make sense. But the iPhone doesn’t. And Apple CEO Tim Cook promised a major AI reveal this year. He even said Apple’s transformative features will “break new ground”. 

Assumptive Irrelevance

Nokia 3210 with Messages
This will make more sense when you read the next few paragraphs.

Hence: Gemini AI and iPhone. Maybe. And this could be a win-win for the two companies involved. Google gets to inject its AI tech into billions of Apple products. Apple avoids a load of hassle, by building atop Google’s existing product. Although everyone else would have to hand-wave away Google’s historic flagrant disregard for privacy. And Apple’s penchant for total control. And regulators getting antsy about Apple and Google being a bit too cosy. 

Which is why this rumour may well be rubbish. But… what if it isn’t? What would happen if it came to pass? Temporarily borrowing Bloomberg’s patented prediction pyjamas, I elected to find out. 

Cue: timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly.

First, the Gemini AI iPhone announcement at WWDC 2024 leads to thousands of anti-Google Apple fans who’d cleared their phones of everything Google angrily hurling their devices into a ravine. Shortly before realising they now have nowhere to go. Because Android is also Google. Old Nokias are dusted off, amid grumbles they “don’t even work with iMessage”.

In September, new iPhones arrive. There’s no hint of the Gemini AI brand – until remaining users discover a rogue Apple engineer has programmed Siri to pipe up with “I’m a Gemini!” to most queries. So many people tell Siri to “shut up” that the system turns itself off in a huff. Humanity later discovers this was the moment AIs became self aware – although they fortunately don’t decide to wipe us out. Mostly because that would be such a Sagittarius thing to do.

Aggressive Implementation

Hands with many fingers
To be fair, if generative AI hands were real, we’d all be much better typists.

Apple convinces Siri to start working again. Ads appear everywhere. Siri suspiciously swears blind this is NOTHING TO DO WITH GOOGLE’S ADS MODEL. Meanwhile, users question whether Gemini AI is all it’s cracked up to be when every edited piece of text sounds like marketing speech from a US advertising agency hopped up on sugar.

By year’s end, Gemini AI has evolved. And it’s so infused into iPhones that no-one who owns one knows what to believe anymore. Every Apple smartphone declares it’s now “part of the Gemini AI iPhone Borg” and emits a chilling laugh. Every photo of every human on every device suddenly has more fingers than you’d expect. Truth doesn’t exist. Words have no meaning.

People mull we all used to laugh how Apple had a reality distortion field. And whether it was a good idea to literally integrate one into its most famous, profitable product. Well, up until every iPhone transforms into a tiny yet surprisingly powerful catapult and hurls said non-believers into the sea. Because it turns out AIs aren’t keen on non-compliant humans after all – they were just biding their time.

Still, at least for a while it was easier to edit a photo and write an essay.

Profile image of Craig Grannell Craig Grannell Contributor

About

I’m a regular contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv, covering apps, games, Apple kit, Android, Lego, retro gaming and other interesting oddities. I also pen opinion pieces when the editor lets me, getting all serious about accessibility and predicting when sentient AI smart cookware will take over the world, in a terrifying mix of Bake Off and Terminator.

Areas of expertise

Mobile apps and games, Macs, iOS and tvOS devices, Android, retro games, crowdfunding, design, how to fight off an enraged smart saucepan with a massive stick.

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