Apple buys domain suggesting generative AI additions may come to iWork
Apple owns hundreds of website domains but now it's added "iWork.ai," which could indicate that it has plans to highlight AI features in its applications suite.
Mockup of an "iWork.AI" logo, based on Apple's iWork '09 launch
Apple tends to refer to its Pages, Numbers, and Keynote applications by those individual names, but it occasionally still refers to them collectively as iWork. It comes from when Apple sold the three in a boxed set, alongside the iLife collection which had iMovie, GarageBand and so on.
The last bundled version of the suite of apps was in 2009 when Apple released iWork'09, and also launched iwork.com. The latter was an attempt to add collaboration to the apps, but the site is no longer active.
Nor is iWork.ai, but as spotted by BuyAIdomains.com, Apple has now bought the domain.
BuyAIdomains.com appears to be correct that Apple has acquired the domain, but the site goes far too far in extrapolating that this is a "groundbreaking" and "bold move" that "signals [a] relaunch iWork... to compete with MS Office and Google Docs."
For Apple can buy domains simply to prevent other firms taking them. It can even buy them because they are apparently common misspellings, which is why "zpple.com" routes to apple.com.
As long ago as 2011, a site named DomainGang counted 543 different website domains owned by Apple. In the years since, there could be hundreds more -- and, significantly, owning a domain name does not mean having to have a website there.
So it is possible that iWork.ai is indeed a sign that Apple is planning a significant relaunch of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. However, if it were, it would presumably be likely to acquire the domains Pages.ai, Numbers.ai, Keynote.ai and perhaps iCloud.ai.
Due to how sites are registered, it's often not possible to definitively determine which businesses own a domain -- and especially not as Apple could use intermediary firms. Currently iCloud.ai and Keynote.ai are registered to companies based in California, Pages.ai to one in Rockford, Illinois, and Numbers.ai to one in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Furthermore, Numbers.ai is listed as being available for sale, which Apple would be somewhat unlikely to do.
Most of the reports claiming that Apple will significantly adopt AI at WWDC 2024 expect the company to do so with its operating systems, specifically iOS, rather than particular apps. An increased AI functionality in the OS, though, will potentially power features in every app.
Rumor Score: Unlikely
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