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Did Apple Intelligence's 'Rewrite' Tool Just Kill Grammarly?

At first glance from WWDC, Apple's new AI editing tool seems awfully familiar. But Grammarly still has a couple of tricks up its sleeves.

Katelyn Chedraoui Associate Writer
Katelyn is an associate writer with CNET covering social media and online services. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in media and journalism. You can often find her with a paperback and an iced coffee during her time off.
Katelyn Chedraoui
3 min read
apple intelligence rewrite feature
Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Apple has finally entered the AI race, unveiling its Apple Intelligence features this week at WWDC 2024. And while there is a chatbot-like element coming to Siri, many of the uses Apple showcased weren't generating images or writing code, but instead showing how Apple's take on AI should make your life easier.

One AI-powered feature Apple briefly demoed was a writing tool called Rewrite. In the demonstration, Apple showed how the tool could make your writing more friendly, professional or concise, as well as generate summaries, key points, tables and lists. And, like the name suggests, the AI can also rewrite your work entirely.

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Sounding familiar? It definitely did to me, since I recently reviewed Grammarly AI and use it daily for work. Grammarly is an AI-powered writing and editing tool that specializes in helping to improve your writing holistically; it's more than a spell checker. With a nice generative AI update last year, Grammarly now has a genAI tool that lets you prompt Grammarly to create text for you. So yeah, it is safe to say that Apple is definitely moving in on Grammarly's and other editing tools' territory.

Granted, we haven't actually seen Apple Rewrite in action quite yet -- Apple Intelligence is part of iOS 18, which is currently only available in beta for developers. But given what we know now, there's one major limitation to Apple Rewrite and two big things Grammarly has going for it that means this may not be the end for the service.

Apple Rewrite will only be available on Apple devices

As a loyal Apple user, I understand why this may seem obvious, but it's true. Apple Rewrite is a part of Apple Intelligence, which is only available on Apple products. That might not be an issue if you're in a complete Apple ecosystem. But if you use a Lenovo or Dell computer, like for work, you may want to add on an editing service like Grammarly, which is compatible with iOS, MacOS, Android and other operating systems.

And, doubly important, Apple Intelligence is only going to be compatible with select devices. The processing power needed to fuel Apple Intelligence requires an A17 or M chip -- meaning, unless you have an iPhone 15 or newer, or a MacBook with an M-line chip, you won't have access to Apple's AI tools. So even if you're all-Apple, you still might not have access to Apple Rewrite. Point one for Grammarly.

The best part of Grammarly isn't editing, it's brainstorming

In my review of Grammarly, I called out that the service's best, most useful part was its brainstorming and outlining capabilities. With Grammarly's generative AI features (formerly called GrammarlyGO), you can generate potential outlines and brainstorm topics for nearly any kind of writing, including blog posts, academic papers and news articles. It's an extremely useful tool, and it's one Apple Rewrite isn't capable of, at least from what we've seen so far. Grammarly can also try to identify gaps in your writing and comes with a plagiarism scanner. Neither of those work perfectly, but they're still good options that give Grammarly an edge over Apple Rewrite.

Based on the little we know about Apple Rewrite now, I don't think Grammarly is going to be rendered completely obselete. However, if you're only looking for minor editing assistance, rather than more full-throttle editing firepower, Apple Rewrite might be the perfect solution for you. Not to mention that it will be free on compatible devices, whereas Grammarly's more useful features are paywalled. We'll see how Apple Rewrite compares to Grammarly and other editing services once it's released, but for now, I think Grammarly still has a chance.

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