The highly anticipated iOS 18 Announcement is just around the corner, promising the most significant iPhone software upgrade of 2024 from Apple. Packed with groundbreaking AI enhancements, sleek design tweaks, and expanded customization options, it’s set to redefine the iOS experience. Here’s a sneak peek at all the exciting features unveiled thus far in iOS 18.

A Fresh Perspective on iOS 18

Bloomberg reported in November that Apple temporarily halted the development of new features for iOS 18 for a week to address issues. This pause occurred after the completion of the initial milestone build for iOS 18. Unlike previous years, Apple opted for a one-week delay to address early bugs and issues instead of immediately moving on to the second milestone.

Concerning the upcoming features and release date of iOS 18, this delay isn’t anticipated to cause significant disruptions. Rather, Apple’s decision to pause early on indicates a proactive measure aimed at establishing a robust foundation for iOS 18.

iOS 18 Release Date

 

iOS 18
iOS 18

At WWDC 2024, scheduled for June 10, the iOS 18 Announcement will take place. Following Apple’s keynote event on the same day, the initial beta will be released. Anticipated for July is the release of a public beta version, with the official launch slated for September in 2024.

The most current iOS release dates are listed below – iOS 18 Release Date:

  • iOS 17: September 17, 2023
  • iOS 16: September 12, 2022
  • iOS 15: September 20, 2021
  • iOS 14: September 16, 2020
  • iOS 13: September 19, 2019
  • iOS 12: September 17, 2018

iOS 18 Features

 

iOS 18 Features
iOS 18 Features

Revolutionary AI

The swift rise of AI tools such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Microsoft Copilot is said to have caught Apple off guard. Reports suggest that the company is now in the process of developing a suite of new AI features for iOS, collectively dubbed “Apple Intelligence” features.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has confirmed plans for the release of these new AI features this year. Cook hinted at the company’s intense focus on artificial intelligence technologies, expressing eagerness to unveil further details during Apple’s recent earnings call.

According to Bloomberg, a significant portion of Apple’s AI capabilities in iOS 18 are expected to be optional. Mark Gurman’s report indicates that Apple will not compel users to adopt these AI features if they prefer not to.

Bloomberg’s extensive coverage of Apple’s AI objectives for iOS 18 reveals that Craig Federighi’s software team at Apple has been tasked with integrating a plethora of features leveraging the company’s extensive language model.

Key iOS 18 Features:
  • An enhanced Siri poised to revolutionize digital assistance through advanced AI, harnessing cutting-edge large language models, surpassing its predecessor in every aspect. However, the full extent of Siri’s enhancements is slated for unveiling by 2025.
  • The Messages app seamlessly integrates AI capabilities, adeptly fielding inquiries and effortlessly auto-completing sentences for users.
  • Innovative AI integration within the Messages app empowers users with automated summaries of emails, notifications, Safari URLs, and incoming messages, streamlining information consumption.
  • Revolutionizing communication, Siri will soon offer tailored recommendations by autonomously crafting comprehensive responses to emails and text messages, enhancing user productivity.
  • Apple Music is on the cusp of a transformative experience with the integration of AI-driven auto-generated playlists, leveraging state-of-the-art technologies to curate personalized music experiences.
  • Empowering creativity, generative AI will be integrated into iWork apps like Pages and Keynote, empowering users to effortlessly craft captivating content with unprecedented efficiency.
  • In a bid to revolutionize app development, Xcode will integrate generative AI capabilities, empowering developers to expedite application creation and innovation.
  • The Photos app boasts an array of awe-inspiring features, enabling users to effortlessly edit photos, seamlessly remove unwanted objects and individuals, and much more, elevating the art of digital photography.
  • Voice Memos receives a significant upgrade with AI-driven audio file transcriptions, automating the arduous task of transcription and enhancing accessibility.
  • Unlocking a new realm of expression, users can now create unique emojis using AI, with emoji icons dynamically reflecting the context of their text, ensuring a truly personalized messaging experience. According to Bloomberg, this innovative feature adapts in real-time as users compose their messages, providing a seamless and intuitive interaction.

An OpenAI Partnership

Reports from Bloomberg and The Information suggest that Apple has inked a deal with OpenAI to introduce cutting-edge AI functionalities in iOS 18. The collaboration reportedly extends to powering Apple’s proprietary chatbot, reminiscent of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

While details remain scant, anticipation mounts regarding the integration’s mechanics. Moreover, Apple is purportedly developing an in-house large language model to bolster its chatbot capabilities.

In iOS 17.4, traces uncovered by 9to5Mac indicate Apple’s concerted efforts towards advancing AI and large language model technologies. It appears that Apple is leveraging OpenAI’s ChatGPT API for internal experimentation, aiding in the refinement of its bespoke AI frameworks.

RCS support

In a surprising move last October, Apple announced its plans to introduce Rich Communication Services (RCS) to iPhones by 2024. Positioned as the successor to MMS and SMS, RCS promises to imbue text conversations between iPhone and Android users with several iMessage-esque features.

RCS adoption will usher in a host of functionalities, including typing indicators, read receipts, and the seamless exchange of high-quality photos and videos across iPhone and Android platforms. Moreover, users will now have the ability to share their location within text conversations. Unlike conventional SMS, RCS messages can be transmitted over Wi-Fi or mobile data connections.

Apple’s statement indicates that RCS integration will arrive on iPhones via a forthcoming software update slated for “later next year,” hinting at its potential inclusion in iOS 18.

New Passwords app

For the very first time, users across iOS 18, macOS 15, and iPadOS 18 will have access to a dedicated Passwords app. Departing from the previous practice of managing passwords within the Settings app, this standalone tool promises enhanced convenience for logging into websites and applications.

Supported across all Apple platforms, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Vision Pro, the new Passwords app offers seamless integration and accessibility.

Messages Update

In addition to the new AI features, Apple has some significant updates planned for the Messages app. With iOS 18, Tapbacks will undergo enhancements, granting users the freedom to respond with any emoji of their choice. This expands the response options beyond the current set of six predefined alternatives (Love, Like, Dislike, Laugh, Emphasize, and Question).

Furthermore, iOS 18 will introduce the ability to schedule messages for later delivery. This feature empowers users to compose a message within Messages and set its delivery time to a later date, offering greater flexibility and convenience in communication.

iOS 18
iOS 18

New Customization options

According to reports, Apple is gearing up for further Home Screen enhancements in iOS 18, building on the introduction of Home Screen widgets in iOS 14 back in 2020. Two sources indicate that iOS 18 will offer additional customization options for the iPhone’s Home Screen.

Notably, users may soon have the ability to freely arrange app icons on their Home Screen, marking a departure from the rigid grid layout. This means iPhone users will have the freedom to place widgets and app icons with space between them, enabling a more personalized layout.

One significant enhancement expected in iOS 18 is the ability to customize app icons. Reports suggest that users will be able to change the color of app icons system-wide for the first time, offering a new level of personalization to the Home Screen experience.

Apple Maps upgrades

iOS 18 is anticipated to introduce a fresh feature to Apple Maps: the ability to craft custom routes. This update will empower iPhone users to break free from relying solely on Apple Maps’ suggested routes, granting them the freedom to chart their own course.

The forthcoming iOS 18 upgrade will afford users complete control over the intricacies of their travels, offering a more personalized navigation experience. Despite Apple Maps’ current provision of diverse route options to your destination, this new feature will further enhance user autonomy and flexibility in journey planning.

Remodeling of the Settings app

Since its inception in 2007, the iPhone’s Settings app has remained largely unchanged. However, rumors suggest that iOS 18 will introduce an overhauled version of the Settings app for iPhone users. This updated iteration purportedly boasts a more streamlined layout and enhanced search functionality, aimed at simplifying the process of locating specific settings.

Redesign of the Control Center

Bloomberg has disclosed that iOS 18 will introduce a revamped Control Center for iPhone users, featuring an enhanced music widget and improved integration with HomeKit. The redesigned Control Center is rumored to offer the ability to divide into multiple pages.

Currently, iOS intelligently selects up to six accessories to display in the Control Center’s Home section. However, this automated approach sometimes fails to offer users the precise controls they require. While Bloomberg doesn’t delve deeply into how iOS 18 will enhance HomeKit functionality within the Control Center, it is anticipated that a primary focus will be on providing users with greater customization options.

iOS 18 Supported Device

 

iOS 18 Supported Device
iOS 18 Supported Device

Annually, a major question on many minds revolves around which devices will be compatible with the newest iOS update. This year, amidst speculations surrounding the announcement of iOS 18, there’s promising news for iPhone users. According to an unnamed Twitter source, iOS 18 is purported to be compatible with all devices currently supporting iOS 17.

  • iPhone 15 (Plus, Pro, and Pro Max)
  • iPhone 14 (Plus, Pro, and Pro Max)
  • iPhone 13 (Mini, Pro, and Pro Max)
  • iPhone 12 (Plus, Pro, and Pro Max)
  • iPhone 11 (Pro and Pro Max)
  • iPhone XS (Max)
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

Conclusion

As per Bloomberg reports, iOS 18 is hailed as Apple’s most “ambitious and compelling” update in years. Described by Apple as “groundbreaking,” this update promises significant new features, designs, as well as enhancements in security and performance. Internal discussions within Apple suggest that iOS 18 might be the “biggest” upgrade ever for the iOS ecosystem.

It’s important to note that Apple’s plans for iOS 18 may evolve between now and September. Over the next three months, leading up to the update’s launch in September, Apple will refine its plans for iOS 18, considering current work circumstances. Additionally, certain features may be unveiled at WWDC 2024 but only released in subsequent upgrades like iOS 18.1 and iOS 18.2.

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