Apple is known for its constant innovation and improvement of its products and services. One of the most anticipated events of the year for Apple fans is the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where the company showcases its latest software updates and features for its devices. This year, WWDC is expected to take place in June, and according to some reports, Apple has big plans for iOS 18, the next major update for the iPhone.
iOS 18 is rumored to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, software updates in the iPhone’s history, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman¹. Gurman, who has a reliable track record of reporting on Apple’s plans, said that he was told by sources within the company that iOS 18 is seen as a significant milestone for the operating system. He also said that he will share more details about the specific features and changes that are planned in the future.
While we don’t have much information about what iOS 18 will bring, we do know about some of the features that are likely to be included, based on previous reports and leaks. Here are some of the possible improvements and additions that iOS 18 could offer to iPhone users:
One of the most exciting features that iOS 18 could introduce is support for the cross-platform messaging standard RCS (Rich Communication Services) in the Messages app. RCS is a protocol that aims to replace the outdated SMS and MMS standards with a more modern and feature-rich messaging experience. RCS allows users to send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, audio messages, typing indicators, read receipts, group chats, and more, over Wi-Fi or cellular data.
RCS is already supported by many Android devices and carriers, but Apple has been reluctant to adopt it, preferring to use its own iMessage service for iPhone-to-iPhone communication. However, in November 2023, Apple announced that it would support RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting “later” in 2024², which means that it will likely be an iOS 18 feature.
This is a major reversal for Apple, which has been under pressure from regulators and consumers to add support for RCS to iPhones. By supporting RCS, Apple will improve the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices, and also comply with the antitrust laws that require interoperability between different platforms. However, Apple has confirmed that messages sent from an Android user to an iPhone will still appear in green bubbles, indicating that they are not using iMessage².
Another feature that iOS 18 could bring is a smarter and more capable Siri, powered by generative AI technology. Generative AI is a branch of artificial intelligence that can create new content, such as text, images, audio, or video, based on existing data and models. For example, generative AI can be used to generate realistic chatbot responses, auto-complete sentences, or create personalized playlists.
Apple is expected to use generative AI to improve how Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences, according to Gurman¹. Apple is also expected to use generative AI for other apps across its platforms, such as Apple Music, Pages, Keynote, and Xcode. For instance, Apple Music could get auto-generated playlists based on the user’s preferences and mood, and Xcode could get a feature that allows developers to write new applications faster using generative AI.
The Information reported that Apple plans to incorporate large language models into Siri to let users automate complex tasks, a feature that would involve deeper integration with the Shortcuts app³. Large language models are AI systems that can process and generate natural language, such as GPT-3, which is one of the most advanced models in the field. By using large language models, Siri could become more conversational, contextual, and personalized, and also handle more complex queries and commands.
Besides RCS support and smarter Siri, iOS 18 could also include other features and improvements, such as:
- A redesigned Control Center that allows users to customize and access more settings and shortcuts from the swipe-down menu⁴.
- A new Home Screen layout that lets users place widgets anywhere on the screen, similar to Android⁴.
- A revamped Notification Center that groups notifications by app, category, or priority, and also offers more options to manage and mute notifications⁴.
- A new Privacy Dashboard that shows users how apps are using their data and permissions, and also gives them more control over their privacy settings⁴.
- A new Dark Mode that automatically adjusts the brightness and contrast of the screen based on the ambient light and time of day⁴.
- A new Safari browser that supports extensions, tab groups, and a redesigned address bar⁴.
These are just some of the possible features that iOS 18 could offer, but there could be more surprises and enhancements that Apple will reveal at WWDC. iOS 18 is expected to be released in September, along with the new iPhone 14 models, and the first beta for developers will come out during WWDC in June.
iOS 18 could be the biggest software update in iPhone history, as it could bring significant changes and improvements to the iPhone’s performance, functionality, and user experience. iOS 18 could also make the iPhone more competitive and compatible with other platforms, especially Android, and also address some of the criticisms and concerns that users and regulators have raised about Apple’s products and services.
We are looking forward to seeing what iOS 18 will offer, and we will keep you updated with the latest news and rumors about the software update. Stay tuned for more information and let us know what you think about iOS 18 in the comments below.
¹: iOS 18 Potentially ‘Biggest’ Software Update in iPhone’s History
²: Apple’s upcoming iOS 18 tipped to be ‘biggest’ update in iPhone history
³: Apple’s iOS 18 may be the ‘biggest’ software update in iPhone history, says report; see expected features
⁴: [iOS 18: Release date, features, rumors, and everything we know so far]
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