Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Apple had a lot to talk about at WWDC, from new OS versions to even its first steps into generative AI with Apple Intelligence. The iOS 18 update has been officially announced, and it’s coming to an iPhone near you by the end of the year.

Apple has just showed off iOS 18, the next big update to its iOS operating system. The new iOS version will be available for all iPhone users going all the way back to the iPhone XS and XR series, as well as on the second-gen and third-gen iPhone SE releases. It will also come with the next iPhone models, whenever those launch by the end of this year.


To start, iOS 18 has a big focus on customization. The Home Screen now allows people to freely arrange apps and widgets, including above the dock and around wallpapers. App icons can be enlarged and given a dark or tinted effect. Control Center has been redesigned for easier access and customization, with new groups for media playback, Home controls, and connectivity. You can also add controls from third-party apps, organize them into groups, and even adjust their size. For the first time, Lock Screen controls can be switched or removed entirely.

The Photos app has also undergone a huge redesign. There’s a new single view, and new collections help you browse photos by theme without necessarily having to create albums. Collections can also be pinned for easy access, while there’s also a new carousel that showcases daily highlights. iMessage also has a bunch of interesting changes. The app gains all-new text effects that animate letters, words, phrases, or emojis. Users can format text with bold, underline, italics, and strikethrough, and use any emoji or sticker as a Tapback. You can also schedule messages to be sent at a later time, something that will probably be hugely convenient for some people (and also something that will hopefully hop to other IM apps soon as well).


Apple wasn’t too excited to talk about this particular part, but iOS 18 is finally introducing RCS messaging, which will greatly improve the messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices with things such as higher-quality multimedia sending as well as read receipts. Bubbles are still green, which isn’t particularly surprising, and we’ll have to see how fully-featured, or barebones, Apple’s implementation of RCS is. With how petty Apple has been about this whole ordeal for years, we’d expect this to be the absolute bare minimum.

Mail introduces on-device categorization, sorting emails into Primary, Transactions, Updates, and Promotions. It also has a digest view that summarizes emails from a business. Safari, Apple’s web browser, gains a Highlights feature that uses machine learning to surface key information from webpages. Reader mode is redesigned for a distraction-free experience. The new Passwords app simplifies access to passwords, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and verification codes. It also alerts users to common password weaknesses and data leaks. iOS 18 strengthens privacy controls by allowing users to lock or hide apps, share specific contacts with apps, and securely connect third-party accessories without revealing other devices on the network.

Apple’s “one more thing” announcement for this keynote, Apple Intelligence, is deeply integrated into iOS 18. It leverages generative models and personal context to deliver useful and relevant experiences. Apple says that it’s built keeping privacy in mind, and it can create images, take action across apps, and simplify tasks. Writing Tools powered by Apple Intelligence enable users to rewrite, proofread, and summarize text. Image Playground lets users create playful images in seconds. Memories in Photos can create movies with narratives based on descriptions. Siri becomes actually useful being infused with generative AI, which is, apart from Apple adding a calculator to iPads, one of the more exciting moments of the keynote.

iOS 18 is now available as a preview for eligible iPhones, while the full stable release will most likely come as part of the upcoming iPhone announcement later this year.

Source: Apple

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By John P.

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