iOS 18: All the Rumors and New Features Expected So Far

iOS 18 is still months away from being unveiled, but there are already rumors and expectations for the software update, as outlined below.

iOS 18 is rumored to include new ChatGPT-like generative AI features for Siri and several built-in Apple apps. The update is expected to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience with Android users. A sketchy rumor claimed that iOS 18 will also have some visionOS-inspired design changes.

iOS 18 will be announced at Apple’s annual developers conference WWDC in June, and the update will be released to all users in September.

Generative AI and Smarter Siri

iOS 18 is rumored to have new generative AI features for Siri, Shortcuts, Messages, Apple Music, Pages, and more. On a February 2024 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was working on generative AI and would share details “later this year.”

Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said generative AI “should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences.” The Information‘s Wayne Ma said Apple would incorporate large language models into Siri to let users automate complex tasks, a feature that would involve deeper integration with the Shortcuts app.

Generative AI surged in popularity in 2022 after OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can respond to questions and other prompts. Google, Microsoft, and other companies have also released similar chatbots and tools, including ones that can automatically generate images, respond to voice queries, and more.

Some generative AI features might be exclusive to iPhone 16 models, which are rumored to have a Neural Engine with “significantly” more cores.

RCS Support in Messages App

In November 2023, Apple announced that it would support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting “later” in 2024, so it will likely be an iOS 18 feature based on that timeframe.

RCS support should result in the following improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices:

Higher-resolution photos and videos

Audio messages

Typing indicators

Read receipts

Wi-Fi messaging between iPhones and Android devices

Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users

Improved encryption compared to SMS

These modern features are already available for iPhone-to-iPhone conversations with blue bubbles, via iMessage, and many of the features are also available in third-party messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. RCS support on the iPhone will extend the features to green bubbles in the Messages app.

Biggest iOS Update Ever?

Apple believes iOS 18 has the potential to be the “biggest” software update in the iPhone’s history, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

“I’m told that the new operating system is seen within the company as one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company’s history,” he wrote, in a January 2024 edition of his Power On newsletter.

visionOS-Inspired Design Changes?

iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 will feature visionOS-inspired design elements, according to a rumor shared by Israeli website The Verifier.

For example, the report claimed that the Apple TV app on iPadOS 18 will feature the same translucent navigation bar that was introduced in the tvOS 17.2 version of the app in 2023. The design of this menu draws similarities to visionOS, the operating system that runs on Apple’s new Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

Apple also plans to redesign various other system menus and built-in apps on iOS 18, including Safari, according to the report.

The Verifier has a mixed track record with Apple rumors over the years, so this latest rumor should be treated with some skepticism.

More Details

For additional information, read our iOS 18 roundup.

Related Roundup: iOS 18

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