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Here’s everything you need to know about iOS 18, following its official launch at WWDC 2024…


TL;DR

🚀 iOS 18 Key Points 🚀

  • 📅 Fall 2023 release, July public beta
  • 🎨 Home Screen & Lock Screen customization
  • 📷 Redesigned Photos app with collections & highlights
  • 💬 Messages: text effects, scheduling & Tapbacks
  • 📧 Smarter Mail app with categorization
  • 🧠 Apple Intelligence for writing & image editing
  • 🔒 Enhanced privacy with locked & hidden apps
  • 🌟 Maps, Game Mode, Apple Pay & AirPods upgrades


Apple’s iOS 18 is now official, following its launch at WWDC 2024. This year’s update a pretty massive too, adding in a myriad of new features and capabilities – most notably Apple Intelligence (Apple’s long awaited AI platform). 

This major release brings a host of new features, improvements, and customization options to enhance the user experience.

From the redesigned apps and AI-powered capabilities to the enhanced privacy features and beyond, there’s a lot to unpack so let’s dive in…

iOS 18 Launch Debrief: All The Major Updates Detailed

iOS 18 Launch Debrief: Everything You Need To KnowPin

Release Date and Compatibility

iOS 18 is set to be released in the fall of 2023. The developer beta is already available, with the public beta slated for release in July.

iOS 18 will be compatible with iPhone Xs and later models, ensuring a wide range of devices can take advantage of the new features and improvements.

“We are thrilled to introduce iOS 18. It is a huge release with incredible features, including new levels of customization and capability, a redesigned Photos app, and powerful ways to stay connected with Messages. There are so many benefits for everyone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “This release also marks the beginning of a tremendously exciting new era of personal intelligence with Apple Intelligence delivering intuitive, powerful, and instantly useful experiences that will transform the iPhone experience, all with privacy at the core. We can’t wait for users to experience it.”

Apple

Customization and Personalization

One of the most significant changes in iOS 18 is the increased focus on customization and personalization.

Users can now arrange apps and widgets anywhere on the Home Screen, including the ability to place them above the dock for easy access. App icons and widgets can also take on a new look with dark, light, or tinted effects, and users can even make them appear larger to create a unique experience tailored to their preferences.

The Lock Screen also receives a customization boost, with users now able to switch the controls at the bottom, choosing from options available in the controls gallery or removing them entirely. The new Action button on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max allows users to quickly invoke controls from the gallery.

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Redesigned Apps

iPhone 15 Pro shows the Home Screen with apps and widgets arranged around a photo.Pin

iOS 18 brings major redesigns to several core apps, enhancing their functionality and user experience.

Photos

The Photos app receives its biggest overhaul yet, with a simplified single view that displays a familiar grid and new collections to help users browse by themes without the need for manual album organization.

The new carousel view presents highlights that update daily, featuring favorite people, pets, places, and more. Users can customize the app by organizing collections, pinning favorites, and including what matters most to them in the carousel view.

Messages

Messages gets a significant upgrade with all-new text effects that bring conversations to life. Users can amplify any letter, word, phrase, or emoji with dynamic, animated appearances.

The app also introduces message scheduling, allowing users to compose a message and set it to be sent at a later time.

Tapbacks have been expanded to include any emoji or sticker, giving users more ways to express themselves. When messaging contacts without an Apple device, the app now supports RCS for richer media and more reliable group messaging compared to SMS and MMS.

Mail

Mail introduces new ways for users to manage their inbox and stay organized. On-device categorization sorts incoming emails into Primary, Transactions, Updates, and Promotions, making it easier to focus on what’s important.

The new digest view pulls together all relevant emails from a business, allowing users to quickly scan for essential information.

Safari

Safari, already the world’s fastest browser, now offers an easier way to discover information on the web with Highlights and a redesigned Reader experience. Using machine learning, Safari can surface key information about a webpage, such as article summaries, restaurant locations, or the ability to listen to an artist’s track directly from an article.

Apple Intelligence

iPhone 15 Pro shows a message being composed with Writing Tools below it, including proofread and rewrite options.  Pin

iOS 18 introduces Apple Intelligence, a personal intelligence system built with privacy from the ground up. Deeply integrated into the operating system, Apple Intelligence unlocks new ways for users to enhance their writing and communicate more effectively with systemwide Writing Tools for rewriting, proofreading, and summarizing text.

Image Playground, powered by Apple Intelligence, allows users to create playful images in seconds, choosing from three styles: Animation, Illustration, or Sketch. The new Clean Up tool in Photos can identify and remove distracting objects in the background of a photo without accidentally altering the subject.

Siri also receives a major upgrade, becoming more natural, contextually relevant, and personal. Users can now type to Siri and switch between text and voice communication seamlessly.

Privacy and Security

iOS 18 introduces several new privacy features designed to empower users. Locked and hidden apps offer peace of mind, ensuring that private information remains unseen by others. Users can lock an app or hide it in a locked, hidden apps folder, preventing content from appearing in search, notifications, and other places across the system.

The update also gives users control over sharing specific contacts with an app and provides developers with a way to seamlessly connect third-party accessories without exposing all devices on a user’s network.

Additional Features iOS 18 packs a plethora of additional features and improvements, including:

  • Apple Maps enhancements for browsing and creating custom walking routes in national parks
  • Game Mode for consistent frame rates and responsive accessories during long play sessions
  • Expanded Apple Pay features, including reward redemption and installment access
  • SharePlay with Apple Music for shared control of music playback from HomePod, Apple TV, or Bluetooth speakers
  • AirPods improvements, such as Personalized Spatial Audio and Voice Isolation for clearer call quality
  • Math Notes in the Notes app for instant formula and equation solving
  • Journal app upgrades with an insights view, mindful minutes integration, and widget support
  • Calendar app improvements, displaying both events and tasks from Reminders
  • Health app updates, including a redesigned Medical ID and pregnancy tracking features
  • Emergency SOS Live Video for sharing context with emergency dispatchers through streaming video and recorded media

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Wrapping Up…

iOS 18 is a feature-packed release that brings significant improvements to customization, app functionality, and AI-powered capabilities. With redesigned core apps, enhanced privacy features, and the introduction of Apple Intelligence, iOS 18 aims to deliver a more personal, capable, and intelligent iPhone experience than ever before.

As the public beta approaches and the official release draws near, iPhone users have a lot to look forward to in iOS 18. Stay tuned for more updates and in-depth explorations of the new features as they become available.

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