iOS 18 could be one of the biggest iPhone software updates in years

    Look out for big changes

    Apple is working hard on the imminent release of its next iPhone operating system.

    So, when will iOS 18 be released, what iPhone models will it support, and what new features will it include? Here’s all the latest iOS 18 news and speculations.

    When will iOS 18 be released?

    Apple generally introduces a new version of iOS during its Worldwide Developers Conference, often known as WWDC.

    This generally always happens in early July, with the iOS announcement made at the opening keynote on a Monday. With that in mind, an announcement on June 3 or June 10, 2024 is plausible.

    Assuming iOS 18 is announced around that time, the final version will most likely not be available until September 2024. Apple often announces a release date at its major iPhone event, so the iPhone 16 models may ship with the new software.

    If you can’t wait that long, you may join the Apple Beta Program, which gives you early access to incomplete versions of the most recent iOS developments.

    It is crucial to remember that these software versions are still being developed and may have bugs and other concerns. So, we’d only advocate that method if you’re comfortable dealing with beta software or have an iPhone that you’re willing to use as a test machine.

    Which iPhones will iOS 18 support?

    Apple has not specified which iPhone models will be compatible with iOS 18. However, if the rumors about AI capabilities are real, it might mark the end for several older models.

    When iOS 17 was released in 2023, it excluded the iPhone 8 and iPhone X phones from the list. This time around, we may be able to say goodbye to the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, and iPhone SE (2nd Gen), however that is not assured. But we will have to wait and see.

    It’s possible that certain iPhones acquire iOS 18, but not all of the features will be supported. This is something Apple has done in the past, so there is still hope if you have an older device.

    Here’s the list of devices that are supported by iOS 17:

    • iPhone 15
    • iPhone 15 Plus
    • iPhone 15 Pro
    • iPhone 15 Pro Max
    • iPhone 14
    • iPhone 14 Plus
    • iPhone 14 Pro
    • iPhone 14 Pro Max
    • iPhone 13
    • iPhone 13 mini
    • iPhone 13 Pro
    • iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • iPhone 12
    • iPhone 12 mini
    • iPhone 12 Pro
    • iPhone 12 Pro Max
    • iPhone 11
    • iPhone 11 Pro
    • iPhone 11 Pro Max
    • iPhone XS
    • iPhone XS Max
    • iPhone XR
    • iPhone SE (2nd gen or later)

    iOS 18

    What new features will be in iOS 18?

    It won’t be until WWDC in June that Apple makes any specific announcements regarding what we can expect with iOS 18. However, there are already some rumors that this will be a big increase over iOS 17.

    In a January 2024 newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman stated, “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”.

    So, what exciting new features will iOS 18 bring? That is not yet certain, although there are a few rumors.

    RCS support

    We do know that Apple plans to include support for RCS cross-platform texting, which will enhance the experience across iOS and Android smartphones.

    In late 2023, the business made a statement confirming this, saying, “Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association.” We believe that RCS Universal Profile will provide a better interoperability experience than SMS or MMS. This will complement iMessage, which will continue to be the greatest and most secure texting experience for Apple consumers.

    RCS is a new standard that aims to replace SMS/MMS as the primary communications protocol across all platforms. It should interact with existing messaging applications, including Apple iMessage and Google Messages, making it simple to send texts, group messages, and photographs, as well as provide typing indications to let you know when someone is responding. It will also allow you to share read receipts with friends, family, and coworkers, regardless of whatever device or app you are using.

    AI boost for Siri and other apps

    There might also be a significant improvement to the popular Siri virtual assistant. Many people believe Siri has slipped behind Alexa and Google Assistant in recent years, but the development of generative AI has the potential to change that.

    Gurman did not specify what would make iOS 18 such a significant update, although it would undoubtedly concentrate around AI. And the Google Pixel 8 & 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 series provide some hints as to what it may entail.

    Much of this focuses on photographs, with generative AI capable of removing topics from images, moving/resizing them, and filling in any missing portions. iOS currently allows you to pluck individuals out of images and use them as stickers in messages, so it appears like part of the groundwork has already been laid.

    An Apple version of Google’s Best Take function, as well as some of the S24 phones’ translation, transcription, or visual search features, are all possibilities.

    AI fever may also impact other applications like Messages, where the recommended answers might be enhanced. Notes would also benefit from AI search capabilities, and Apple Music would acquire the capacity to produce more specialized programmed

    Our sister publication Macworld has reported on how iOS 18 looks to be the start of Apple’s push on generative AI, so hopefully it will bring some interesting and useful new improvements when it arrives later this year.

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