Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple Previews iOS 18 and All The New Features That Will Change Your iPhone

Apple’s recent preview of iOS 18 revealed the major release of features that will make your iPhone customization options even more personal. Now you can arrange apps and widgets in any open space on the Home Screen, customize the buttons at the bottom of the Lock Screen, and quickly access more control in the Control Center. Let’s dive deeper into each feature.

Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple Intelligence

iOS 18 also introduces Apple Intelligence, the personal intelligence system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac that combines the power of generative models with personal context to deliver intelligence that’s incredibly useful and relevant.2 Built with privacy from the ground up, Apple Intelligence is deeply integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia. It harnesses the power of Apple silicon to understand and create language and images, take action across apps, and draw from personal context, to simplify and accelerate everyday tasks.

Additionally, access to ChatGPT is integrated into Siri and systemwide Writing Tools across Apple’s platforms, allowing users to access its expertise — as well as its image- and document-understanding capabilities — without needing to jump between tools.

New image capabilities make communication and self-expression even more fun. With Image Playground, users can create playful images in seconds, choosing from three styles: Animation, Illustration, or Sketch. Image Playground is easy to use, built right into apps like Messages, and also available in a dedicated app.

With the power of Apple Intelligence, Siri takes a major step forward, becoming even more natural, contextually relevant, and personal. Users can type to Siri, and switch between text and voice to communicate with Siri in whatever way feels right for the moment.

With Private Cloud Compute, Apple sets a new standard for privacy in AI, with the ability to flex and scale computational capacity between on-device processing, and larger, server-based models that run on dedicated Apple silicon servers. When requests are routed to Private Cloud Compute, data is not stored or made accessible to Apple and is only used to fulfill the user’s requests, and independent experts can verify this privacy.

Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

“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. 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.”

– Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.
Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

New Levels of Customization and Capability

iPhone users have new ways to customize the Home Screen, Lock Screen, and Control Center. Users can now arrange apps and widgets in any open space on the Home Screen, including placing them right above the dock for easy access or perfectly framing a wallpaper. App icons and widgets can take on a new look with a dark or tinted effect, and users can make them appear larger to create the experience that is perfect for them.

Control Center has been redesigned to provide easier access to many things users do every day, and it gets new levels of customization and flexibility. The redesign delivers quick access to new groups of a user’s most-utilized controls, such as media playback, Home controls, and connectivity, as well as the ability to easily swipe between each. Users can now add controls from supported third-party apps into the Control Center to quickly unlock a vehicle or jump right into capturing content for social media — all from one place. The new controls gallery displays the full set of available options, and users can customize how the controls are laid out, including adjusting them to the ideal size and creating entirely new groups.

Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

Photos Gets a Unified View, New Collections, and Customization

Photos app receives its biggest-ever redesign to help users easily find and relive special moments. A simplified, single view displays a familiar grid, and new collections help users browse by themes without having to organize content into albums. Plus, collections can be pinned to keep favorites easily accessible. A new carousel view presents highlights that update each day and feature favorite people, pets, places, and more. Autoplaying content throughout the app brings libraries to life, so past moments can be enjoyed while browsing. Because each user’s photo library is unique, the app is customizable, so users can organize collections, pin collections to access frequently, and include what’s most important to them in the carousel view.

Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

Powerful Ways to Stay Connected in Messages

iMessage receives all-new text effects that bring conversations to life by amplifying any letter, word, phrase, or emoji with dynamic, animated appearances. Users can better express tone by adding formatting like bold, underline, italics, and strikethrough. Tapbacks expand to include any emoji or sticker, and now users can compose a message and schedule to send it at a later time.

When messaging contacts who do not have an Apple device, the Messages app now supports RCS for richer media and more reliable group messaging compared to SMS and MMS.

iOS 18 introduces Messages via satellite for the times when cellular and Wi-Fi connections aren’t available. Powered by the same groundbreaking technology as existing iPhone satellite capabilities, Messages via satellite automatically prompts users to connect to their nearest satellite right from the Messages app to send and receive texts, emojis, and Tapbacks over iMessage and SMS.3 With Dynamic Island, users always know when they are connected to a satellite. Because iMessage was built to protect user privacy, iMessages sent via satellite are end-to-end encrypted.

Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

Enhancements to Mail

Later this year, Mail will introduce new ways for users to manage their inbox and stay up to date. On-device categorization organizes and sorts incoming emails into Primary for personal and time-sensitive emails, Transactions for confirmations and receipts, Updates for news and social notifications, and Promotions for marketing emails and coupons. Mail also features a new digest view that pulls together all of the relevant emails from a business, allowing users to quickly scan for what’s important in the moment.

Big Updates to Safari

Safari, the world’s fastest browser,4 now offers an even 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. For example, users can review a summary to get the gist of an article; quickly see the location of a restaurant, hotel, or landmark; or listen to an artist’s track right from an article about the song or album. Reader app has been redesigned to offer even more ways to enjoy articles without distraction, with a summary and table of contents included for longer articles.

Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

Introducing the Passwords App

Building on the foundation of Keychain, which was first introduced more than 25 years ago, the new Passwords app makes it easy for users to access their passwords, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and verification codes. The app also includes alerts for users regarding common weaknesses, such as passwords that are easily guessed or used multiple times and those that appear in known data leaks.

New Privacy Features Designed to Empower Users

iOS 18 gives users even more control with tools to manage who can see their apps, how contacts are shared, and how their iPhone connects to accessories.

Locked and hidden apps offer users peace of mind that information they want to keep private, such as app notifications and content, will not inadvertently be seen by others. Users can now lock an app; and for additional privacy, they can hide an app, moving it to a locked, hidden apps folder. When an app is locked or hidden, content like messages or emails inside the app is hidden from search, notifications, and other places across the system.

Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple

There’s More!

  • In Apple Maps, users can browse thousands of hikes across national parks in the United States and easily create their own custom walking routes, which they can access offline. Maps users can also save their favorite national park hikes, custom walking routes, and locations to an all-new Places Library and add personal notes about each spot.
  • Game Mode enhances the gaming experience with more consistent frame rates, especially during long play sessions, and makes wireless accessories like AirPods and game controllers incredibly responsive.
  • Users get new ways to pay with Apple Pay, including the ability to redeem rewards and access installments from their eligible credit or debit cards.5 With Tap to Cash, users can send and receive Apple Cash by simply holding two iPhone devices together.6 Tickets in Apple Wallet bring a richer experience for fans, putting key event information like stadium details, recommended Apple Music playlists, and more at their fingertips.7
  • SharePlay with Apple Music allowseven more users to share control of music playing from HomePod, Apple TV, or any Bluetooth-enabled speaker, making listening together more fun and engaging.
  • The AirPods experience gets even more personal, private, and convenient with Siri Interactions, allowing AirPods Pro (2nd generation) users to simply nod their head yes or gently shake their head no to respond to Siri announcements. For even clearer call quality, Voice Isolation comes to AirPods Pro, ensuring the caller’s voice is heard in loud or windy environments. AirPods updates also provide the best wireless audio latency Apple has ever delivered for mobile gaming, and add Personalized Spatial Audio for even more immersive gameplay.
  • In the Notes app, formulas and equations entered while typing are solved instantly with Math Notes. New collapsible sections and highlighting make it easier to emphasize what’s important.
  • In Journal, an all-new insights view helps users keep track of their journaling goals, and the ability to search and sort entries makes it easy to enjoy past memories. Time spent journaling can be saved as mindful minutes in the Health app, and users can log their state of mind right in Journal. A Journal widget is now available for users to quickly start an entry from the Home Screen or Lock Screen, audio recordings are automatically transcribed, and users can export and print journal entries.
  • Calendar becomes even more helpful by showing both events and tasks from Reminders. Users can create, edit, and complete reminders right from Calendar, and the updated month view provides an overview of events and tasks at a glance.
  • In the Health app, Medical ID has been redesigned to make it even easier for first responders to find the most important information in an emergency. The Health app can help users better understand their data during pregnancy by making adjustments and recommendations to reflect changes in their physical and mental health.
  • Emergency SOS Live Video allows users to share context through streaming video and recorded media. In the middle of an emergency call, participating emergency dispatchers can send a request for a user to share live video or media from the user’s camera roll over a secure connection, making it easier and faster to get help.
  • The Home app introduces guest access, providing users with easy ways to grant guests control of select smart home accessories, set schedules for when guests can access the home, and more. For an effortless home entry experience, hands-free unlock with home keys leverages Ultra Wideband technology to allow users to instantly open supported entry locks as soon as they are six feet away from their door. With convenient updates to the Energy category, the Home app makes it easier for eligible users to access, understand, and make more informed decisions about their home electricity use.
  • Accessibility updates include Eye Tracking, a built-in option for navigating iPhone with just eyes; Music Haptics, a new way for users who are deaf or hard of hearing to experience music using the Taptic Engine in iPhone; and Vocal Shortcuts that enable users to perform tasks by making a custom sound.
Photo courtesy of Apple
Photo courtesy of Apple