iOS 18 Could Be Apple’s ‘Biggest’ iPhone OS Update Yet

What to Expect from iOS 18

As we edge closer to the highly anticipated release of iOS 18—codenamed Crystal—, the tech community is buzzing with speculation and excitement. This upcoming version of Apple’s operating system is expected to bring a host of new features, enhancements, and possibly a few surprises that will redefine how we interact with our iPhones.

Furthermore, at the end of January, one of the most prominent tipsters regarding Apple’s mobile software, Mark Gurman, disclosed in his Power On newsletter—under the subject ‘The Future of the iPhone’—that iOS 18 is tipped to be ‘one of the largest operating system updates, if not the biggest, in the company’s history’ that Apple will ship to iPhones.

That said, based on the latest rumors, expert analyses, and our understanding of Apple’s innovation trajectory, iOS 18 is expected to introduce features that many thought were forgotten (though I didn’t). RCS support, already confirmed by Apple, is set to resolve the longstanding debate over ‘green bubbles.’

In addition, Apple is anticipated to integrate generative AI technology into the system, starting with Siri and extending to more advanced tasks. Continuing on the AI front, Apple is reportedly focusing on incorporating a broader range of artificial intelligence features into iOS 18.

We can also expect enhancements in user interface design and advanced security measures. So, without further ado, let’s delve into what Apple has planned for us in 2024.

Rumored Features of iOS 18

The realm of technology thrives on speculation and anticipation, especially when it comes to major software updates like iOS 18. In this segment, we’re diving into the swirling pool of rumors and insider whispers that hint at the possible features of iOS 18. While Apple maintains its usual veil of secrecy, the tech world’s detective work has led to fascinating conjectures.

Here, we’ll sift through the most talked-about rumored features. Starting with the fact that Apple has prioritized performance and stability improvements for the upcoming iOS 18 update after the release of iOS 17 was plagued with bugs and issues. According to a recent report, the company is focusing on fixing the bugs in the first version of iOS 18 before introducing new features.

That said, as of the latest rumors and reports, iOS 18 is expected to introduce several notable features.

RCS Support

Apple has announced plans to add the RCS protocol to its iPhones by 2024, finally giving Android users a better messaging experience when communicating with iPhone users. RCS offers advantages over Apple’s iMessage, such as support for higher resolution images and videos, larger file sizes, and better compatibility between different messaging apps.

Currently, iMessage displays chats from Android devices in green bubbles, leading to discrimination and incompatibility issues. Since there’s no third-party applications that can bridge this gap, Apple’s decision to adopt RCS will benefit most users. The blue bubble vs. green bubble debate may finally be resolved.

Smarter Siri

Siri is anticipated to become more intelligent with the integration of generative AI technology. This could include the ability to automate complex tasks and better field questions and auto-complete sentences. These advancements are expected to extend to other Apple apps as well, such as Apple Music, Pages, and Keynote​​.

Voice recognition. Personal assistant. Smart music sound waves or voice recognition technology. Soundwave intelligent technologies. Vector illustration. Volume curve energy waveform. Neon Ai concept.
Siri is about to get smarter with the iOS 18 update in 2024. / © Free Ukraine&Belarus / Adobe Stock

Major AI Features

Apple is reportedly focusing on incorporating more artificial intelligence features into iOS 18. This includes a revamped Siri using large language models, AI integration in the Messages app for fielding questions and auto-completing sentences, auto-generated playlists in Apple Music, and generative AI features in iWork apps and Xcode​​.

Supply chain sources suggested that Apple was building AI servers in 2023 and plans to deploy more this year. However, the establishment of these servers does not guarantee the rollout of LLM-based features in Apple’s hardware.

The company is taking a cautious approach to ensure privacy and security standards are met. Apple is debating between an on-device AI experience, which offers speed and privacy, and a cloud-based approach, which allows for more complex operations. A hybrid approach might be used. More specific applications of AI in Apple devices are yet to be revealed.

Invisible Face ID scanner in development

Apple is likely to phase out Touch ID completely and focus on Face ID for its future devices, according to a recent report. A credible leaker suggests that Apple has indefinitely shut down the equipment used to manufacture fingerprint scanner components, indicating that upcoming iPhones and possibly future iPad tablets will not feature Touch ID.

Instead, Apple might be exploring the development of an invisible Face ID scanner, which would be concealed under the iPhone’s display. Although the specifics of how this will affect the user experience with the operating system remain unclear, it’s quite likely that we’ll see some changes in the overall user interface.

Apple's patent for hidden Dynamic Island
Apple’s patent of invisible Dynamic Island on iPhones. / © Patently Apple

The release of iOS 18 is expected to be announced at WWDC 2024. However, these predictions are based on rumors and expectations, and the actual features and release schedule may vary as Apple finalizes its plans for iOS 18.

As more information becomes available, we will update this iOS 18 guide with newly rumored features. So, bookmark this page to stay informed about the latest developments in Apple’s new iOS features.

Release Date and Availability of iOS 18

The anticipation for iOS 18 is tangible, and one of the most pressing questions on everyone’s mind is: “When will it be available?” In this section, we focus on piecing together the clues and insights to predict the release date and availability of iOS 18.

Historically, Apple has adhered to a relatively consistent schedule for its iOS updates, providing a framework to predict the launch window. The release of Apple’s latest operating system typically occurs after the developer version is unveiled at WWDC, followed by a public beta release about a month later. These events usually happen in June and July, respectively.

The availability of the stable version is expected to coincide with the release of the iPhone 16 series, which normally occurs in September.

  iOS Release Schedule
Version iOS 18 (2024)
WWDC announcement
  • To be confirmed
Public beta
  • To be confirmed
Stable release
  • To be confirmed
  • September 17
  • September 12
  • September 20

List of iPhones Eligible for the iOS 18 Update

As the excitement for iOS 18 mounts, a critical question for iPhone users is: “Will my device be compatible with the new update?” In this section, we provide a comprehensive list of iPhones eligible for the iOS 18 update.

Apple’s pattern of supporting recent device models provides a solid basis for predicting which iPhones will be compatible. Last year, the iPhone 8 lineup and the iPhone X were dropped from the list of compatible devices. Considering that Apple typically guarantees only five years of software support, it is likely that the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max will not be supported in 2024.

Whether you’re holding on to a beloved older model or sporting the latest iPhone, find out here if your device is ready to embrace the advancements of iOS 18:

  • 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 SE (2022) (3rd generation)
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone SE (2022)
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max

And that’s our overview. What are your expectations for iOS 18? Share your thoughts in the comments below.