Apple’s iOS 18 Will Bring These Features to Your iPhone This Fall – CNET

Apple unveiled iOS 18 at its Worldwide Developers Conference 2024 keynote event on Monday. The tech giant announced the next iPhone operating system will include a lot of new features, like more ways to customize your home screen, an updated Photos app and much more. Apple said online the next operating system will be available to the general public this fall.

Read more: Apple Intelligence, MacOS15 and Everything Else Apple Announced at WWDC 2024

Developers can download iOS 18 now. We recommend downloading a beta only on something other than your primary device. Since this isn’t the final version of iOS 18, these features might be buggy and battery life may be short, and it’s best to keep those troubles on a secondary device.

Here’s what we know about all the new features and improvements iOS 18 should bring to your iPhone.

Customizable home and lock screens

While you’ve been able to customize your iPhone’s home and lock screens with widgets and different backgrounds, iOS 18 will reportedly let you customize your home screen’s apps and their layout, as well as your phone’s lock screen functions.

During WWDC, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, showed how iOS 18 lets you arrange your iPhone’s apps and widgets on your home screen however you want. Previously, these icons would fill your home screen from top to bottom, sometimes obstructing backgrounds you might like. But iOS 18 should let you arrange your icons around your background, or in any way you want.

You can also easily customize the appearance of your app’s icons. You can give your icons a dark mode filter, or tint your icons to match your wallpaper.

Federighi also said iOS 18 will let you swap out the camera and flashlight functions on your iPhone’s lock screen. That way you aren’t accidentally turning on your iPhone’s flashlight on while putting it in your pocket — but you might open another app instead.

More from WWDC

Updated Control Center

ios 18 on iphone screen

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Apple also announced that iOS 18 also updates your iPhone’s Control Center. With the next operating system, you can access more controls for things, like whatever music you’re listening to and specific apps. You can also change which apps you see, as well as their size, so you have quicker access the buttons you use more often.

Lock and hide certain apps

Letting someone borrow your iPhone can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if you don’t want them to see or access certain apps. But iOS 18 will reportedly allow you to lock and hide apps.

If you lock an app, it will then require your FaceID or passcode to unlock and access it. And if you just don’t want someone to know you have a certain app on your iPhone, you can hide it in a Hidden apps folder in your App Library. This is similar to removing apps from your home screen without deleting them from your iPhone, but it arranges all your hidden apps in one place.

Redesigned Photos app

If can be fun to look at memories in your Photos app, but navigating through the app can be challenging if you take a lot of photos. So Apple announced iOS 18 will redesign your iPhone’s Photos app.

The redesign should make it easier to find specific photos by organizing your photos in more ways, like month and year. Photos will also be organized by theme, so if you’re looking for photos from a trip, you should be able to find them faster.

The updated Photos app in iOS 18 will also reportedly filter out receipts and screenshots so they don’t clog up your Library.

Siri improvements

wwdc24-siri-v5 wwdc24-siri-v5

CNET

Apple announced that it’s making Siri more natural, contextually relevant and personal with Apple Intelligence in iOS 18. That means if you misspeak while using Siri, it should understand you regardless and give you the correct information. It’ll also maintain context within conversations.

When you use Siri, it will also cause the edge of your iPhone’s screen to glow. While using Siri now, the assistant appears on your iPhone as a small logo. 

And if you don’t want to talk to Siri, you can now type Siri requests on your iPhone by double-tapping the bottom of your screen.

Messages gets an upgrade

ios 18 messages on phone ios 18 messages on phone

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Your iPhone’s Messages app will also reportedly get an update with iOS 18. With the next operating system, you’ll be able to schedule messages to send later, react to messages with more Tapbacks and format messages and specific words in your messages with text effects. So if you want to emphasize something in a text, you can bold it, underline or use other effects to get your point across. 

Apple also briefly mentioned it was bringing RCS — Rich Communication Support — to Messages.

Game Mode

According to Facts and Factors, mobile gaming as an industry is expected to grow by over 13% by 2030. And Apple seems to recognize that with the introduction of Game Mode in iOS 18.

Game Mode will reportedly minimize background activities on your iPhone to improve your game’s performance. It will also reportedly have improved responsiveness with AirPods and wireless gaming controllers.

More ways to organize Mail

Apple also said that with iOS 18, your iPhone’s Mail app will be organized your emails better. Your app will have new categories for things like receipts, newsletters and more. That way you don’t have to dig through your emails and find an invitation to a party you forgot to respond to.

Tap to Cash

Screenshot of Apple's NameDrop feature on the iPhone Screenshot of Apple's NameDrop feature on the iPhone

NameDrop on iOS 17.

Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

With iOS 18, it will also reportedly be easier to send cash to your friends and family with Tap to Cash. With this new feature, you can send Apple Cash directly to others by bringing your iPhones close together, similar to how you can quickly AirDrop a photo or message to someone, or NameDrop your contact information to others, by bringing your iPhones close together.

Topographic maps in Maps

When Apple introduced iOS 17 in 2023, it brought offline maps to your iPhones Maps app. With iOS 18, Apple said your iPhone’s Maps app will get topographical information, too. Maps will also reportedly get detailed hiking trail information, including hiking routes from over 50 US national parks, so you can plan your next hike accordingly.

Journal app improvements

Apple also announced that iOS 18 will bring some changes to your iPhone’s Journal app. Once upgraded, the app will reportedly let you log your state of mind, as well as help you track your goals. It will also give you certain stats, like writing streaks. You’ll also reportedly be able to search within Journal for previous entries so you can find older thoughts and more.

This is a developing story.

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This post was originally published on Cnet

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