iOS 18: Release Date, Features, Supported Devices & More

This is everything we currently know about the upcoming significant software upgrade for Apple's iPhone.

(Image credit: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

The iPhone's most important upgrade in a long time may be iOS 18. Indeed, iOS 18 will be "one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company's history," according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg.

The rationale is entirely related to artificial intelligence (AI), which is expected to play a major role in some of the innovations that iOS 18 has in store. Among these is a redesigned Siri assistant. This puts Apple in a situation where it must respond to both Google, which centers the Pixel phone experience around AI-driven capabilities, and Samsung, which highlighted Galaxy AI technologies with the debut of the Galaxy S24.

With the innovations iOS 18 has in store, will Apple be able to leave its own mark? Here is everything we currently know about iOS 18 and its upcoming features.

iOS 18 Latest News

Updated April 15

  • The AI features rumored for iOS 18 will likely work on the iPhone rather than rely on the cloud.
  • Vision OS may inspire some iOS 18 interface changes.
  • iOS 18 compatibility could be offered to the iPhone XS and later.
  • WWDC has been scheduled for June 10. We should see an iOS 18 preview there.

iOS 18 Cheat Sheet: Top Rumors

Release Date: Preview at WWDC 2024 on June 14, followed by a beta; a full version arrives in the fall

Supported Devices: All phones that can run iOS 17 should run iOS 18

AI Features: Revamped Siri, generative AI are the highlights, with AI features expected to run on the phone and not the cloud

Interface Redesign: Expect a more customizable home screen

Other Features: RCS messaging support, accessibility features

iOS 18 Release Date: What to Expect

iOS 17's preview at WWDC 2023 (Image credit: Apple)

Given Apple's consistent history of releasing iPhone software upgrades on time, we have a decent sense of what to anticipate from the debut of iOS 18, even if the firm doesn't provide a timeline for these releases.

We anticipate that Apple will present iOS 18 at WWDC 2024, as the yearly developer conference often offers sneak peeks at all of the major software updates that occur later in the year. We now know the date of the event: June 10 is when WWDC 2024 begins, with a keynote address.

Probably during WWDC 2024, an iOS 18 development beta will be made available; a public beta ought to arrive a few weeks later. In the past, iOS beta programs have operated continuously throughout the summer with regular upgrades for new features and bug fixes. All of this should come to a head soon before fall officially arrives, coinciding with the release of the iPhone 16 models in shops and the complete version of iOS 18 becoming available for download. That usually happens in the middle of September.

iOS 18 Supported Devices: What You Need to Know

iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Which existing iPhone models will be able to run iOS 18 and which will no longer get support has not been made official. Apple discontinued support for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, all of which were released in the autumn of 2018, with iOS 17. This is consistent with Apple's practice of offering its phone users around five years of software and security support.

If Apple were to adhere to that five-year limit, phones produced in 2019 would no longer be supported by iOS 18. The iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max will reach their five-year anniversary this autumn, which means they will most likely no longer get iOS upgrades.

Nevertheless, a post on X, the website that was once known as Twitter, featured those 2019 phones among the iPhone models that were probably going to support iOS 18. Similarly, a more recent leak identifies the iPhone XS and iPhone XR as the devices that are compatible with iOS 18 the oldest. If verified, this implies that iOS 17-capable phones will have the capability to update to iOS 18.

Until Apple makes an announcement, we truly won't know which phones are supported for sure. That often occurs during WWDC in the middle of the iOS preview.

iOS 18 AI Features: What's Coming?

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The early rumors regarding Apple's plans for iOS 18 are beginning to highlight a common theme: artificial intelligence will play a major part in the release. This is the reason why some Apple insiders have informed journalists that iOS 18 is among the company's most significant releases ever.

Numerous tech firms have released a plethora of AI-powered devices in the last year, ranging from OpenAI's ChatGPT to Google's Gemini chatbot to its Tensor G3-powered Pixel 8 flagships. Samsung is the most recent manufacturer to make headlines in the AI space. With this year's Galaxy S24 launch, AI features were the main attraction. With capabilities like live translations during phone conversations, auto-summary features for Notes, and the ability to search for items just by circling a picture on your phone screen, Samsung's most recent phones now offer generative AI-powered photo editing apps.

Apple has mostly remained out of the spotlight, but it looks like that is about to change, especially with regard to the software that runs on its phones. According to a story in The Information, Apple is reportedly spending a lot of money on conversational AI. The concept is that simple voice commands would allow iPhone users to automate multi-step operations. Consider it an enhanced iteration of Siri, your phone's inbuilt digital assistant.

According to analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities, who is basing his prediction on the company's intentions to construct AI servers in order to manage the anticipated workload, Apple is likely to introduce its own AI chatbot by the end of 2024. The timetable for late 2024 corresponds with when the iPhone 16 and iOS 18 are probably going to be released.

Apple's AI initiatives might be advantageous for the iPhone 16, in particular. Leaker Revegnus announced on the social media platform that was once known as Twitter that Apple was repurposing large language models (LLM) for Siri. That implies that many AI functions on existing iPhones could be cloud-based; the iPhone 16 ought to have the processing capacity to do those tasks on the device itself. Later reports have indicated that Apple's plans heavily rely on on-device AI, and Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has recently said that generative AI features in iOS 18 would operate on the neural engine of the phone rather than the cloud. (Reports suggest that some cloud services could contribute to more sophisticated features.)

For what it's worth, there have apparently been discussions between Apple and Google over the iPhone getting Google's Gemini AI models. This would presumably be carried out in tandem with the AI initiatives related to iOS 18.

The A18 series of CPUs, which are expected to power the 2024 iPhone range, will probably power a lot of this. It is anticipated that all iPhone 16 models will be powered by an A18 system-on-a-chip, with the iPhone 16 Pro variants using the more potent silicon. Whichever model it is, it should have sufficient processing capacity to support any AI capabilities that Apple develops. This helps with speed and privacy as none of your searches or data will have to leave your iPhone.

You'll note that the discussion surrounding these AI-powered features in iOS 18 is devoid of specifics. Between now and WWDC 2024, we anticipate additional information will become available.

iOS 18 RCS Support: What's New?

(Image credit: Future)

Although most people tend to believe it will be a part of iOS 18, Apple has already announced one feature that will be available on the iPhone this year. Apple said in November of last year that an upcoming software upgrade for the iPhone will bring RCS capability sometime in 2024.

Android messaging applications employ a texting standard called RCS, or Rich Communication Services. Apple has stated unequivocally that its iMessage technology is here to stay and will continue to be the primary means of communication for iPhone customers. The ability to SMS Android users from your iPhone is now supported. Even if the existing separation between the green and blue bubbles won't disappear, there should be more cross-platform communication. It is anticipated that while messaging with Android smartphones, functionality like read receipts and typing indications would now be available.

Apple has made a 180-degree turn by committing to support RCS. Previously, the firm advised Android customers who desired a less awkward messaging experience with iOS devices to "buy an iPhone." Regulation in Europe may have prompted Apple's reversal of course, just as regulations in the EU compelled Apple to embrace USB-C connection for the iPhone 15.

iOS 18 Accessibility Features: What's Included?

According to unconfirmed sources, Apple has improved several accessibility features from earlier iOS releases and added new ones.

Mac Rumors has the most comprehensive news on this topic, citing sources in the industry. According to the source, Apple is putting more of an emphasis on accessibility enhancements for next iOS and macOS releases. Particular attributes consist of:

iOS 18 Accessibility Features

  • Adaptive Voice Shortcuts: Create spoken phrases to control accessibility settings with your voice.
  • LiveSpeech Improvements: Organize LiveSpeech categories for better accessibility management.
  • Adjustable Text Extension: Change text sizes in Books, News, Tips, Weather, and Stocks.

iOS 18 Redesign: What's New?

(Image credit: Apple)

Another potential alteration to iOS 18 has surfaced, and it comes from another editorial by Mark Gurman published at Bloomberg. Though no concrete specifics are given, the Apple watcher has suggested that a makeover of Apple's iPhone software may be in the works. Gurman has only stated that the new iOS 18 design won't be influenced by the visionOS software used in the Apple Vision Pro.

Nevertheless, an iOS 18 leak that was made public by MacRumors purports to display a revised camera app for the next software upgrade. Furthermore, it has a striking resemblance to Apple's visionOS.

(Image credit: MacRumors)

Gurman hinted that Apple might enhance customisation of the home screen. It's unclear precisely what this purported personalization implies, but we hope it means you'll be able to arrange applications anywhere you wish inside the grid instead of everything trying to auto-align upwards and leftwards. We have some ideas about potential improvements to the iOS makeover and some ideas about customizing the home screen.

iOS 18 Preview: What to Expect?

iOS 18 seems like a huge upgrade that will bring plenty of new features to your iPhone, even current models, albeit without many of the finer specifics at this time. We're excited for further information to surface on this upgrade in the upcoming months leading up to WWDC 2024 on June 10—particularly regarding Apple's plans to enhance the AI-powered capabilities of its phones.

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