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iOS 18 is here to help with Apple Intelligence, Messages improvements & more

iOS 18 is more customizable than ever

Last updated

WWDC 2024 revealed new ways to customize iPhone with iOS 18, including new Home Screen arrangements and filters, Control Center pages, and replaceable buttons on the Lock Screen.

It was clear that WWDC 2024 would focus on artificial intelligence, but Apple started things off with feature upgrades first. iOS 18 has been revealed, and it is more customizable than ever.

The ongoing annual theme of including new customization features continues. Icons can be placed anywhere on the Home Screen, which enables more unique layouts and eliminates the need for blank icons.

Icons can also be themed with colors. Backgrounds can be enabled for dark mode, or icons can have color filters.

Control Center has also gained new customization features. Data is split over pages that can be swiped through, and third-party apps can finally be added to the grid.

Add widgets, change size, organize them, and see different panes for app control, music, and home.

The Lock Screen also gets new customization options, finally allowing users to replace the flashlight and camera buttons with third-party apps.

A bento image showcasing various iOS 18 features
iOS 18 has several new features

Apple snuck in a brief mention that RCS is coming with iOS 18. Soon, Apple users will have improved messaging with Android users, including better media sharing.

iMessage has new emoji tapbacks that let users access any emoji to react to a message. There are also new text effects and the ability to schedule messages for later.

Reminders will now appear in Calendar. It allows users to create a reminder and see it in line with scheduled events.

There are several updates across Apple's apps, like Apple Maps. Users can see hiking routes and save them for offline viewing.

Photos app shown on an iPhone held in a hand
Apple Photos has been redesigned with new discovery features

Photos has been redesigned with new organization and memories features. There are no longer tabs at the bottom to switch views. Instead, everything is in one scrollable view.

A new collections feature brings memories and topics into groups below the main photo grid. Each collection view has an audio-playing view at the top with plenty of filters to find photos of people and places.

A man in a crowded elevator wearing AirPods
Simply shake your head to hang up on grandma

AirPods are getting a new gesture that relies on the device's gyroscope sensors — nods and shakes for yes and no. Voice isolation is also improved thanks to better algorithms.

Apple finally broke Passwords out of the Settings app. It offers access to several password-related functions in a single, accessible location.

  • Wi-Fi passwords
  • App passwords
  • Website passwords
  • Verification codes
  • Shared passwords
  • Sign in with Apple Passkeys

Apple Intelligence

Despite some much-needed upgrades across various iOS systems, all eyes are on Apple's AI features. Instead of going for the industry name "artificial intelligence," Apple has announced it is calling its features "Apple Intelligence."

Craig Federighi standing in front of a slide showing the bento image detailing Apple Intelligence features
Apple Intelligence adds a lot of utility throughout iOS 18

Apple CEO Tim Cook says its AI has to be powerful, intuitive, integrated, and personal. Of course, it also needs to be private.

Various features shown during the WWDC keynote already use Apple Intelligence, like Safari's new summarization view. It grabs data from the webpage and surfaces it in a quick view panel.

Apple Intelligence is available across the operating system, appearing in apps, in search, and via Siri. Writing Tools will help analyze writing and generate images, while search inquiries will gather summarized data.

If you'd prefer to use ChatGPT, that will be an option later in 2024. Users can target ChatGPT for free without sacrificing privacy and even log into premium accounts.

Apple Intelligence, iOS 18 and the other operating system updates, will be available in the fall. The developer beta has begun, and public betas will begin in July.