It’s Rumored That iOS 18 Will Change Your iPhone in Big Ways. Here’s How – CNET

In less than three weeks, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is scheduled to kick off, on June 10. And the company is expected to release the next version of its iPhone software: iOS 18

Apple’s iOS 18 could bring the “biggest” software update in the iPhone’s history, according to a January edition of Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter. In November, Gurman wrote that iOS 18 could bring “relatively groundbreaking” updates to the iPhone complete with “major new features and designs.”

Read more: Best iPhone of 2024

Phone makers are increasingly bringing generative AI features to their flagship smartphones, in a bid to take advantage of the hype cycle surrounding the emerging technology. Last fall, Google debuted its flagship Pixel 8 lineup with souped-up AI tricks, and in January, Samsung launched the Galaxy S24 series complete with Galaxy AI. Apple is expected go in the same direction with the expected iPhone 16 and iOS 18. CEO Tim Cook said he expects Apple have to an edge in AI in a May earnings call, even though the company is widely seen as being behind in the AI race.

“We’ve got some things that we are incredibly excited about that we’ll be talking about later this year,” Cook said an earnings call in February in response to a question about generative AI.

To be clear, Apple already has AI tools on its iPhones like its photo duplication detection feature for instance, but we’ve yet to see how generative AI will factor into the iPhone and iOS in a major way. With iOS 17, Apple included a slew of AI-powered features like the ability to clone your own voice on the iPhone (which is a form of gen AI) and an updated keyboard with better autocorrect. But the company stopped short of unveiling generative AI products along the lines of Google’s Gemini or OpenAI’s Chat GPT. Still, the rumor mill points to meaningful changes in iOS 18. Here are the most credible ones.

Read more: Hidden AI Features Available on Your iPhone Right Now

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

Notes App revamp

Apart from Siri, one of the bigger changes could appear on Apple’s popular Notes App, according to reports by Apple Insider. The Notes app is expected to gain the ability to record and transcribe audio. It could also gain the ability to generate AI-powered summaries. This feature is rumored to change the Voice Memo apps across the iPhone as well as on iPads and MacBooks. It will supposedly work similarly to the company’s Live Voicemail feature, which was introduced last fall in iOS 17. 

Calendar app integrates with Reminders app?

With iOS 18, the iPhone’s Calendar app will apparently include integration with the Reminders app. According to a May AppleInsider report, the updated version of Calendar should allow you to schedule and organize reminders directly from it, without needing to launch the Reminders app. The report says you’ll be able to view reminders within the Day, Week, and Month calendar views.

An illustration portraying the mix of blue and green bubbles on iPhone's iMessage service, with a sick-face emoji. An illustration portraying the mix of blue and green bubbles on iPhone's iMessage service, with a sick-face emoji.

Google’s launched a website dedicated to advocating for Apple to adopt the RCS text messaging standard, filled with links to tweet notes to the company.

Google/Screenshot by CNET

Apple has said it will bring support for RCS, the cross-platform messaging standard, to the iPhone. According to a November report by 9to5Mac, an Apple spokesperson said it’ll be coming to the iPhone “later next year” and will work alongside iMessage.

RCS support should improve the current messaging experience between iPhone and Android users by bringing iMessage-like features. Those upgrades include sending high-quality photos and videos to contacts, read receipt, typing indicators and, most importantly, end-to-end encryption, something SMS messaging lacks. In other words, if you have an Android phone and are texting someone with an iPhone, you’ll be able to text each other over RCS instead of SMS. However, it’s important to remember that iMessage will remain exclusive to the iPhone and other Apple devices. RCS will not bring iMessage to Android phones.

Read more: Google Should Push RCS Texting Further Than Just the iPhone

As mentioned earlier, details are currently sparse on Apple’s plans and we don’t yet know which iPhones will be compatible with iOS 18. We’ll be updating this article as and when we get more details, so make sure to check back. Until then, you can get up to speed with iOS 17

Editors’ note: CNET used an AI engine to help create several dozen stories, which are labeled accordingly. The note you’re reading is attached to articles that deal substantively with the topic of AI but are created entirely by our expert editors and writers. For more, see our AI policy.

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