These Seven New iOS 17 and iOS 18 Features Are Expected Next Year
Heading into 2024, there are several preannounced or rumored iOS 17 and iOS 18 features that are expected to launch throughout the year.
Below, we have listed seven iOS features that should be released for the iPhone in 2024, including collaborative Apple Music playlists, AirPlay on hotel room TVs, app sideloading in the European Union, next-generation CarPlay, roadside assistance via satellite outside of the U.S., RCS support in the Messages app, and generative AI for Siri.
Collaborative Apple Music Playlists
A new Collaborative Playlists option for Apple Music will allow multiple people to add, reorder, and remove songs in a shared playlist.
This feature was initially expected to launch with iOS 17.2 this month, but it was removed from that update towards the end of beta testing for reasons unclear. Apple's website now says the feature will return as part of an iOS 17 update coming in 2024.
AirPlay on Hotel Room TVs
Following the release of iOS 17.2, Apple updated its website to indicate that an AirPlay feature for hotel room TVs has been delayed until next year.
Apple originally said the feature was "coming later this year," but it now says it will be "coming in an update in 2024." Apple did not provide a more specific timeframe, but the feature should be added in an iOS 17 update in the first half of next year.
The feature will allow iPhone users to scan a QR code on their hotel room TV to establish an AirPlay connection, allowing them to wirelessly stream videos, photos, and music from their iPhone to the TV. Google already offers a similar feature on some hotel TVs, allowing guests to stream content from their smartphone via Chromecast.
Apple in June said Holiday Inn owner IHG Hotels & Resorts would be one of the first hotel companies to adopt the feature.
App Sideloading in EU
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last year reported that Apple was preparing to allow app sideloading on the iPhone in order to comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act. This would allow users to install apps outside of Apple's App Store, but the change is only expected to be made in European Union countries, at least initially.
Gurman recently said that he expects app sideloading in the EU to roll out in an iOS 17 update released in the first half of 2024.
At WWDC in June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, increased personalization, and more.
Apple's website still says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in "late 2023," but with only a few weeks remaining in the year, it's unclear if that timeframe will still be met. Regardless, the next-generation CarPlay experience would likely not be available to customers until 2024.
Roadside Assistance via Satellite Outside U.S.
Starting with iOS 17, all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models offer a roadside assistance via satellite feature that allows users in the U.S. to contact roadside assistance company AAA for vehicle service when outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
Apple said the feature is available "beginning" in the U.S., so it will likely expand to some additional countries starting in 2024.
In November, Apple announced that it will support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting "later next year," so it will likely be an iOS 18 feature based on that timeframe.
RCS support should result in the following improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices:
- Higher-resolution photos and videos
- Audio messages
- Typing indicators
- Read receipts
- Wi-Fi messaging between iPhones and Android devices
- Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users
- Improved encryption compared to SMS
These modern features are already available for iPhone-to-iPhone conversations with blue bubbles, via iMessage, and many of the features are also available in third-party messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. RCS support on the iPhone will extend the features to green bubbles in the Messages app.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman expects iOS 18 to feature generative AI technology that "should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences." He said Apple has also explored generative AI features for other apps across its platforms, including Apple Music, Pages, Keynote, and Xcode.
The Information reported that Apple plans to incorporate large language models into Siri to let users automate complex tasks, a feature that would involve deeper integration with the Shortcuts app. The report said this feature is expected to be released in an iPhone software update coming next year, which would likely be iOS 18.
Generative AI surged in popularity last year when OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can respond to questions and other prompts. Google and Microsoft released similar chatbots earlier this year, as more companies race into the space. The chatbots are trained on large language models, allowing them to respond like a human.