iOS 18 Will Add These Two New Features to Your iPhone
iOS 18 is not expected to be unveiled until June, but there are already some rumors and expectations for the software update.
Below, we recap two new iPhone features that are expected to be included in iOS 18, including RCS support in the Messages app and Siri enhancements.
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 in 2024, 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.