iOS 18 Might Be 'Biggest' Software Update in iPhone's History

Apple has big plans for iOS 18 later this year, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles
In the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter this week, Gurman said iOS 18 has the potential to be the "biggest" software update in the iPhone's history.

"I'm told that the new operating system is seen within the company as one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company's history," he wrote.

Gurman said he plans to share more details about specific iOS 18 features and changes that are planned in the future, but we already know about two new features that are likely to be included in the update, as outlined below.

iOS 18 will be released in September, and the first beta for developers will come out during Apple's annual developers conference WWDC in June.

RCS Support

General Apps Messages
In November 2023, Apple announced that it would support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting "later" in 2024, 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.

Smarter Siri

iOS 18 Mock Siri Feature Baubles
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 in 2022 when OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can respond to questions and other prompts. Google and Microsoft released similar chatbots last year, as more companies race into the space. The chatbots are trained on large language models, allowing them to respond like a human.

Popular Stories

iOS 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

Will Your iPhone Support iOS 18? Here's What the Latest Rumor Says

Thursday February 29, 2024 7:29 am PST by
iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 are still over three months away from being unveiled, but we may already know which devices will be compatible with the updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, meaning that the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR from 2018 will remain supported for at least another year, according to information shared this week by a source with a...
iPad Air 12

Gurman: No Apple Event Planned for Upcoming iPads and Macs

Sunday March 3, 2024 5:09 am PST by
Apple does not plan to hold a traditional event to unveil new iPads and Macs, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Instead, he said Apple plans to announce the products on its website with a "series of online videos and marketing campaigns." If this plan is accurate, we can expect the new products to be announced with press releases on the Apple Newsroom website. Gurman expects Apple to...