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iOS 18: release date, compatibility, AI and big new features, everything you need to know

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Who says new iPhone, says new version of iOS 18, accompanied by its iPadOS 18 variant for the firm's iPads. Traditionally, the new major version of the operating system is pushed to the iPhone and iPad immediately after the release of the new iPhone. Which should be no exception to the rule with the iPhone 16, which will come directly with the iOS 18 operating system installed.

However, the major update of the iPhone and iPad in 2024 is the subject of several phases of development and testing, which often cause indiscretions, when Apple does not speak openly about some new features important upstream.

The highlight of this development journey is the annual high mass for developers, WWDC24, which will be held between June 10 and 14, 2024 and is still the event dedicated to software announcements. Apple should unveil almost all of the new operating system at the opening keynote of WWDC24, and immediately offer a general public beta – which allows, subject to bugs to be corrected, to use in preview all the new features of iOS 18.

iOS 18: release date, compatibility, AI and big new features, everything you need to know

© iPhon.fr

Everything indicates that in 2024, like every year, the first major keynote of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC24) on June 10 will mark the launch of the beta versions of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18. Beta updates should be pushed gradually on the iPhones and iPads concerned in the days following the famous keynote.

The final version will be released at the same time as the iPhone 16. The most impatient will still be able to force the installation of the Release Candidate variant, available in the beta channel a few days in advance – which is virtually identical to the latter.

A priori, Apple should maintain broad compatibility of iOS 18 with iPhones up to the SE model of 2022 and the iPad Pro 2018. Here is the complete list:

  • All iPhone 15All iPhone 14 variants
  • All iPhone 13 variants
  • All iPhone 12
  • All iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS and XS MaxiPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd gen)
  • iPad Pro 2018 and later
  • iPad Air 2019 and later
  • iPad mini 2019 and later
  • iPad 2020 and later models

Since their launch, voice assistants like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant have indeed demonstrated their usefulness. But they still remain limited in the tasks they are able to accomplish, or the questions and terms that can be asked of them. For example, you still cannot chain more than one or two orders in the same order. And errors of understanding remain numerous.

Likewise, regarding Siri specifically, the “Here is what I just found on the web about [term in some cases which has nothing to do with it]” after a misunderstood command, a poorly named command, or affecting functionality not supported by the wizard. It must be said that a large part of these assistants work thanks to an immense database of questions and answers, with their variants, which must

While Samsung is launching Galaxy AI, a series of new features offering generative AI in the firm's latest Galaxy smartphones (among others), iOS 18 is expected around the corner. Apple has always stood out for its ability to give more coherence to concepts already available elsewhere – so it's more like something angled a little differently from Samsung that we might expect.

We know, for example, that Apple is working on in-house LLM models to reinforce functionalities in applications. Apple has also bought DarwinAI to reduce the size of these models with a view, presumably, to local execution on the next iPhone 16. This seems to be confirmed by indiscretions on their new chip which a priori leaves a larger space.

Discussions, the existence of which was revealed by Bloomberg, suggest that Apple has also held discussions around this with OpenAI (ChatGPT) and Google (Gemini). Nothing allows us to know at this stage what we can learn from it. We can only assume that Apple considers these platforms important enough to sign a deal similar to the one that leads to the use of Google as the default search engine on iPhones, for example. The essence of the solution that seems to be emerging, however, would be very home-made.

iOS 18: release date, compatibility, AI and big new features, everything you need to know

© Presse-citron

Messages sent between iPhones go through the iMessage protocol, specific to iPhone, iPad and Mac – a system that has always been strictly incompatible, beyond the SMS layer, with Android devices. The RCS protocol, supposed to make Android messaging closer to that of iPhones, with the addition of reactions, reception tracking, and exchange of videos and photos without compression, did not work on iPhone, Apple refusing to port the RCS in our ecosystem.

Fortunately this grotesque situation will soon be a thing of the past. Apple has already announced that it will port the technology “later in 2024”. And there is little doubt that interoperability between RCS and iMessage will become reality on iPhone from iOS 18, iPadOS 19, and the next version of macOS.

Something new should arrive soon on Apple Plans. The mapping application should slightly reduce the gap with Google Maps, particularly from the point of view of routes, which become customizable.

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In addition, the strangeness of the presence or absence of topographical maps depending on whether they are displayed on Apple Watch or on iPhone should disappear.

These maps are very useful for assessing the relief of the terrain, which is a must for fans of hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Safari should also benefit from new features, including a mysterious “Safari Search Assistant” spotted among the variables available on Apple's servers. Given the expectations around what Apple is preparing around generative AI, everything indicates that this functionality will be part of the company's new developments in this area.

iOS 18: release date, compatibility, AI and big new features, everything you need to know

Google search bar on the iOS 17 home screen/Presse-Citron.net

The design of Apple software interfaces is generally a continuation of the previous versions, simply refining the user experience with subtle modifications, but giving a feeling of freshness and changing a few ergonomic points.

iOS 18 is undoubtedly set to go further. And if we suspect it, it is through these design codes which denote a little in iOS 17, such as for example the configuration screens of the Action button, therefore sometimes returning to a sort of skeuomorphism reminiscent of the Mac OS while experiencing full screen animations. Beyond that, the visionOS design language designed for the Vision Pro headset could inspire iOS 18.

There would also be more customization options for the Home of iPhones with, for example, freer placement of application icons (as has always been the case on Android, much to the chagrin of many switchers).

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116