Tech Published: 18 April 2024 Update: 18 April 2024

iOS 18: Everything single thing we know so far

Tech news
Visual interpretation of iOS 18

iOS 18, Apple’s next big annual update, is several months away, but it’s never too early to start talking about it.

Yes, rumors are already flying around about iOS 18, the theoretical follow-up to last year’s iOS 17 update. I say “theoretical” because Apple has yet to publicly talk about it, but you can rest easy knowing it’ll almost certainly come out at some point this year. And when it does, it may or may not be a total overhaul of the iOS experience (more on this later).

Here’s everything we know about iOS 18 so far.

iOS 18 release date

This part is easy. Even with no confirmation from Apple, we can safely assume iOS 18 will launch in September, around the same time as the also-unconfirmed iPhone 16.

That’s because every new version of iOS launches in September, around the same time as the new iPhone. Unlike MacBooks and iPads, iOS release dates are

iOS 18 features

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a well-known Apple prognosticator, reported in January that iOS 18 will “one of the biggest” updates in iOS history.

AI and Siri

Expect iOS 18 to have some kind of emphasis on AI, generative or otherwise.

Apple's Siri icon
Siri could get an AI boost
Credit: Apple

This could mean improvements to Siri as well as AI integration into Messages and other built-in iOS apps. Perhaps Messages could proofread your texts for you, or Safari could summarize webpages. These features would be in line with what Samsung and Google have done with their most recent flagship devices.

Keep in mind, however, that Apple is not planning to debut its own generative AI chatbot, according to Gurman.

Instead, Apple is reportedly in talks with companies like Google, OpenAI, and Baidu for key AI partnerships (via MacRumors). Also revealed in his Power On newsletter, Gurman said “it looks like the initial wave of [artificial intelligence] features will work entirely on device.

In other words, iOS 18’s reported new AI features won’t be relying on cloud processing.

And finally, according to a backend code discovered by Nicolás Álvarez, Safari will reportedly have an AI-powered browsing assistant. (A MacRumors contributor confirmed the code exists.)

RCS messaging standard

Aside from that, the best prediction we can make regarding iOS 18 is that texting with Android users will probably be a better experience.

iMessage on iPhone

Credit: Apple

That’s because Apple already confirmed it will adopt the Rich Communication Services (or RCS) messaging standard starting this year.

As MacRumors pointed out, this means that the following should see improvements between iOS and Android devices:

  • Wi-Fi messaging

  • Read receipts

  • Typing indicators

  • Audio messages

  • Resolution of photos and videos

We’re also expecting to see improvements to group chats between iPhone and Android phones.


When it comes to accessibility features, which includes settings that better support your vision, mobility, hearing, and cognitive needs, iOS 18 is reportedly getting some enhancements.

First up is Live Speech. This perk, which lets you type what you want to say before it gets read aloud, is getting a new “Categories” feature, according to MacRumors.

With this new functionality, you’ll now have the option to organize frequently used or favorite phrases into categories of your choice.

Secondly, rumor has it that Apple is rolling out “Adaptive Voice Shortcuts,” which lets you map custom phrases to a specific accessibility feature. As such, if you say a specific custom phrase, you should be able to launch the accessibility feature that you linked it to.

More customizable Home Screens

Historically, Apple hasn’t really let iPhone Home Screen customization roam free, aside from giving users the ability to move icons around. But according to MacRumors, Apple could roll out a Home Screen refresh with iOS 18, with users reportedly to be given more freedom with icon arrangement — and per Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, more customization could also be coming for Lock Screens too.

Apple Maps

According to MacRumors, iOS 18 will bring two new features to Apple Maps:

  • Custom routes

  • Topographic maps

Custom routes allows users to select roads of their choice before navigating from point A to point B, a feature Google Maps already supports.

Apple Maps

Credit: Apple

Topographic maps, which already debuted on Apple Watch via watchOS 10, allow users to see maps with more detail, including contour lines, trails, elevation, and more.

Notes app

According to an exclusive from AppleInsider, the Notes app will have two new features in iOS 18:

  • Built-in audio recording support

  • “Math Notes,” a feature that leverages Apple Calculator

Diving a little deeper into these new features, the Notes app in iOS 18 is reportedly getting an audio recording perk in the app. Users will likely have the option to add images and texts to these voice notes. For example, a student can record a lecture and add screenshots of their lecture to the audio capture.

There’s also an alleged new “Math Notes” feature. “The update is likely to usher in support for displaying mathematic notation, an essential shorthand for academic, science, and engineering applications,” AppleInsider said.

AirPods ‘hearing aid mode’

Alongside the release of iOS 18, Gurman claims that the AirPods Pro will get a new “hearing aid mode.”

AirPods Pro with USB-C

Credit: Stan Schroeder / Mashable

Keep in mind that the AirPods Pro already have a Conversation Boost feature, which increases the clarity of speakers directly in front of the user. However, what Apple has planned for its earbuds is reportedly a slight upgrade.

iOS 18 is expected to be revealed at WWDC 2024 in June. Stay tuned for Mashable’s coverage on the highly anticipated Apple event.

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