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Beyond Apple Intelligence and an updated Siri, here are some of the top features coming to the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

There has been so much to unpack at WWDC that we are still going through the feature list that you will be greeted to in fall

Mathures Paul Published 13.06.24, 11:20 AM
iOS 18 brings new ways to customise iPhone, additional ways to stay connected in Messages, the biggest-ever redesign of the Photos app, and so much more

iOS 18 brings new ways to customise iPhone, additional ways to stay connected in Messages, the biggest-ever redesign of the Photos app, and so much more The Telegraph

At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a series of major updates coming with iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia and watchOS 11. Of course, the defining feature this year is Apple Intelligence which aims to make using Apple devices easier. Then there is the Math Notes feature with the Calculator app on the iPad and the revival of Siri.
There has been so much to unpack at WWDC that we are still going through the feature list that you will be greeted to in fall. Here are some of the features we are excited about.

Record and transcribe calls

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iOS 18 will let you record calls but the person at the other end would know when this is being done. In fact, you can even transcribe the call. After answering a call or placing a call, you need to enable recording. All call participants are notified that the call is being recorded. As the call gets recorded, the iPhone is also able to provide a transcript. The transcription gets done in the Notes app where you can also generate a summary using the new Apple Intelligence AI system. The audio transcription will currently be available in English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, and Portuguese. The move will make it easier for journalists and other users to record and transcribe calls.

Customisable homescreen

Customisation on the iPhone just got deeper. Earlier, apps were locked to the grid and users had to use workarounds to place apps in different parts of the display. Now, icons can be moved around the screen and placed anywhere you want; you won’t have to block your background wallpaper with icons, if you choose.

And just when we thought ‘dark mode’ can’t get any better, there’s a new dark look for icons. Users can also choose from a customization sheet before tinting icons with colour. The operating system will suggest tint colours that go with the wallpaper. It sounds a bit like Android’s Material You but iOS appears to have a higher level of customisation.

Revamped Control Centre

Control Center is being updated in iOS 18 to offer more customization options, and will allow users to programme quick controls from third-party apps. By swiping from the top-right corner, you can swipe down for even more controls, like music, home controls, specific apps, and more. Swipe continuously to access a greater range of controls. There will also be more control over the Lock Screen. And the Action Button on the iPhone 15 Pro can also invoke these new controls.

A more friendly Photos app

AI is coming to the Photos app to offer users the ability to search for photos using natural language. You can also clean up objects in the background of your pictures.

With Memories, users can create the story they want to see by simply typing a description. Using language and image understanding, Apple Intelligence will pick out the best photos and videos based on the description, craft a storyline with chapters based on themes identified from the photos, and arrange them into a movie with its own narrative arc. Users will even get song suggestions to match their memory from Apple Music.

RCS support

Though Apple announced support for RCS last year, Apple has confirmed that it’s arriving with iOS 18 but the company didn’t go into details beyond that.

The iOS 18 Messages app will still distinguish RCS conversations with green bubbles but users will have many of the best features of iMessage.

Mirror your iPhone on the Mac

Often times we want to mirror our iPhone on the Mac but, at the same time, don’t want to unlock the phone and let people see what’s going on in the background. Apple’s next macOS update will let you mirror your iPhone on your Mac.

Tapback fun on Messages and more

Scheduling messages is something we have always wanted. And it’s coming with updates this fall. Those who use emoji reactions in Messages (via Tapbacks) are also being treated to a surprise — you’ll be able to choose from any emoji instead of the five basic reactions Apple has offered for years. Further, there’s going to be an AI-related change coming to the Messages app — your iPhone will be able to come up with custom emoji depending on what you’re writing.

Make your apps private

There are times you hand the phone over to family members while you squirm in your seat whether they would see something important on the phone. iOS will let you lock specific apps behind Face ID unlock. Information from those apps won’t even show up in your notifications, search or Siri suggestions until you unlock it with your face.

Game mode

Apple is bringing Game Mode to iOS devices as part of iOS 18. It will minimise background activity to keep performance high and latency with controllers and wireless headphones. Gaming is an important segment for Apple. There’s a growing library of big games to play, like Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Resident Evil Village.

How to install iOS 18 and iPadOS developer betas

The final versions of the new OS are coming later this year but Apple has introduced the developer beta of iOS 18 and it is accessible to everyone, non-developers included, for free. Since the new OS is in the beta phase we suggest you install them on an extra device which you may have lying around. iOS 18 will work on iPhone 15 series, iPhone 14 series, iPhone 13 series, iPhone 12 series, iPhone 11 series, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and iPhone SE (second-gen or later). On the iPad front, here are the devices: iPad Pro (M4), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third-gen and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (first-gen and later), iPad Air (M2), iPad Air (third-gen and later), iPad (seventh-gen and later) and iPad Mini (fifth-gen and later).

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