The WWDC 2024 event is only days away, and while we don’t know about everything Apple intends to announce, we do know its iOS 18 features will wow the crowd. The iOS 18 update coming to the iPhone could bring some of the “biggest” software upgrades to the device according to Mark Gurman, with “relatively groundbreaking” changes that are set to reshape the future of the iPhone. The iOS 18 rumors indicate that generative AI will be a big part of what makes the update impressive, which was to be expected—it’s about time Apple steps up its AI game. Apart from the iOS 18 AI updates, we will see a few other useability changes arrive on the devices, making the smartphone much simpler to use.

Our WWDC 2024 expectations have been set and we’re excited to see how things now unfold on June 10, 2024. 

iOS 18 preview

iOS 18 Features—What to Expect from the Worldwide Developer Conference in 2024

From home screen customizations to Notes app upgrades, there are a lot of interesting details we’ve seen from the iOS 18 rumors and previews. Some of these features will have Android users shaking their heads at how long Apple took to catch up to the most basic smartphone details, but other updates are more unique to the Apple experience. iOS 17.5 had a variety of minor upgrades like the edits to the Books app and an upgraded podcast widget, but there were also some impressive details like their partnership with Google to promote anti-stalking features. 

Apple was also faced with major controversy after the iOS 17.5 updates caused deleted photos to resurface, even on devices that had supposedly been wiped clean and reset. The company fixed it with another update and blamed the incident on a bug, but the situation was unsettling, to say the least. The company needs to stay on guard and ensure no such problem slips in with the iOS 18 features that are announced later this month.

iOS 18 AI Updates Reign Supreme

Apple’s partnership with OpenAI has been generating a lot of attention as we’re looking at a ChatGPT integration in iOS 18. Many at the iPhone company have reportedly been averse to the collaboration but regardless of individual sentiment, it does appear the deal is going forward. We’re not sure how Apple’s rumored collaboration with Google for the Gemini bot has turned out now considering the OpenAI deal, but it seems Apple is considering a few different options for AI integration across platforms. MacRumors has suggested that Apple may even give its users a way to opt-in to the AI services, allowing those who aren’t a fan of these details to stay far from it.

How and where the chatbot will appear on the iPhone is still something of a mystery, but there should be a substantial presence of AI among the iOS 18 features. In relation to the on-device iOS 18 AI update, there are a range of integrations that Apple could consider:

  • AI Auto-generated Apple Music playlists
  • Photo editing assistance
  • Reply suggestions in emails and messages
  • Emoji generation or animated reactions within texts
  • Note summaries and voice note transcripts
  • Recap of missed notifications 

Siri Gets A New Leash on Life

If the iOS 18 rumors are to be believed, Siri should be one of the bigger winners of the AI collaboration. The assistant should soon have a more natural, life-like persona, and should be better integrated into the company’s native apps. With support for “hundreds” of commands, Siri will eventually be able to handle multiple tasks with one request. Simple tasks like moving files around and summarizing information should be much easier with Siri. Powered by her own Large Language Model (LLM), the assistant is set to provide more comprehensive support for everyday tasks.

iOS 18 rumors

Image: The iPhone 15 Pro

iOS 18 Updates Prioritize Home Screen Customization

Among the many iOS 18 rumors we’ve seen, one suggests that users will now be able to move their apps and widgets around more freely on their home screen. Similar to the Android layout options, iPhone users will no longer have to stick to the fixed grid layout and can realign apps the way they like. This may seem like a minor feature, but it’s a detail we’d expected from Apple eons ago.

In addition to this customizability, Bloomberg believes that Apple users will now be able to customize app icons to suit the theme of their choice. While this iOS 18 feature sounds like something we’d love, we aren’t allowing ourselves to get too excited yet considering we don’t know exactly how this will be rolled out. From the rumors, we understand that the iPhone may let users change the color of app icons, allowing a specific category of apps to be a particular color. If that’s all there is to it, we may not find the update as exciting so we’re hoping there’s more to it. 

The Setting App is Set to Change with iOS 18

While they’re working on revamping things on the iPhone, the iOS 18 features include design changes that should make the app easier to navigate. The Control Center will also see some changes, with updated widgets and improved HomeKit support. The watchOS 10’s topographic map feature could also arrive on the iPhone.

Safari To See Improvements

The iOS 18 features should also include improvements to the search experience on the device and on the Safari browser. The “Intelligent Search” option should be able to summarize topics and webpages and a “Web Eraser” tool will allow users to eliminate parts of a webpage. How well this will work is a detail we’re quite interested in seeing, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Apple Maps to Benefit According to The iOS 18 Preview

Another one of the WWDC 2024 expectations is that Apple Maps will get an iOS 18 upgrade as well. A custom route feature should soon be available, which will allow users to design their own route for a trip that’s coming up. While you can still rely on Apple’s own route suggestions for your journey, you can set the app to guide you along your preferred route as well.

The iOS 18 rumors also indicate that Apple will bring RCS messaging standard support to its smartphones, which means it’s finally time for better integration between iPhone and Android devices. There are other rumors that have flitted around such as the fact that the calendar app will see better integrations and the notes app will support more complex mathematical equations among other things.

While we’re most excited about the iOS updates, the WWDC 2024 expectations around macOS 15 and iPadOS 18 are also substantial. There should be a lot to discuss on June 10, as soon as we hear everything the company has to say about their products and services. Considering how much we have to look forward to, we’re going to allow the company to gloss over its recent controversies and show us what they have in line for us next.