iOS 18 announced with Apple Intelligence, ChatGPT in Siri, Passwords app, Photos and Messages improvements

Ashwin
Jun 11, 2024
Apple
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Apple has officially announced iOS 18 beta, along with the beta versions of iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia. Here are the biggest improvements and new features for iPhone.

What's new in iOS 18

New Customization options

iOS 18 allows users to personalize the Home Screen and Lock Screen with the same wallpaper, and it switches between the two screens seamlessly. You can place app icons or widgets anywhere on the home screen. App icons will automatically become darker when your iPhone switches to Dark Mode. You can manually edit the tint color of the icons, or use let iOS pick the tint based on your wallpaper.

Control Center now supports multiple screens that you can access with a swipe gesture, allowing you to manage media playback, Home Controls, etc. Users may customize the options that are available on the Control Center, using the new Control Center Gallery. The controls can be resized, just like widgets. You can also access the controls from the lock screen, by replacing the camera and flashlight controls. Apple has extended these options to third-party apps, so you can place controls for your favorite apps on the control Center. iPhone 15 Pro users can access the controls by clicking on the Action button.

Privacy controls

Apple has introduced an option in iOS 18 that lets you lock an app with your Face ID, Touch ID or pass code. This will prevent other users from accessing the app, when you hand over your phone to them for sharing a video, photo, or to play a game. The new privacy controls prevent sensitive data from locked apps from appearing in search, notifications, Siri and Spotlight, Call History, and Maps routing suggestions. Users can use the hide app feature, which moves a selected app to a hidden app folder that only they can access.

Apps can now be granted restricted access to your contacts, i.e. you can choose which contacts an app will be able to see. Apple is also allowing you to control the way how apps connect to your accessories such as Bluetooth devices, which will prevent the apps from discovering or connecting to other devices, aka secure Bluetooth pairing.

Schedule Messages, Format Text, Add Text Effects, react with new Tapbacks, and use Satellite Messaging

The Messages app in iOS 18 has an improved Tapbacks panel, which lets you react to messages using any emoji or sticker. You can schedule messages to be sent later in the Messages app, for example, to wish someone on their birthday.

iOS 18's Messages app supports text formatting options such as bold, italics, underlined or strike through in any text. There are some new animations in the app, called Text Effects, that you can use to express your emotions in messages. Some text effects examples include shake, nod, explode.

Apple has improved upon its Satellite communication feature which it introduced in iOS 16' Emergency SOS Satellite. Messages in iOS 18 lets you send and receive text messages, emoji and tapbacks via Satellite, when you are not connected to a mobile signal or Wi-Fi network. The messages are end-to-end encrypted. Satellite messaging also works for SMS texting, when you are communicating with people who don't have iMessage. This feature is supported on iPhone 14 or later.

RCS support is being added in iOS 18, which will finally allow iPhone users to send higher quality images and videos to Android devices, as well as support other RCS functions like typing indicator, delivery and read receipts, etc. On a side note, the Calendar app now supports Reminders.

Mail app

The Mail app supports automatic incoming email categorization, which organizes your messages into different categories like Primary, transactions, updates, and promotions. The organization of your messages takes place on-device.

The Primary category is quite similar to the Focused Inbox in Microsoft Outlook or Gmail's Priority Inbox. Apple Mail will place important messages under the Primary tab. The Mail app can create digest views to gather all important information from a sender, e.g. an airline, and lets you view/interact with them more easily. Tapping the All Mail button displays all messages on a single page.

Redesigned Photos app

The Photos app has received a complete makeover. The new design displays a Photo grid at the top of the screen, while your library's contents are categorized into different themes, which Apple calls Collections. These include topics like People and Pets, Trips, Memories, etc. Collections are customizable, can be rearranged and pinned. The recent days section filters receipts, screenshots, to display photos and videos that you took recently. Images are displayed in a grid view, with an autoplaying slide at the top of the collection. The bottom of the app's UI is home to timeline options such as months and year views, that lets you relive memories as they happened. The filter button on the bottom left can be used to narrow down your photo library, for example, you can toggle screenshots to hide them, and only view photos and videos in your library.

iOS 18 also improves Maps with topographic maps, adds Tap to Cash in Apple Wallet without sharing phone numbers or emails. Gamers can toggle Game Mode for a more immersive experience similar to that on macOS.

Apple Passwords app debuts

Apple has announced its Passwords app for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Vision Pro and Windows. The app allows users to create secure passwords for online accounts and stores them securely in the cloud. The data is end-to-end encrypted and syncs across your devices.

You can also use it to store passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, verification codes. Apple says that the Passwords app will alert users when it discovers weak passwords, reused passwords, and those that have been found in data leaks.

This could prove to be a solid contender that could disrupt third-party password managers like Bitwarden, 1Password, etc.

Meet the new AI - Apple Intelligence

And now for the most debated topic, A.I. on Apple devices. Apple has announced its own artificial intelligence feature, called Apple Intelligence. An A.I. called AI? I see what you did there, Apple. The Cupertino company says that this is a personal intelligence, that focuses on your needs, for example to prioritize important notifications at the top of the lock screen.

Apple Intelligence can be used to generate text, rewrite, proofread, and summarize text. The tool is available systemwide across iOS 18, macOS 18, and iPadOS 18, in many apps including Mail, Safari, Notes, Keynote. Apple says that its A.I. is also compatible with third-party apps.

Users can use Apple Intelligence to create unique photos, emojis, GIFs. The tool supports three styles: Sketch, Illustration and Animation. It can even recognize photos of people in your library, and lets you create personalized photos such a birthday card. The image capabilities of the A.I. will be available across Notes, Keynote, Freeform, and Pages.

Apple Intelligence supports app actions, you can ask it to do things like open the camera or a specific file, record and transcribe audio, and it will perform the tasks for you. The AI can also create custom emojis using GenMoji.

Apple has highlighted its AI capabilities to use personal context, and its deep integration in the operating system and apps allows it to aggregate data to perform tasks that you want it to do. The tool has been designed in a privacy-centric way, all Apple Intelligence tasks are handled using on-device processing on A17 and Apple M Silicon chips. The company says that data is never stored or shared with Apple, you can learn more about it here.

ChatGPT in Siri, Type to Siri

Apple's personal digital assistant, Siri, has been reworked. Siri can now understand natural language more accurately, including corrections that you make after speaking. It can also understand the context, and is capable of on-screen awareness to understand the content on the screen. Siri offers step-by-step guidance when you ask it to help with a feature that you don't know, e.g. how to schedule a message to be sent later? Users can now type to Siri by double tapping the bottom of the screen, and type in a task, like setting an alarm. This works similar to how you may interact with chatbots.

Apple has partnered with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT in Siri, powered by GPT-4o. You can ask questions to Siri, and it will offer to connect to ChatGPT to answer your queries, you can choose to cancel the action. ChatGPT is also able in writing tools to compose text. Apple says that the data is not logged, to protect the privacy of users. Users with a ChatGPT subscription will be able to access the paid features of the chatbot right within the operating system.

And now for the bad news, Apple Intelligence is only supported on the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPad and Mac with M1 and later. So, even the iPhone 15 won't get it, only the most expensive models will have access to the AI.

Apple says that Apple Intelligence features will debut this fall, and will be available for users who have their Siri and device language set to U.S. English. Apple Intelligence will compete head on with the likes of Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini.

Which devices are eligible for iOS 18?

iOS 18 is compatible with the following devices.

  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)

Refer to the official preview page for further information.

iPadOS is getting a Calculator app

iPadOS 18 brings a much requested feature to Apple's tablet devices, yes it's true, you can now use the Calculator app on your iPad. The new operating system comes with redesigned apps and an animated tab bar. I'm running out of room here, so please refer to the official website for more details about iPadOS 18.

iPadOS 18 is compatible with these devices:

  • iPad Pro (M4)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Air (M2)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (7th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

(Images via Apple)

Which feature do you like in iOS 18?

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iOS 18 announced with Apple Intelligence AI, ChatGPT in Siri, Passwords app, Photos and Messages improvements
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We take a look at the new features in iOS 18.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on June 15, 2024 at 1:51 pm
    Reply

    it is insane that apple does not care for us any more ai is a clear danger and not one of microsoft and apple and amazon and google care for you any more ai used by hackers with ai they can’t be stopped and all of these companys knows in and microsoft let hackers hack in to the main core and steal and ai did not do one thing to stop them companys data breach’s gone sky high because of ai and to this day windows 11 has not been fix at all they just keep adding junk and no fix for mess up video driver and use drivers and sound drivers mess that has not been fix in 2024

  2. Darwin said on June 12, 2024 at 9:58 pm
    Reply

    Lots of improvements. The mail app has always had technical issues and now it’s going to have usability issues. Time for me to switch. QUESTION: If you are NOT using the stock Apple iOS mail app, what are you using instead? I’m looking for a vanilla mail app that supports gmail, exchange, and imap/smtp without doing processing on somebody’s server. That leaves out almost all the Spark-like alternatives.

    1. Ashwin said on June 13, 2024 at 6:23 am
      Reply

      I’ve been looking for something similar to FairEmail and K-9 Mail for Android. Sadly, there is no open source mail client for iOS, and most if not all the other mail apps collect some form of telemetry or other data. Besides, many third-party apps have a subscription, and/or have an A.I. feature now. This leaves Apple Mail as the only choice for me.

  3. Jody Thornton said on June 12, 2024 at 1:20 pm
    Reply

    Does this announcement dictate when extended update support ends for iOS 15?

  4. AppleFive said on June 11, 2024 at 10:45 pm
    Reply

    A calculator app, a password manager, and the ability to change the color of icons? What year is this 1999? Apple is unable to develop new features that will keep iSheeps interested.

    1. bruh said on June 12, 2024 at 5:38 pm
      Reply

      Come on now, nobody was talking about or cared about password managers in 1999, surely? But yes I agree, window-dressing instead of anything truly valuable.

      1. Anonymous said on June 13, 2024 at 7:51 am
        Reply

        @bruh, I have to be pedantic, there were password managers in 1999, the first one was made on 5th september 1997

      2. bruh said on June 13, 2024 at 10:33 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous,

        Yeah, just like how there were “computers” in the 1960s… my point is that barely anybody used them!

        No doubt most people used samey passwords for everything and just remembered/wrote them down somewhere – I could be wrong but “password managers” hit the mainstream in the past 15 years, tops – only in part because browsers started storing passwords and people began realising they like having a tool to manage this stuff.

      3. Anonymous said on June 13, 2024 at 1:53 pm
        Reply

        @bruh, also lies but okay, 15 years ago was 2009, I’ve browsed the web since the early 2000s, and even the earliest versions of IE/FF had them and I know many people including myself that have extensively used password managers, be it in-browser natively or through an external program/extension/addon, be for real. Just because it wasn’t mainstream for you doesn’t mean it didn’t exist or was used heavily.

  5. Milan said on June 11, 2024 at 2:59 pm
    Reply

    How many ways do you want us to spy on you and sell your data to highest bidder? Apparently Apple things its both desirable and necessary for everyone.

  6. Anonymous said on June 11, 2024 at 1:37 pm
    Reply

    it is called spyware and i find a keylogger in microsoft edge they are now putting spyware in all of apple and microsoft windows 11

    1. Anonymous said on June 11, 2024 at 2:49 pm
      Reply

      bad day?

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