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iOS 18: Biggest software update in iPhone history?

iOS 18 could be the biggest iOS update ever. It will support RCS and a much smarter Siri for the first time on iPhones.
Apple iPhone 16 Pro

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has big plans for iOS 18. In the Q&A session of its Power On newsletter, Gurman said that iOS 18 has the potential to be the biggest software update in iPhone history. “I’m told that the new operating system is considered within the company to be one of the biggest iOS updates – if not the biggest – in the company’s history,” he wrote.

Gurman said he plans to share more details about planned iOS 18 features and changes in the future. Two of the new features that are likely to be part of the update are already known. Apple will release iOS 18 in September. The first beta for developers will be released during Apple’s annual developer conference WWDC in June.

iOS 18 with RCS

In November 2023, Apple announced that it would support the RCS cross-platform messaging standard in the Messages app on iPhone starting “later” in 2024. So it will likely be an iOS 18 feature based on that time frame.

RCS support should result in the following improvements to the standard messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices:

  • Higher resolution photos and videos
  • Audio messages
  • Tip indicators
  • Read receipts
  • Wi-Fi messaging between iPhones and Android devices
  • Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a chat that also includes Android users
  • Improved encryption compared to SMS

These modern features are already available for iPhone-to-iPhone conversations with Blue Bubbles via iMessage. Many of the features are also available in third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram. RCS support on iPhone will extend functionality to green speech bubbles in the Messages app.

Siri is getting smarter

Gurman expects iOS 18 to include generative AI technology that “should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences.” He said Apple is also exploring generative AI features for other apps on its platforms. These include Apple Music, Pages, Keynote and Xcode.

The Information also reported that Apple plans to build large language models into Siri to allow users to automate complex tasks. The feature is also said to include deeper integration with the Shortcuts app. The report says this feature will appear in an iPhone software update in 2024, likely in iOS 18.

Generative AI became popular in 2022 when OpenAI released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can respond to questions and other prompts. Google with Bard and Microsoft with Copilot released similar chatbots last year, and more and more companies are moving into this space. The chatbots are trained with large language models so that they can respond like a human.


Toni Hobrecht
1 Comment
  1. Every year is the same… After I upgraded to iOS 17 last year, my iPhone sometimes froze on lock screen. I don’t know why but I used the repair tool TunesKit iOS System Recovery. Repair successful. But what I really need is a more secure and stable iOS system.

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