Big Shot Analyst Believes iOS 18 Could Be the ‘Biggest’ Software Update in History

iOS 18
In Short
  • Apple's iOS 18 is expected to be the biggest software update in the history of iPhones, as per Bloomberg's Mark Gurman
  • Generative AI could be the foundation of iOS 18.
  • The iPhone 11 and newer models will make it to the iOS 18-supported devices list.

Apple will officially showcase iOS 18 at its Annual WWDC 2024 in June. That said, some major leaks and rumors are already hitting the horizon. Last year, Apple’s iOS 17 brought some impressive features like Contact Posters and NameDrop, but it didn’t feel much of an overhaul. In fact, it has been a long time since the Cupertino tech giant came up with an iOS iteration that’s truly a massive one. Interestingly, Apple has some big plans to make iOS 18 its next big thing in the iPhone’s history.

The information comes from the subscriber-only Q/A section in the Power On newsletter where Mark Gurman said that “iOS 18 has the potential to be the biggest iPhone software update in Apple’s history.

“I’m told that the new operating system is seen within the company as one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company’s history”– Mark Gurman

Gurman plans to share more details on the significant changes and some of the iOS 18 features that are in Apple’s pipeline. We know that Artificial Intelligence will play a huge in laying the iOS 18’s foundation. While we may not have something concrete about what Apple is exactly cooking, we have some idea about the features that could make iOS 18 as grand as the giant believes. Let’s have a look.

Smarter Siri

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

According to Gurman, iOS 18 will feature generative AI technology to introduce native ChatGPT-like capabilities to iPhones. In 2023, Open AI released ChatGPT and it instantly became the next big thing of the present and future tech. Also, many big names in the tech space like Microsoft, Google, and others have already released their AI chatbots.

 Mark Gurman believes generative AI should “improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences“. He further added that this feature isn’t limited to Siri, Apple has also explored generative AI features for Apple Music, Keynote, Pages, and Xcode platforms. These features are expected to make a debut with a software upgrade coming next year, which is iOS 18.

Previously, The Information also reported about Apple’s plans to incorporate large language models into Siri for deeper integration into the Shortcuts app, allowing users to automate complex tasks. Since the AI wave has recently hit the smartphone industry, it would be damn exciting to see how Apple plays around and impress its iPhone fans.

RCS Support

In November 2023, Apple confirmed that the Messages app on iPhones will support RCS Messaging, starting later in 2024. Based on this timeframe, RCS Messaging would be an iOS 18 feature. For reference, the RCS messaging standard should improve the default messaging experience between iPhone and Android users. Putting it simply, Apple will extend the modern iMessage features to the green bubbles. The list includes the following:

  • Higher-resolution photos & video
  • Audio messages
  • Read receipts
  • Typing indicators
  • Better encryption
  • Location sharing 
  • Messaging using Wi-Fi
  • Improved group chats

The first iOS 18 Developer Beta iOS 18 will be rolled out after WWDC 2024 in June, with the polished public version arriving sometime in September with the iPhone 16 series. If we look at Apple’s way of offering software support to its iPhones, all the models released in 2019 and later will get iOS 18 support. So, iPhone 11 and newer models would make it to the list of iOS 18 supported devices.

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