iOS 18: Release Date, Rumored Features & Compatible iPhones

In Short
  • Apple's iOS 18 is expected to make its debut at WWDC 2024.
  • Generative AI could be a huge part of iOS 18.
  • iPhone 11 and newer models are expected to grab a spot in iOS 18 supported devices list.

The next-gen iOS 18 is expected to be Apple’s massive update when it comes next year. That means we are still over seven months away from Apple’s next iOS upgrade, but there are a few rumors and expected features already hitting the horizon. The great news is iOS 18 might be Apple’s next big release, unlike the other software updates we’ve seen in the recent past. Sounds exciting, right? In this article, we’ve summed up everything about iOS 18 to keep you updated with the latest rumors, expected features, and more. We’ll keep updating this piece as the rumor cycle evolves.

Rumored iOS 18 Features

Image Courtesy: Mohit Singh/ Beebom

A Major overhaul with fewer bugs

Several sources suggest that Apple is planning something big with its next iOS update cycle. This year’s iOS 17 packs some impressive features like NameDrop, Contact Posters, and more. But, we might not call it a major overhaul. Rather, it was more of polishing some features while throwing some new capabilities into the mix. Interestingly, this won’t be the case with iOS 18. According to Mark Gurman, the iOS 18 update could be “even more critical than usual” and Apple is taking extra care with the 2024 iOS update.

He further added that the iPhone 16 lineup may not be as noteworthy as the iPhone 15 series, which brings the 48MP primary camera to the vanilla models and a new titanium frame and powerful A17 Pro chipset to the Pro models.

“The iOS update also needs to be extra impressive because the iPhone 16’s hardware won’t have any major advances next year. So Apple is banking on the software to sell people on the new models” – Mark Gurman

Moving on, iOS 18 is likely to have comparatively fewer bugs and flaws. Earlier this month, Mark Gurman reported that Apple paused the development of its 2024 software updates to rule out any glitches and bugs in the code. Well, this is a rare move by Apple. This points to the fact that Apple is being extra cautious with bugs and issues. Therefore, we might see a more polished and less buggy software update next year.

Smarter Siri

Although it’s way too early to talk about iOS 18 features, initial reports suggest that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a huge role to play in the next-gen iOS update. According to a report by Mark Gurman, iOS 18 will feature generative AI technology that became extremely popular last year when OpenAI released ChatGPT.

Also, Google and Microsoft introduced similar chatbots earlier this year, and many other companies have debuted in this space. The introduction of generative AI should “improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences“. This feature is expected to make a debut with a software upgrade coming next year, which is iOS 18.

The Information also reported that the Cupertino tech giant plans to incorporate large language models into Siri for deeper integration with the Shortcuts app so users can automate complex tasks. Analyst Jeff Pu also corroborates with Mark Gurnam as he believes generative AI will be a huge part of iOS 18. What’s more interesting is the Apple team believes that its most advanced language model, Ajax GPT might be better than OpenAI’s GPT 3.5.

Support for RCS Messaging

This month, Apple confirmed that iPhones will support RCS Messaging from next year. Based on this timeframe, RCS Messaging on iPhone could be an iOS 18 feature. The RCS messaging standard should enable smooth communication between iPhone and Android users. It’s worth noting that Apple isn’t replacing iMessage on iPhone with RCS messaging. Rather, they both will co-exist on iPhones for a seamless experience. And, the communication between iPhone users will continue to rely on iMessage. When implemented, RCS should bring several improvements to the current messaging standard between iPhone and Android devices, which include:

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

iOS 18 Release Date

Considering Apple’s past track record of scheduling iOS updates, it’s pretty easy to predict the iOS 18 release date. The giant previews major software updates at its annual World Wide Developer Conference usually held in early June. After the Developer Beta, there are a few weeks of Public Beta, with the polished version arriving in September with new iPhones. Therefore, iOS 18 should be announced at Apple’s WWDC 2024 event in June, with the stable release somewhere in September with the launch of the iPhone 16 series.

While Apple paused the iOS 18 development, it only lasted for a week and shouldn’t impact Apple’s normal release schedules. So, there won’t be any delay in the iOS 18 release.

What iPhones Will Get iOS 18?

Right now, there’s no official statement on iOS 18 supported devices. If we look at iOS 17, Apple dropped the support for the iPhone 8 models, which came out in 2017. That aligns with Apple’s habits of providing five-year or so software updates to its iPhones. If Apple sticks to the 5-year window, iOS 18 should support every iPhone released in 2019 and later. This means iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max would be dropped from the list as they’ll be hitting the 5-year mark in 2024.

Therefore, the iPhone SE (2nd & 3rd gen) and all the models of the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 15 series would make it into the iOS 18 compatible devices list. Of course, the iPhone 16 lineup will come with iOS 18 right out of the box. That being said, we can’t be sure until Apple itself makes a statement, which won’t be happening until June next year.

That’s everything we know about iOS 18 so far. As soon as we come across anything concrete, we’ll add it to update you with the latest iOS 18 news. What features would you like to see in iOS 18? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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