Apple is gearing up for a significant overhaul of its iPhone operating system with the arrival of iOS 18, as reported by Bloomberg’s tech expert, Mark Gurman.
In his exclusive subscriber-only Q&A segment within the Power On newsletter, Gurman provided insights into this forthcoming update, hinting at its potential to become the most substantial software transformation in the history of the iPhone.
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.
While the precise details regarding the features and enhancements within iOS 18 remain closely guarded for now, Gurman alluded to future revelations.
One of the biggest changes coming to iOS 18 is the adoption of Rich Communication Services (RCS), which would finally allow iPhones to seamlessly message with Android devices and vice versa. Google and other companies have been pushing Apple to adopt RCS for ages and it may finally happen with iOS 18.
Apple had previously signaled its commitment to embracing RCS in the iMessage app for iPhones, with an official announcement made in November 2023. The company outlined its intention to introduce this support “later” in 2024, a timeline that aligns closely with the anticipated launch of iOS 18.
With RCS support, users will gain the ability to seamlessly exchange high-resolution photos and videos, benefit from read receipts and typing indicators, and actively participate in group chats, bridging the divide between Android and iPhone users.
Generative AI for Apps
Furthermore, Apple is actively delving into the realm of generative AI technology, a development that carries the potential to revolutionize user interactions with both Siri and the Messages app. As Mark Gurman notes, this innovative AI technology is expected to elevate the capacity of these applications to handle inquiries and autonomously complete sentences.
Gurman also reveals that the company is exploring the incorporation of AI features across a spectrum of applications such as Apple Music, Pages, Keynote, and Xcode.
AI for Siri
The Information indicates the tech giant’s plans to incorporate large language models into Siri. This aims to empower users by automating intricate tasks, all while fostering deeper integration with the acclaimed Shortcuts app.
These updates are expected to launch around September this year, which is when Apple usually unveils new iPhones and their supporting software, which would be iOS 18 in this case.