Apple unveils iOS 18 with enhanced personalisation & AI features

iOS 18

Apple has showcased iOS 18, a major update for the iPhone, which introduces a range of innovative features designed to enhance personalisation, enrich user interaction, and amplify device intelligence. The announcement highlights several key updates, including new customisation options, a comprehensive redesign of the Photos app, improved messaging capabilities, and the introduction of Apple Intelligence, a new personal intelligence system.

With iOS 18, Home Screen, Lock Screen, and Control Centre customisation reach new levels. Users can now freely arrange apps and widgets, even positioning them above the dock for easier access. Additionally, the appearance of app icons and widgets can be modified with dark or tinted effects, or made larger to better suit individual preferences. The Control Centre has been redesigned to provide quicker access to frequently used controls, and users can now integrate third-party app controls directly into the interface.

The Photos app has undergone its most significant overhaul to date, introducing a unified view that automatically organises photo libraries and creates thematic collections for easier browsing. Additionally, a new carousel presents daily highlights, and autoplaying content brings photo libraries to life. The app's customisation options allow users to pin favourites and adjust the carousel to display the most important memories prominently.

Message enhancements in iOS 18 bring dynamic text effects to iMessage, enabling users to amplify letters, words, phrases, or emojis with animated designs. Formatting options such as bold, underline, italics, and strikethrough enhance text expression. Furthermore, the Messages app now supports RCS, providing richer multimedia capabilities and more reliable group messaging than traditional SMS and MMS.

A groundbreaking addition to iOS 18 is communication over satellite via the Messages app. This feature permits users to send and receive texts, emoji, and Tapbacks when cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity is unavailable, leveraging the same technology as previous iPhone satellite capabilities. The Dynamic Island feature ensures users are aware of their connection status to the satellite, maintaining privacy through end-to-end encryption for iMessages sent via satellite.

Mail has also received substantial upgrades, with on-device categorisation sorting emails into different categories such as Primary, Transactions, Updates, and Promotions. A new digest view consolidates related emails, allowing users to quickly scan for significant information. This enhancement aims to streamline email management and optimise inbox organisation.

Safari has been updated to provide key webpage information through machine learning. Highlights offer summaries, locations, and multimedia links directly from the article content, while the redesigned Reader view comes with summaries and tables of contents for longer reads, further enhancing the browsing experience.

The introduction of the Passwords app builds on the foundation established by Keychain, making it easier for users to manage their passwords, passkeys, Wi-Fi passwords, and verification codes. The app also offers alerts for common password vulnerabilities, adding an extra layer of security.

Privacy is a central theme in iOS 18. The update includes new features such as the ability to lock and hide apps, ensuring sensitive content and notifications are not inadvertently exposed. Users can control which contacts are shared with specific apps, and new mechanisms allow third-party accessories to connect without accessing other devices on the user's network.

Apple Intelligence, a new system deeply integrated into iOS 18, enhances the user experience by offering writing tools and advanced image capabilities. It supports rewriting, proofreading, and summarising text across various apps, including Mail and Notes. Image Playground allows users to create visuals in different styles quickly, while Memories in Photos automatically crafts storylines from selected pictures and videos.

Siri has also benefited from Apple Intelligence, becoming more natural and contextually aware with the ability to switch between text and voice interactions. Private Cloud Compute ensures privacy by balancing on-device processing and server-based models without storing user data on Apple’s servers. Additionally, access to ChatGPT has been integrated, expanding the reach of AI-driven insights and assistance.

iOS 18 introduces a wealth of additional features, including new capabilities in Apple Maps, enhanced gaming modes, improvements in Apple Pay, SharePlay with Apple Music, and new AirPods functionalities. Updates to the Notes app, Journal app, Calendar, and Health app further enhance the overall user experience, offering tools for organisation, wellbeing, and accessibility improvements.

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