iOS 18 With Home Screen Customisation, Improved Privacy Controls Unveiled at WWDC 2024


iOS 18 was unveiled at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event on Monday, along with several new features and capabilities with artificial intelligence, as well as Home Screen customisation options. The latest version of iOS will add support for vastly improved control centre options along with support for controls from third party apps, according to the company. iOS 18 also takes advantage of Apple’s processors to deliver new features that will be available on eligible iPhone models later this year, when the iOS 18 update rolls out. 

Apple is also improving privacy features on iOS 18 including the ability to control how data is shared with apps. With iOS 18, users will be able to share specific contacts with apps instead of providing access to their entire contact list. Meanwhile, users will also be able to lock certain apps from their home screen, preventing unauthorised users to access these apps without biometric authentication or the device’s passcode.

ios 18 wwdc 2024 apple ios 18

iOS 18 will introduce Home Screen customisation along with Messages and Photos upgrades
Photo Credit: Apple

Siri is getting an upgrade with iOS 18 to make the assistant more conversational, alongside a new interface and app icon. Apple says the virtual assistant will allow users to Type to Siri alongside using voice commands, depending on where they are. Siri is also set to get On-Screen Awareness features powered by Apple Intelligence, the company’s privacy focussed artificial intelligence (AI) system that will be rolled out later this year. Apple Intelligence will be available in beta form in English (US) and only on two smartphones — the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The Messages app will gain support for new features with iOS 18, including support for RCS messaging, text formatting, and using emoji in Tapback responses. Users with an iPhone 14 and newer models in supported regions will also be able to use satellite connectivity to send texts and emoji via the Messages app.

Incoming support for RCS messaging means texting between iPhone and Android smartphones will finally be on par with iMessage — at least in terms of image quality and group chats. Text formatting is already available in rival messaging apps, and will allow users to send messages with four different formatting styles.

According to the company, iOS 18 will also introduce support for third party controls in the Control Center, while users will be able to swipe across pages to see more controls and toggles. A controls gallery will also showcase all the available controls available, including those from installed third party apps, and users can select custom layouts for these toggles on iOS 18.

Other customisation options coming to iOS 18 include the ability to pick custom lock screen shortcuts or remove them. The shortcuts will also include options from the aforementioned control gallery, according to Apple.

Apple is also introducing a new Passwords app on iOS 18 that will also be available on iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia and visionOS 2, as well as Windows computers. This app will allow users to see their passwords and edit them, view verification codes, and see weak passwords or those spotted in data leaks.

iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR and newer models, up to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which means the same models that supported the company’s current generation iOS 17 smartphone OS will be able to update to the upcoming version later this year. Just like previous versions, certain iOS 18 features won’t be visible on older models, according to the company.

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