The tech giant is expected to unveil the next big OS update to its iPhone range at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WDCC) in June and while it is yet to reveal any information regarding what it will involve, the rumor mill has already gone into overdrive.
Bloomberg’s Chief Correspondent, Mark Gurman, said in the Q&A section of his subscriber-only Power On newsletter over the weekend: “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.” Gurman said he plans to provide updates on the changes in iOS 18 in the future.
Rumors, though, are already weighted towards developments in generative artificial intelligence (AI), as well as significant updates to iPhone’s Messages app.
What can we expect to see in iOS 18?
RCS Support for iPhones
Firstly, Rich Communications Services (RCS) support is expected to be implemented in iOS 18, following Apple’s promise in November last year that they would adopt RCS for iOS. While RCS is a messaging standard, it’s believed it will come with several fresh features, including typing indicators, read recipes, audio messages and higher-resolution images and videos.
iPhones don’t currently support RCS universally, only within its iMessage service for iPhone-to-iPhone messaging. But this update could bring all of those features to the entire Messages app, which will mean conversations between iPhone and Android users will now benefit from RCS as standard.
Siri with generative AI
Siri is also expected to receive an important update as Apple attempts to inject generative AI technology into its digital assistant. In his Q&A, Gurman said that it “should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences” while he also hinted that Apple is exploring similar generative AI features for other apps across its platforms, including Pages, Keynote, Apple Music and Xcode.
It was reported last year that Apple intends to incorporate large language models into Siri, which would allow users to automate complete tasks.