iOS 18: Apple reveals major update coming to iPhone with new features

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Apple has released one of its biggest ever iPhone updates, iOS 18.

It comes with a host of new tools including what Apple said is its “biggest ever” update to the Photos app.

It will also allow people to customise the iPhone in new ways. Apps can be moved around more easily on the home screen, for instance, and their colours can be changed.


Those apps can also be hidden entirely, and locked behind face recognition to ensure that those apps cannot be accessed by someone who is sharing the phone.

The control centre, which is used to quickly change settings on the iPhone and other accessories, has also been redesigned. Other apps can now more offer their own controls.

Apple has also added new text effects within iMessage, so that words can be underlined or given new dramatic movements, and they can also be scheduled to send later. And the Mail app has been updated with filtering, so that it will automatically pick out the most important messages.

And there will be new satellite messaging features on those devices – the iPhone 14 and later – that support it. Users will now be able to send texts even when they are out of signal.

But perhaps the most dramatic change is likely to be the release of “Apple Intelligence”, a new branding for AI features, as well as updates to Siri. That will start with a new animation when Siri is invoked – and a host of new ways to interact with it.

Many of those features are however limited to the latest and most premium versions of the iPhone. Apple Intelligence will only be available on the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Max, the company said.

Those features are also not available in the beta version of the software, which Apple released to developers after its announcement. Apple Intelligence will come in an early version in the autumn, it said.

Those updates will also come to iPadOS 18, the operating system for Apple’s tablets. That will also bing new designs for apps, including a new tab bar and updated animations.

Both the iPad and iPhone will have new ways of remotely controlling a device, to make it easier to help other people. They can take control of a device and draw on the screen to help them out.

The iPhone and iPad updates – along with Apple’s other new software for the Mac and Vision Pro – will available to developers from today. They will then be released as public betas in July, before a full release in autumn.

Many of those other software updates share new features with the iPhone, such as the new text effects. Others interact with the iPhone: a new mirroring tool means that it can be controlled from the Mac, for instance.