The next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 18, has the potential to revolutionise how we use and interact with the iPhone radically. According to Bloomberg, this will be Apple's most significant software update. The most recent iteration will be unveiled at WWDC 2024 in June. It will be available to the general public before the end of this year, coinciding with the debut of iPhone 16.
Support for RCS
Apple has confirmed that the iOS 18 upgrade will support the RCS protocol in iMessage, allowing users to send multimedia files, voice messages, and more. Despite this, an Android text message will seem green, maintaining the history of the blue and green bubble argument.
According to multiple reports, Apple is bringing app sideloading in Europe with the iOS 17.4 update. A similar capability could be made accessible worldwide with the iOS 18 upgrade, in which users must first download a third-party app store from Apple's App Store before downloading and installing apps signed and unsigned by Apple. Until now, Apple has not allowed iPhone users to sideload programs, thus, installing an app or game from outside the App Store requires jailbreaking an iPhone.
Apple is likely to upgrade Siri with ChatGPT-style generative AI capabilities. While Bloomberg previously stated that Apple is creating its own generative AI model, a fresh rumour by 9to5Mac suggests that Apple may leverage OpenAI's GPT technology, similar to Copilot, to power some of the following AI-powered features on iPhones. In addition, Apple is likely to add generative AI capabilities to the notes and music apps and AI-powered photo and video editing features comparable to the latest Google and Samsung flagships.
The future iOS 17.4 update will allow developers to construct web browsers without using WebKit, Apple's fundamental web browser architecture. Prominent companies such as Opera have already released a new AI-powered web browser that supports desktop-style online browsing, and iOS 18 may extensively integrate this protocol. This will enable third-party developers to create a fully customisable web browser outside the strict Webkit architecture.
Third-party payment gateway
iOS 18 could include a third-party payment mechanism for app subscriptions, cutting purchase or subscription fees by up to 30%. Companies such as Spotify and Epic are already developing their payment gateways for iPhones, which will initially be available in Europe, and the iOS 18 update may offer a comparable experience globally.