8 ‘Almost Best’ iOS 18 Features You Should Know About

iOS 18 Features You Should Know About

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) just kicked off, and with it came the exciting reveal of iOS 18. There are tons of new functions in iOS 18, from a redesigned Photos app to a revamped Siri. The first Developer Beta version is now available for beta testers before the stable release is officially released in September this year. However, is it worth installing?

To help you decide whether or not you should join the Apple Beta Software Program, let’s go through eight features you should know.

1. Smarter and Better Siri

One of the major upgrades this year is Siri. We call it Siri 2.0, which comes with an entirely new design. After you summon Siri, a glowing light will flicker on the edge of the screen. I find it super cool!

It is now smarter and more contextually aware, something that iPhone users have been looking forward to for a long time.

Apple’s personal assistant will now be able to suggest replies in Messages, control specific functions within apps, or even proactively offer relevant information based on your daily routine.

Furthermore, Siri’s biggest update is its integration with ChatGPT. You can send your query to ChatGPT right on your iPhone through Siri for more detailed information on any topic.

2. Customizable Home Screen, Lock Screen, and Control Center

iOS 18 introduces a new level of customization for your Home Screen. You can now arrange apps and widgets freely on any open space, including placing them right above the dock.

Siri in iOS 18

Not revolutionary updates, but hey, it’s new!

Next up, the Control Center has also received a significant makeover. This has to be the coolest feature added to iOS 18.

iOS 18 Control Center

It is divided into dedicated sections that group related functions together such as sections for media playback, HomeKit controls for smart devices, connectivity, etc. To access these, you can swipe down to open the Control Center and continuously swipe to access all the other sections.

You now have a Controls Gallery where you can browse all available control options and add the ones you use most frequently. Moreover, these control icons can be resized to fit as many options as you need.

iOS 18 Controls Gallery

Speaking of the Lock Screen, you can swap out the default flashlight and camera icons for shortcuts to frequently used apps or functions, such as a calculator, TV remote, or simply any other control, for faster access.

iOS 18 lock screen
Note icon NOTE
Apple introduces its very own Power Button on the top-right of the screen after you swipe down to open the Control Center.

3. Messaging With RCS Support

RCS support is finally coming to your iPhone, a significant upgrade from SMS and MMS. This is a big one for iPhone users who frequently communicate with Android users.

RCS support

You can now enjoy smoother communication with features such as high-quality photo and video sharing, read receipts, and delivered status- all mirroring the iMessage experience.

Another incredible feature that comes with this is an AI-powered emoji. Anything you text, you will have a set of emojis dictating similar emotions behind your text. Incredible, right?

creating an emoji in ios 18
Credit: Apple

That’s not all, you also get access to Messaging via Satellite. This feature utilizes the same satellite technology that powers Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone 14 and later models. You can exchange text messages, emojis, and even Tapbacks even when traditional connections are unavailable.

Messaging via Satellite

4. Photos App Redesigned

iOS 18 finally brings a much-needed redesign to the boring Photo app. It looks more organized with an easy-to-navigate interface.

OS 18 Photo app

All your memories are collected automatically, grouping the photos by location, event, or theme. I loved the new powerful search function, which allows you to search by location, date, image content, or even objects within the photos. For example, type in “Rainbow images from the Hawaii Trip.

The app also features a dynamic carousel at the top of your library. This carousel automatically updates daily and showcases a curated selection of your favorite photos, people, and places.

5. Tap to Cash Is Here!

The Wallet has also been graced with a plethora of new features. On iOS 18, we now have Tap to Cash functionality.

tap to cash wallet app

Similar to the AirDrop feature, you can now send and receive money by simply holding two phones close together. 

You no longer need the phone number or any bank details to send or receive money. Simply bring the two phones closer, authenticate each other with Face ID or passcode, and voila!

6. Set Charging Limit

Not a lot of users know this yet, but you can now set a charging limit on your iPhone.

Unfortunately, this is only available for iPhone 15 models.

This feature allows you to set a maximum charge level for your iPhone battery, preventing it from going all the way to 100%. You can use the slider from the Battery settings to choose between 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, and 100%.

By stopping the charging process at your chosen limit, the feature reduces the amount of stress placed on the battery, potentially helping it maintain a higher capacity for a longer period.

7. Accessibility Features

Apple has taken huge steps in making their iPhone accessible to the differentially abled. Here are some of the features you can check out on iOS 18:

Eye Tracking Control

Anyone with limited mobility can control their iPhone entirely with their eyes. Apple’s built-in TrueDepth camera tracks eye movements to navigate around different options. To select any option on the screen, you simply have to stare at it long enough. This is pretty cool and highly convenient.

Vehicle Motion Cues

I have motion sickness and it’s an extremely daunting experience. But it seems Apple has introduced an incredible feature to tackle it.

Vehicle Motion Cues

Vehicle Motion Cues uses built-in sensors to detect when you’re in a moving vehicle. You can enable it from the Control Center. Once enabled, this feature displays subtle animated dots on the edges of the screen that move in sync with the vehicle’s motion.

Other accessibility features include setting vocal shortcuts for people with speech disabilities and music haptics for deaf people.

8. Safari Highlights- A Game Changer

Safari uses Machine Learning to summarize and create a highly personalized experience with all the relevant information on the webpage.

For example, if you are checking out a hotel for a vacation, Safari will create a highlight for you with the contact info and directions for that hotel.

Safari Highlights

Similarly, while reading an article about a music artist, the highlights feature will provide access to that artist’s music seamlessly. Or you can read a summary of a long and boring review of a movie series.

Safari in iOS 18

These features are just the tip of the iceberg. iOS 18 has a newly improved Calculator app with Math Notes, incredible AI integrations, new AirPod features, etc. Do let us know which one amazed you the most among all these features.

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