WWDC 2024: 5 iOS 18 Features Apple Didn’t Announce On Stage

iOS 18 Features Not Announced Featured Image

It seems weird to have a WWDC event where iOS isn’t the main player, but Apple Intelligence took the conference by storm on Monday evening. I feel like it’s hard for me to get excited about new iOS updates when iOS 16 felt like the true pinnacle, and we probably won’t see a big update like that for a while. 

Nonetheless, there are some cool features to look forward to in September. For example, I cannot wait to start sending scheduled messages and hopefully not miss as many important bits of information. Being able to send messages via Satellite is also a handy feature. 

Besides the features announced at WWDC 2024, there are several new iOS additions that went under the radar. Today, you’ll discover some of the main iOS 18 features that Apple didn’t announce on stage. 

1. Slight Design Changes to Apple Calendar 

Other than integrations with the Reminders app, Apple didn’t speak too much about the Calendar app at WWDC 2024. However, one feature you should check out this fall is the redesigned month view. 

Apple didn’t show what the redesigned Calendar month view would look like, but on its website, the company promised that it would make it “easier to plan your month ahead.” I personally don’t like the current month view in Apple Calendar, and if you’re like me, this will hopefully be a solid quality-of-life update. 

Note icon NOTE
Sometimes, you’ll encounter problems with the Calendar app. Syncing issues are one of the most common, but you can solve these difficulties in multiple ways. Check out our separate guide if iCloud Calendar isn’t syncing on your iPhone

2. SOS Live Video 

I was a huge fan of the SOS feature when Apple first released it in 2022, and I think it’s great that the company is innovating to help people seek assistance and stay connected when they aren’t on Wi-Fi or a network connection. While Apple did announce that you could send iMessages and SMS texts via Satellite, you might not know that your capabilities will be further enhanced if – God forbid – you’re in a situation where SOS is required. 

When you make an emergency call, you’ll be able to set up live video and share photos with the emergency services. As a result, first responders will be able to find you more easily and hopefully get you out of danger.

3. Accessibility Changes

Apple has come leaps and bounds with iPhone Accessibility settings in recent years, and a few more helpful features are coming to iOS 18 in September. 

Perhaps the most useful tool is Eye Tracking. As the name suggests, you’ll be able to move around your iPhone without using your hands at all once this feature is activated. Apple is also introducing Vocal Shortcuts, allowing users to record sounds that perform actions. This is especially helpful for people with speech difficulties. 

Another enhancement coming to your Accessibility settings relates to music. The Music Haptics feature is designed for deaf people and those with hearing impairments. Your Taptic Engine will sync to the rhythm of the song you’re playing, and as a result, you should find it easier to listen to your favorite tracks. 

4. Apple Fitness+ App Redesign 

Apple Fitness+ Workouts in iOS 18 and iPadOS 18
Credit: Apple

Apple announced several health and fitness changes to watchOS, but it didn’t discuss any changes that would come to iOS 18. However, if you’re an Apple Fitness+ subscriber, you’ve got a new app redesign to look forward to. 

Apple Fitness+ will feature a For You tab, which works similarly to recommendations on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. You’ll see “More of What You Do” workouts that focus on exercises that the app thinks you’ll enjoy. Moreover, you’ll see recommendations based on your favorite coaches. 

Apple also says that it has improved the Fitness+ app’s search functions. If you aren’t sure whether it’s worth getting a premium subscription, don’t forget to check out this honest Apple Fitness+ review. You can also get a free trial if you’d like to try it before you buy.  

5. Small Improvements to the Phone App

As part of its significant Apple Intelligence section, the company announced that you will be able to transcribe calls in iOS 18. However, a few new changes are coming to the Phone app that weren’t announced at WWDC. Even better, you’ll get them even if you don’t have an iPhone 15 or later. 

Apple has improved its search functions for the Phone app, meaning that you should be able to see who you contacted and when. 

Many modern iPhones let you have physical and/or eSIM cards, and in iOS 18, you can switch between your SIM cards with less friction. So, if you want to use data on another plan, you shouldn’t have too many problems. 

6. Changes in Freeform: More Than Just AI

Apple talked in depth about the Image Wand that would be available in Freeform with iOS 18 and iPadOS 18. However, there are a couple of other helpful features coming to the app that will improve how you use it. Moreover, these tools are available on all devices compatible with iOS 18. 

After downloading iOS 18, you can send copies of your board via a link. So, collaboration will become easier than it previously was. 

When using Freeform, you’ll also be able to connect your content more easily and align everything however you want. With these changes in mind, you may want to consider switching from your drawing or canvas app to Freeform. 

Note icon NOTE
Like many Apple apps, you’ll sometimes encounter syncing issues with Freeform. These are normally easy to fix, and you can follow these tips on what to do if Freeform isn’t syncing across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac

While iOS 18 didn’t take most of the attention at the 2024 WWDC, there are still a handful of cool features coming to your iPhone this fall. In addition to those that were announced on stage, you’ll find a handful of others that went under the radar. Some might argue that these aren’t as impressive as those that were mentioned, but you should still check them out and see whether you can use them to your advantage.

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