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Key new features coming to Apple's iOS 18 this fall

The Associated Press

Apple announced a slew of new features for iOS 18 at Monday's developers conference event, many of which are designed to enhance the Siri assistant and bring artificial intelligence tools to iPhone users.

The AI-packed updates coming in the fall are meant to enable the billions of people who use the company’s devices to get more done in less time, while also giving them access to creative tools that could liven things up. For instance, Apple will deploy AI to allow people to create emojis, dubbed “Genmojis” on the fly to fit the vibe they are trying to convey.

The full suite of upcoming AI features will only work on the recent iPhone 15 line because the functions require advanced processors. But there are still plenty of upgrades for all iPhone owners.

Here are some of the best new features coming to iOS 18 and Apple Intelligence.


Scheduled texts, tap backs and RCS

Apple confirmed that it will be rolling out a technology called Rich Communications Service, or RCS, to its iMessage app. The technology should improve the quality and security of texting between iPhones and devices powered by Android software, such as the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel.

In another upcoming change to the iPhone’s messaging app, users will be able to write a text (or have an AI tool compose it) in advance and schedule a specific time to automatically send it.

And Apple is introducing a series of animated tap backs to allow users to instantly reply with any emoji or sticker, giving its app abilities similar to other messaging platforms like Google Chat or WhatsApp.

AI tools and data privacy

Apple's new AI platform, dubbed "Apple Intelligence," will use Siri to help carry out actions between apps and boost the assistant's range of capabilities. AI can also help manage and prioritize notifications, and summarize text in searches, email and other apps. There will be functions that can help you write text and change the tone of it as well, similar to other popular gen AI platforms.

But the tech firm is trying hard to convince consumers that the iPhone won’t be used to spy on them. Apple is harnessing its chip technology so most of its AI-powered features are handled on the device itself instead of at remote data centers, often called “the cloud,” thus keeping users data local.

When Apple users make AI demands that requiring computing power beyond what’s available on the device, the tasks will be handled by what the company is calling a “private cloud” that is supposed to shield their personal data.

More screen customization and control center options

iPhone users will have more options to arrange apps, resize icons and widgets on the home screen when iOS 18 arrives. A new dark mode look and tinting effect will also be available for further customization.

The control center has also been redesigned to give users access to more one tap functions, and the ability to add some third-party app options — such as remote starting your car — to it.

Collecting your passwords

All of Apple's platforms — iPhone, iPad, Mac and Vision Pro — are getting a new dedicated Passwords app.

The new app lets you access all of your passwords in one place, including Wi-Fi passwords, and allow you to access some authentication tools. Apple also claims the app will alert you when certain passwords are compromised.

The Associated Press