5 of the best iOS 18 features

Apple’s Siri assistant just got a massive AI upgrade with ChatGPT – here’s what’s new

iOS 18 is here – or it has been announced at least, with the first developer beta out now and the first public beta expected soon, and as such we know all about what this software update will offer.

Calling this an ‘update’ almost undersells it though, because this looks to be the biggest overhaul of iOS in a long time, complete with numerous AI capabilities, plus massively enhanced customization.

There’s an almost overwhelming number of new features and improvements, but below we’ve listed five of the best.

1. Siri is getting a lot smarter

(Image credit: Apple)

As expected, AI – or ‘Apple Intelligence’ as the company calls it – is the main component of iOS 18, and the most promising implementation of AI looks to be Siri, which not only looks different now (with a glowing light around the edge of the screen), but is a lot smarter.

Siri in iOS 18 can speak more naturally, and has on-screen awareness, so you can say for example “add this address to his contact card” when viewing an address a friend has messaged you with, and Siri will understand the context.

You can also choose to type to Siri rather than talk, and you can optionally connect it to ChatGPT (even without a ChatGPT account) to use that AI’s capabilities.

You can also ask Siri to edit photos, and all of this comes with the promise of more privacy than most AI offers. That said, most of these Siri improvements will require an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max to use.

2. Locked and hidden apps

Locking an app with iOS 18

(Image credit: Apple)

One great iOS 18 feature for anyone who cares about privacy and security is the ability to lock and hide any apps.

You can choose to lock an app so that it requires Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode to access it. This also ensures that information from the app won’t appear elsewhere on the system, such as in notifications.

Or you can go one step further and hide the app in a locked hidden apps folder, so the icon isn’t even visible on your phone.

This could be useful if you have private or sensitive content, and while some apps already let you lock them (such as certain banking apps), having this as a system-wide feature will definitely be handy.

3. Customize the interface more fully

WWDC

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has always been quite restrictive when it comes to customization, but with iOS 18 that’s no longer the case.

The new update lets you leave gaps between apps on the home screen, so you can arrange them however you want. You can also customize the colors of app icons, change the controls at the bottom of the lock screen, and more fully customize the Control Center, by resizing controls and splitting them into different groups.

This should all make it much easier to truly make your iPhone feel personalized to your style and needs.

4. A password manager

Managing passwords with iOS 18

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has long offered some basic password management features through iCloud Keychain, but with iOS 18 it’s adding a full password manager app.

This lets you filter and sort your accounts by recently created, credential type, or whether an account is in a shared group; it’s end-to-end encrypted, and it works not just across Apple devices but also on Windows (with the iCloud for Windows app).

Having strong, unique passwords for all your accounts is incredibly important, and a free password manager built into iOS is sure to encourage more people to do that.

5. Erase objects from photos

Editing a photo with iOS 18

(Image credit: Apple)

One of the most exciting uses of AI so far has been in photo editing, with the likes of Google and Samsung offering powerful suites of tools. Sadly, Apple doesn’t seem to be doing the same with iOS 18, but nor has it totally rejected AI editing.

This new version of iOS includes a Clean Up tool, which can be used to remove distracting objects from photos so you can perfect the final image. It’s a similar idea to Magic Eraser on Google’s Pixel phones, and if it works well it should be a very useful tool.

You might also like