Apple announced new changes coming to iOS 18 at WWDC

iOS 18 app icons colors

WWDC 2024 is happening, and we’ve gotten the typical slew of improvements to Apple’s most popular platforms.  The company just gave us our first look at iOS 18. Here’s a rundown of the iOS 18 features Apple announced during WWDC.

Before diving in, Apple also announced the new WatchOS 11.

iOS 18 features announced during WWDC 2024

Apple finally lifted the veil on its latest smartphone operating system. During the announcement, the company very (VERY) briefly mentioned RCS (Rich Communications Service) messaging. To refresh your memory, RCS is a more advanced messaging technology. It’s an improvement over the older SMS messaging.

Google and other companies have been pushing Apple to implement RCS. It finally revealed that it’s bringing this technology to iOS 18. Apple didn’t go in-depth with that.


Apple unveiled a new way to customize the look of your home screen, and this will be familiar to those who know about Material You. You’re able to customize the apps on your screen by giving them their own color scheme. When you switch to dark mode, the apps will darken. You can also choose a color tone you want to add to your apps. This is probably the biggest customization feature introduced to iOS since…. well the first iPhone.

iOS 18 app icons colors

Revamped Control Panel

Apple revamped the Control Center to give you more options. For starters, when you summon the panel, you can swipe to access a new group of controls like media controls. You can also access panels to control your Home devices.

Also, 3rd-party app developers will be able to add their own controls to the Control panel.


iOS is all about privacy, and the company unveiled some features that make it more secure. Starting off, iOS 18 allows you to lock your apps. This way, you’ll need to use your FaceID to unlock it. Until then, the app can’t be used.

Another neat feature is the hidden apps folder. This is a feature that will hide apps from view. As always, you’ll need to unlock the phone to view the apps. So, you’ll no longer have to deal with the shame of having your friends know that you play Candy Crush.

Lastly, you can control what contacts that apps have access to.


Tapbacks (basically reactions for Messages) just got a nice revamp. In iOS 18, you’ll be able to use any emoji for your Tapback. Along with that, Apple is also adding text formatting like bold and italics. The company unveiled a new way to emphasize your messages. It’s called Text Effects. These will make your messages pop with short animations.

Moving onto something more practical, Apple announced that users will be able to send messages via satellite. This will make it so that you can still contact others when not around a tower. This will also work with standard SMS messages and use Tapbacks. All of the information sent through satellite is end-to-end encrypted.


Moving onto Mail, Apple will organize your emails into specific categories. This will better help you wade through your emails.

Another feature will actually create a feed of emails from a certain business. This way, you won’t have to worry about missing any important emails.


The Photos app just went through a major redesign. The company announced a new grid-style view for your photos and videos. Below the grid, there’s a toolbar that allows you to jump to specific years and months.

This new feature will allow you to filter out screenshots. This way, you won’t have to worry about them cluttering your feed.

Do you know the feature in Google Photos that allows the app to identify people? Well, Apple just took that a step further by being able to identify groups of people. So, if there’s a married couple that’s always together in photos, you can search for those photos specifically.

iOS Photos 18

There’s a new feature that will show you automatically curated highlights of your photos in a carousel format. This is similar to Memories in Google Photos.

Other changes coming to iOS 18

Rounding out the list, Apple announced some new changes coming to some other apps. For starters, Maps has a new topographical view. This includes hiking maps and trail paths. You can save these to your phone and access them offline. This is useful, as you’re more likely to lose connection when hiking.

Wallet has a new feature that lets you tap your phones together to share money. It’s called Tap to Cash.

Tap to Cash

The Journal app will get a new Insights feature. This view will show your writing streaks, a calendar, and other useful information to let you know how you’re using the app.

Lastly, iOS 18 will come with a Game Mode. This mode will minimize background activities and improve the responsiveness with AirPods and game controllers.

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