Next Week, the iPhone will get its Biggest Android Update Ever

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On Monday, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook will take the stage at WWDC to kickoff the unveiling of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15, watchOS 11, tvOS 18 and visionOS 2. The keynote is expected to be a pre-recorded video once again, but that’s not the point; with iOS 18 (and iPadOS 18), we’re expecting a ton of new software features that have been available on Android for quite some time. And this time around, it could be the biggest Android update the iPhone has ever seen.

Starting off with the small stuff, Apple is slated to bring RCS to iOS with iOS 18. This is because of the EU and its DMA that forced USB-C onto the iPhone last year. Though, those on Android have had RCS since around 2019 – the standard first debuted all the way back in 2012 however. One of the reasons that Apple didn’t want to support RCS is because it won’t change anything for its users since iMessage exists. But it didn’t want to open iMessage to other platforms, so it had to add RCS; what a great ultimatum from the European Union.

Siri is going to become more like Google Assistant and Gemini

Siri is also slated for a nice overhaul this year with iOS 18, and it’s set to come with more natural responses. You know, like what the Google Assistant has been doing for nearly a decade. Siri has become the laughingstock of Apple’s products. There are plenty of jokes made about how bad it is. In fact, I only really use it to set timers or check the weather. Anything more complicated and Siri is useless.

Additionally, Siri is set to get more AI features, like providing auto-generated replies for emails and messages, a lot like what Gemini is already able to do. Apple is also reportedly working on smart summaries of the notifications you missed. Now, that’s something Android doesn’t have, but I would not be surprised to see that come in the very near future with an update to Gemini.

The ability to transcribe voice recordings is also coming with an updated Siri. This reminds me quite a bit of the Recorder app on the Pixel, which I absolutely love. In fact, it’s the main reason why I still carry a Pixel with me when I travel.

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Apple will let you place icons….anywhere!

Even as someone who uses both platforms, I find this to be funny and a bit hard to believe. However, it is rumored that Apple will finally allow users to place their apps anywhere on their home screens with iOS 18. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Android had this feature since the beginning. I can’t remember a time when that wasn’t possible on Android.

But that’s not all; iOS is also set to allow users to change the color of app icons. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg is claiming that you would be able to change categories of apps to a certain color too. For example, all social apps are blue, and finance apps are green. That’s not something I’m excited about seeing, it seems more childish than actual customization, but hey, it’s an option.

A few years ago, Apple finally allowed users to no longer have every app on their home screen with the addition of the App Drawer. Something else Android had since basically the first version. It was a pretty big change, but it is still fairly locked down since you can’t control what groups apps get put into. But it’s better than it was before.

Let’s not forget about the AI!

Apple is also very heavily rumored to be bringing in a ton of new AI features across all of its software platforms. It recently made a deal with OpenAI, which will likely bring ChatGPT into the iPhone and be more than just an app you can download from the App Store. Apple was also developing its own LLM (Large Language Model) called Ajax and even open-sourced it a few months ago. So it’s not even a secret anymore. Mark Gurman, a popular and very accurate Apple leaker, has also posted Apple’s AI Strategy, which makes plenty of sense.

According to Gurman, Apple will use its own on-device LLM and a cloud-powered LLM while outsourcing a Chatbot to OpenAI (Google was also in the mix for this). He continued by saying that Apple isn’t building its own chatbot, but it does know that the market wants one. So, it’s willing to outsource that to OpenAI.

What kind of AI features are we expecting? Plenty of photo editing features using generative AI, of course, a way to transcribe recordings, and much more. Really, with AI, the possibilities for new features are endless. And with Gemini now being at a system level on Android devices, there’s plenty of competition for the iPhone.

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Apple is always so far behind Android

We get it: Apple has always been behind the competition in a number of areas because it wants to perfect things before it rolls them out to its users, which is cool. But some of these features are decades overdue. IOS 18 looks like it might actually be the biggest Android update ever for the iPhone. We’re excited to see what WWDC 2024 brings for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Vision Pro, with the show kicking off on Monday at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET.

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