iOS 18 leak says big changes are coming to your favourite iPhone apps

iOS 18 isn't just going to be nicer to look at. It's giving your everyday apps some important upgrades too

iOS 17
(Image credit: Apple)

iOS 18, the successor to the current iPhone operating system, is due to launch later this year – and a new leak suggests that it's going to involve some big upgrades to the user interface and to some of the apps you use every day too.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the iOS 18 upgrade will "overhaul" some of the key iOS apps. Gurman doesn't currently have details of what that overhaul will actually entail, but says that it's going to mean upgrades to the stock Mail, Photos, Fitness and Notes app. That fits with previous leaks that suggested new voice and maths features were coming to Notes, but it's the first indication of changes to the other core apps.

iOS 18: key upgrades to apps, interface and more

We've heard multiple reports now of AI and machine learning upgrades coming to iOS 18, not just in terms of a smarter Siri – although that would be very welcome – but in all kinds of apps, for example by bringing more intelligent playlist creation to Apple Music. 

We're expecting some form of AI-based assistance in Messages, better personalisation in Health, and generative AI assistance in productivity apps including Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Spotlight search and Shortcuts, er, shortcuts have also been tipped for some AI enhancements, and Apple is believed to be running the AI features on the device rather than in the cloud so it should be pretty speedy. In addition to some AI help, Messages will also play nicer with Android users as Apple adopts the RCS messaging standard.

The other key feature – unless you're an iPad owner who's been counting the years since the tablet launched without a Calculator app; that's finally coming this year – is more customisation of the Home Screen. 

At the moment your customisation is quite limited by Apple's grid-based layout; that is reportedly changing so you'll be able to put your icons anywhere on the Home Screen and use blank space creatively too. I hope this one isn't buggy because once you've got your Home Screen just-so, you want it to stay that way.

We're expecting iOS 18 to be previewed at WWDC in May, with a launch later in 2024.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (