iOS 18 tipped for huge Vision Pro-inspired redesign

We've been told iOS 18 will be the biggest iOS update ever. Does that mean a whole new look?

visionOS interface elements
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's Vision Pro might be a vision of the future – and that future could be coming sooner than you think. A new report says that the operating system of Apple's mixed reality headset will be lending its style to iOS 18.

That's not as out-there as it might sound, because the most recent overhaul of the tvOS interface has some strong visual similarities to visionOS: as we reported back in December, it introduced a new sidebar to help you find content – and if you compare that sidebar to the look of visionOS it's clearly cut from the same digital cloth.

The new report comes from Israeli site The Verifier, as reported by MacRumors, and claims that a visionOS-inspired redesign is coming to iOS 18. That would be one of the biggest interface overhauls since iOS 7 a decade ago, when Apple flattened the iOS interface and made it look more modern.

What would a tvOS makeover mean for iOS?

According to the report, the makeover would affect the System pages and Safari to begin with, alongside Apple's own apps. It would introduce a new translucent navigation bar, like the one in tvOS, and if it followed the visual style of visionOS it'd make iOS flatter and greyer and more transparent. You can see the visionOS interface elements in the screenshot above. Imagine a grey glass theme and you'll get the gist.

Online reaction has been very positive so far, although MacRumors rightly points out that this report should be taken with a pinch of salt as The Verifier doesn't have a perfect track record when it comes to Apple rumours. And there could be accessibility concerns, because the white-on-grey interface isn't very high contrast. But the report does tie in with previous predictions, such as Bloomberg's reports that iOS 18 will be "the biggest iOS update ever": while that primarily meant more AI in the system, it might also mean a visual refresh too.

iOS 18 will make its official debut at the WWDC event for Apple developers in June. The same event may also see the reveal of homeOS, a new smart home platform. 

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 (