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iOS 18 features: All the iPhone features announced at WWDC

Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developers Conference – or WWDC 2024 – with its highly-anticipated keynote today.

WWDC is where we get our first glimpse at all the exciting new features and updates coming to Apple’s iOS operating system later this year.

We’ve rounded up all the big updates coming to the iPhone later in 2024.

Icon customisation

The first iOS 18 feature confirmed at WWDC this year was icon customisation.

iOS will soon give you the ability to tint your icons with a single colour, making them match better with your home screen or stand out in your favourite shade.

You can also toggle your icons to automatically transition into a dark look when your system is in dark mode, making them a bit gentler on your eyes in the evenings.

iOS 18 control centre

Control Centre

Control Centre has also been given a design update. Going forward, you’ll be able to swipe through different pages of Controls, from your main Controls to your smart home Controls and media playback.

Third-party apps will also be able to create their own Controls and list them in the new Controls Gallery. Users can rearrange the layout of their Controls and the size of the icons.

You’ll even be able to switch out the camera and flashlight icons on the lock screen and the function of the iPhone 15 Pro’s Action Button with these new Controls.

iOS 18 hidden app

Privacy

Apple also announced some new privacy updates, including the ability to lock apps on your home screen behind Face ID. This means you can hand your phone to friends and family without worrying about them sneaking a look at your journal app or swiping through your messages.

You can also hide apps in a hidden folder away from your home screen, preventing them from showing up in search or your notifications bar.

Apple has also made it easier to control your privacy when dealing with app permissions by deciding exactly which contacts an app can see and preventing apps from accessing other devices on your network.

iOS 18 messages send later

Messages

Apple also showcased a range of updates to the Messages app.

With iOS 18, you’ll be able to schedule messages for later, react to messages with any emoji via tapbacks, and customise your text with the ability to bold, italicise, underline and strikethrough words.

You can also use text effects to animate your messages and even send end-to-end encrypted messages and tapbacks over satellite.

iOS 18 wallet tap to cash

Wallet

One handy new feature coming to the Wallet is Tap to Cash.

This feature makes it possible to send and receive money between friends and family directly from the Apple Wallet – no phone number or email address required.

Gaming

Mobile gamers can look forward to Apple’s Game Mode coming to the iPhone with iOS 18.

This feature minimised background activity in order to sustain the highest frame rate when gaming, and optimises audio when listening through AirPods.

iOS 18 photos

Photos

Finally, Apple announced that the Photos app would be undergoing a massive design rehaul.

The Photos app has been redesigned with a single grid with your recent images at the top of the app and more organised folders below. You can choose between month and year views, choose to see specific content, and filter out screenshots.

Apple also announced Collections, a new way of organising your photos into topics such as time, people, favourite memories, trips, and more. For example, the recent days Collection will show just the photos from a day out with all the clutter (like receipts) filtered out.

You can change the order of your Collections and pin your favourites. Swipe right and you’ll find a new carousel view with your favourite photos and ones featured by Apple.

iOS 18 release date

The iOS 18 beta opens today for developers and will enter its public beta in July. The OS update will begin rolling out officially this fall and is likely to line up with the iPhone 16 launch, though the latter has yet to be confirmed.

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