iOS 18 rumors: Potential release date, features, supported devices, and more

Apple WWDC 2024 iOS 18 graphic design
(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Like clockwork, we'll see Apple debut its latest software at WWDC 2024 in June, including the highly anticipated iOS 18 update. And according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple views iOS 18 as "One of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company's history."

While Apple might think that about each of its iOS versions, the rumors we've heard certainly hype up iOS 18 as more accessible, customizable, and full of quality-of-life improvements that, if true, would make it one of the most significant iOS updates in recent years.

Here's everything we know so far about iOS 18, from which devices are likely to receive the update to its rumored release date and new features.

Latest news

Release date

Apple releases a new iOS version every year around the same time, and there's no reason to expect the rumored iOS 18 update to stray from this pattern. iOS 18 will likely debut at the WWDC 2024 event, which we now know will be held between June 10 and 14.

The public rollout for iOS 18 will probably coincide with the rumored iPhone 16 launch around September 2024. In between June and September, Apple will roll out beta versions of iOS 18 to developers for testing and app tweaks, followed by a beta version made available to the public.

Likely supported devices

Rumor has it Apple might be delivering the iOS 18 update to any iPhone currently running iOS 17. So iOS 18 might not end support for any additional iPhones, past the ones that didn't make the cut with last year's update.

Here are all the iPhones that are reportedly eligible for iOS 18: 

  • iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2022)
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR 

RCS messaging standard

One of the best features coming to iPhones via iOS 18 is RCS messaging standard support. After years of attributing the iPhone's lack of RCS support to it being less secure than iMessage — and the unfortunate "buy your mom an iPhone" remark from Tim Cook when asked by a reporter about RCS messaging — Apple will finally support RCS messages from Android phones with the iOS 18 update.

And this isn't even a rumor; the RCS text protocol is definitely coming to all iPhones that can receive the iOS 18 update.


(Image credit: Getty Images/NurPhoto)

With RCS support, iPhone users can finally send videos to Android users without them getting compressed, which results in a pixelated and distorted video. Conversations between iPhone and Android users will also now have typing indicators and read receipts. One big feature that's not changing, however, is the green text bubbles for Android users in iMessage.

Accessibility features

As with most iOS updates, the iOS 18 update might be bringing some extra accessibility features with it. According to MacRumors, industry sources have revealed three new accessibility features for iOS 18:

  • Adaptive Voice Shortcuts: With this feature, users can create a "unique spoken phrase" and tie it to an accessibility setting.
  • New "Categories" section in Live Speech: iOS 17 debuted the Live Speech feature, and iOS 18 is reportedly going to expand on it by adding a new user-created categories section where people can organize their desired phrases.
  • Customizable font size in more apps: Apple might be expanding support for adjustable text size in apps for iOS 18 and macOS 15, which means users will be able to customize font size for more individual apps.

The AirPods Pro being held in hand

(Image credit: Future)

The iOS 18 update might also make it possible for AirPods Pro to double as hearing aids. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that AirPods Pro may be getting a "major new hearing aid mode," but it's not clear yet whether they would be classified as an official, FDA-approved hearing aid or as a Personal Sound Amplification Product, which doesn't require FDA approval.

AI features

Apple's gearing up to enter the AI race with a bang, and one of its first major forays into generative AI could be with iOS 18. While Google, Microsoft, and Meta have been outwardly dabbling in generative AI for years, Apple has been silently making a ton of AI business acquisitions, taking a slow and methodical approach to AI.

using siri on iphone

(Image credit: Omid Armin on Unsplash)

We've been hearing rumors of Apple GPT since early last year, and it's entirely possible that this AI chatbot could be incorporated into Siri rather than used to completely replace Siri. If this is true, WWDC 2024 may debut a massively upgraded, AI-powered Siri — Siri 2.0, if you will.

In addition to the possibility of an improved virtual assistant, iOS 18 might feature an AI code named Ajax, which was first seen in the beta version of iOS 17.4. This Ajax code will reportedly assist with summarizing content and answering complex questions, and it could integrate with multiple iOS apps, like Apple Music, Keynote, Pages, and Messages.

It's worth noting that older iPhones that receive the iOS update might not get every rumored AI feature because the hardware just won't be compatible. The iPhone 16 might feature on-board hardware that boosts AI power, while older iPhones might only receive basic cloud-based AI features with iOS 18. 

More customizable home screen

One of the biggest differences between Android phones and iPhones is the amount of customization possible on your Home Screen. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman (via TechRadar) in a paywalled section of the Power On newsletter, iOS 18 will finally introduce a "more customizable" Home Screen that iPhone users have been wanting for a while.

iPhone home screen

(Image credit: Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash)

Gurman didn't expand much on this claim, but MacRumors claims this increased customization could include the ability to place app icons anywhere on the Home Screen and "create blank spaces, rows, and columns between app icons." 


So far, iOS 18 looks like it's shaping up to be a significant update. It's rumored to be an AI-heavy operating system, but many AI features won't reach their full potential unless you're using iOS 18 on the upcoming iPhone 16. 

We're most excited for the addition of RCS messaging standard support, which is a confirmed feature for iOS 18, and the possibility of finally being able to customize your iPhone's Home Screen — a luxury Android users have had for years now. And we'll only have to wait a few short months until WWDC 2024 in June for iOS 18 to officially debut.