iOS 18: Supported iPhones and expected release date

iOS 18 emblem
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's WWDC has a host of software updates to share with us, including the latest milestone operating system (OS) release for iPhone in iOS 18.

iOS 18 includes a host of updates and features and all-new ways of customizing your iPhone to make the iOS experience more tailored and personalized to you than ever before.

Privacy is also a major factor for the upcoming iOS 18 release, with Apple's approach to AI in Apple Intelligence being a standout marker of how the company has preserved its user-privacy focus.

However, while we now know what to expect from iOS 18, we will need to know which iPhones will support the latest update and when we can expect them. Let's dive into what we know so far and find out.

iOS 18: Expected release date

Apple hasn't yet confirmed when iPhone owners will be able to upgrade to the full version of iOS 18, but we can look to previous iOS release dates to gain better insight on when to expect this year's update.

The last five milestone iOS releases (from iOS 13 to iOS 17) were all released in the month of September, with the latest three releases arriving in the second or third Monday of that month.

  • iOS 13 release date: Thu. September 19, 2019
  • iOS 14 release date: Wed. September 16, 2020
  • iOS 15 release date: Mon. September 20, 2021
  • iOS 16 release date: Mon. September 12, 2022
  • iOS 17 release date: Mon. September 18, 2023

With these dates in mind, we'd expect Apple to follow suit and release iOS 18 at some point in September — likely the second or third Monday of the month. This places the most likely release date for iOS 18 on Monday, September 9, 16, or 23.

However, prior to that release, iPhone users will be able to join the developer and public betas for iOS 18 on supported models.

The iOS 18 developer beta is already live and available to download for those in the Apple Developer program, which requires a $100 annual fee to join. However, the upcoming public beta is free to all users signed up for Apple's Beta Software Program. While there's no confirmed date for the release of the public beta, it typically releases at some point in July.

Apple's one-sheet for iOS 18 features some impressive features and tools heading to iPhone in the near future. (Image credit: Apple)

iOS 18: Supported iPhones

Apple has confirmed which iPhones will support the latest iOS update in a recently published iOS 18 preview. The following are the devices that will be eligible to download and upgrade to iOS 18 on release.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPhone 15 SeriesiPhone 15 / Plus / Pro / Pro Max
iPhone 14 SeriesiPhone 14 / Plus / Pro / Pro Max
iPhone 13 SeriesiPhone 13 / mini / Pro / Pro Max
iPhone 12 SeriesiPhone 12 / mini / Pro / Pro Max
iPhone 11 SeriesiPhone 11 / Pro / Pro Max
iPhone X SeriesiPhone XS / XS Max / XR
iPhone SE SeriesiPhone SE (2nd, 3rd Generation)

The minimum requirements for iOS 18 are iPhones outfitted with an Apple A12 Bionic chipset — which is outfitted with Apple's first Neural Engine (or NPU, Neural Processing Unit) capable of performance that measures in TOPS (Trillions of Operations Per Second).

This performance metric is a good indicator of how well each device will be able to run the on-device AI features announced to be a part of Apple Intelligence. While the A12 Bionic is only capable of up to 5 TOPS, the Neural Engine of the latest A17 Pro chipset found in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max is capable of up to 35 TOPS of performance — similar to the NPU performance of Intel's Meteor Lake Core Ultra processors.

This points to the idea that earlier iPhone models that are eligible for the iOS 18 update will rely more heavily on Apple's Private Cloud Compute — which provides a cloud computing alternative to devices that aren't capable of completing an AI-assisted operation on-device.

iOS 18: Features

The main draw of iOS 18 is Apple Intelligence, but there are a handful of other new features worth noting. The first is home screen customization. On iOS 18, you will be able to place app icons anywhere on your home screen and recolor them using a new dark mode and color tints. Home screen customization has long been one of the main advantages of Android over iOS, but it looks like Apple is finally leveling that playing field. 

When you're organizing your apps in iOS 18, you will also now be able to put them in a locked "hidden apps" folder and lock individual apps. 

The Control Center is getting more customization in iOS 18, as well. There will be a new Controls Gallery with more control widgets to choose from. Apple is also allowing third-party app developers to make their own controls to add to the gallery. Likewise, you'll finally be able to customize the controls on the lock screen so you can swap out the camera and flashlight for any other control you like. 

New home screen customization options on iOS 18 presented at WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

Even if you don't change up your home screen or Control Center, you won't be able to miss the redesigned Photos app in iOS 18. It's the biggest design update to the app in a long time with a completely new layout. The Photos app will now have a single view with a library grid at the top and albums and collections below. "Collections" are a new feature that functions like automatically-generated albums with themes like "trips" and "today."

The final big change in iOS 18 is a few updates to the Messages app. Starting with iOS 18, Messages will support RCS messaging for conversations with Android users. You can also use any emoji as a tapback reaction and schedule messages. Apple also added an end-to-end encrypted Messages via Satellite feature for texting when you're off the grid.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.

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