Apple launches iOS 18 with a customizable home screen, macOS and watchOS updates

Apple (AAPL) has unveiled a slew of software updates for its most important software offerings, including iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and more. The updates bring a variety of changes to Apple devices, ranging from an upgraded Photos app for the iPhone to a new Vitals app for the Apple Watch. These features also come as the company rolls out its artificial intelligence strategy across its various products and services.

The company also announced its new Apple Intelligence generative AI platform, featuring an enhanced version of Siri and access to OpenAI’s GPT-4o for its iPhone, iPad and Mac products. More information on this here.

Here are the biggest upgrades coming to Apple devices later this year.

The latest version of iOS, dubbed iOS 18, will feature a new customizable iPhone home screen that lets you rearrange icons the way you want them to appear, so you no longer have to keep them in a grid rigid as you had done. since the launch of the iPhone in 2007. You will also be able to change the color of your application icons to give them a personalized look.

Control Center also gets major improvements, allowing you to add and reconfigure app shortcuts to third-party apps. On the privacy front, Apple announced a new feature called Lock An App, which requires users to use Face ID to unlock and access certain apps. A new hidden folder option will also allow you to hide specific apps on your iPhone.

The Messages application, for its part, will now include the ability to schedule text messages, send text effects that will allow you to send animated words and emojis that will appear on the screen to highlight your missives . The Mail app will sport a new look via on-device categorizations that place your messages in things like main emails, promotions, or other note updates.

Apple is also finally bringing Rich Communication Services (RCS) to its Messages app. This feature means that iPhone users will be able to send high-quality images, videos, and encrypted texts to Android users. However, you’ll still have to deal with those nasty green chat bubbles.

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the annual developer conference at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (Reuters/Reuters)

Apple’s Wallet app will now have a Tap-to-Cash feature that lets you quickly send money to a friend by joining your phones using Apple Cash.

Game mode is also coming to iPhone. This way, when playing games, your iPhone will automatically reduce background activities to ensure that games run smoothly and without lag.

The Photos app for iOS 18 gets a major design update that places a grid of photos from the entire library at the top of the screen and a filter button that lets you organize images . You can also explore photos through the People & Pets section, which lets you view groups of photos of specific people and, of course, pets.

Apple’s iPadOS 18 comes with many of the same…

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