At WWDC in June, Apple always announces new versions of its operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. (There may also be an update to Vision Pro, but that's another story.) This is especially important for software developers, who will learn about new system features they can use for their applications. Device owners. Except this year, the whole thing seems to be pretty exciting.
In the Q&A segment of his latest newsletter, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman describes the imminent iOS 18 software update for the iPhone as the device's biggest yet.
“I've been told that the new operating system is seen as one of the largest iOS updates within the company — if not the largest in the company's history,” he said.
It's unclear at this point what that bigness will actually be. Gurman promised to reveal more in due course, but kept things brief in this exchange. Fortunately, though, we already know a lot about the ways in which iOS 18 will be a pretty big deal, or as Gurman called it in November, “ambitious and compelling.” Support for RCS cross-platform messaging is expected to arrive in iOS 18, and it will make a huge difference in communication between iPhone and Android owners. Apple does this only reluctantly, but as we've explained elsewhere, it's a win for everyone, including Apple fans.
As for the hapless Siri we've repeatedly criticized, the release of iOS 18 may be the moment it finally starts to lose its weight. The company may seem to have ignored Siri for years, but behind the scenes, it's working on a big AI strategic push that's expected to pay off in improved Siri performance. Generative AI in particular could be a game-changer for the beleaguered voice assistant.
June is more than four months away, and because of the lack of a supply chain, pre-release software products can change at much shorter notice than hardware. In other words, Apple's plans could still change. But most pundits expect the iPhone WWDC in June to be a big deal for owners. The “if” seems settled, and we're curious to learn more about the “how.”