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iOS 18 gets a revamped Control Center and loads of home screen customization options

Published by Engadget on Mon, 10 Jun 2024

WWDC is always where we learn about the year's biggest updates to Apple's operating systems. Given that the iPhone is Apple's most important product, it's no surprise that iOS takes up a major chunk of the attention each June. WWDC 2024 is no exception, as Apple had a ton of new features and updates to go over, many of which concerned AI (or Apple Intelligence, as the company is calling it).First up, Apple focused on customization. You'll be able to make the home screen look more like your own vibe than ever. You'll be able to change the colors of app icons, which can automatically get a different look when you have Dark Mode enabled. Your apps won't need to be locked within a rigid grid anymore either. Your home screen can look almost as messy as you want.Control Center is getting some big changes. You'll be able to access things like media playback and smart home controls from here. Developers will be able to take advantage of this and offer Control Center management for their apps too. It'll be possible to pin custom controls to the home screen for your most frequently used apps and functions (so you'll be able to switch out the flashlight control for something else, for instance). Custom controls can also be mapped to the physical action button as you see fit.MessagesWhen it comes to Messages, there's another nice update in the form of scheduling. When you're catching up on things late at night, you'll be able to time a message to send in the morning, for instance. Those who use emoji reactions in Messages (aka Tapbacks) are getting a nice update too. You'll be able to choose from any emoji instead of the five basic reactions Apple has offered for years.Text effects (the little animations that show up when you type a certain phrase) are getting an upgrade as well. Meanwhile, Apple will offer satellite messaging support on iPhone 14 and later devices. That's a major update, especially for those who go off grid often, as messaging will be more useful beyond emergencies.There's one other big update for Messages in iOS 18: Apple will add support for RCS (Rich Communication Services) to Messages. RCS is a more advanced messaging protocol than SMS. It enables better media sharing, Wi-Fi messaging, group chats and, crucially, better security thanks to end-to-end encryption. It should allow for more secure, media-rich messaging between iPhone and Android devices.Apple for years refused to support RCS in order to keep iMessage a walled garden. But after persistent pressure from Google ' and more importantly, new EU laws coming into force ' Apple promised to start supporting RCS sometime this year.AppsThe Mail app will soon be able to categorize emails ' just like Gmail has for years. Apple will also organize emails by sender and make it easy to archive or delete every email you get from a certain company. This will be optional, so you can stick to a single inbox if you wish.Maps, meanwhile, will offer more detailed topographic maps to bring the app more into line with the Apple Watch. This should be useful for planning routes while hiking. As for the Journal app, it will now show stats for things like a daily writing streak.Wallet is getting a handy new feature that will allow you to send cash without having to exchange personal details. All you need to do is simply tap your phones together. This could be handy for splitting the bill after dinner with a new acquaintance whose details you haven't yet copied from their business card into your phone.PrivacyThis being Apple, of course it has some privacy features to go over. There are some new privacy controls for apps in iOS 18. You'll have the option to lock apps behind an authentication method (i.e. your PIN or Face ID) so that when you pass your iPhone to someone to show them your camera roll, they can't go snooping in your Messages. You can also hide apps ' perhaps ones you use for dating ' in a locked folder too. Elsewhere on the privacy front, you'll be able to decide which of your contacts an app has access to instead of absolutely everyone's phone numbers and personal information.Elsewhere, Apple is bringing Game Mode to iPhone. This aims to boost performance by minimizing background activity, while controllers and AirPods should be more responsive.Developing...Catch up here for all the news out of Apple's WWDC 2024. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/ios-18-gets-a-revamped-control-center-and-loads-of-home-screen-customization-options-172350046.html'src=rss
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