Apple’s mobile operating system iOS continues to evolve and improve with each annual software update. As we near the release of iOS 17 later this year, rumors are already swirling about features and improvements slated for iOS 18 in 2025. Based on credible reports from top Apple leakers and analysts, iOS 18 is shaping up to be one of the most feature-packed iOS releases ever.
Overhaul To Lock Screen, Messages, And More
According to several reports from Bloomberg, Gurman and others, iOS 18 will introduce major enhancements to core apps like Messages, Mail, and Health. The lock screen is also rumored to get some new functionality for displaying widgets.
Mark Gurman from Bloomberg reports that iOS 18 is codenamed “Dawn” internally, and will bring “some fairly significant enhancements across the system.” Sources indicate Messages will be updated with new social features to make the app more competitive with WhatsApp. The Mail app is also said to be gaining upgrades like snoozing, scheduling and search improvements.
Additionally, Gurman says iOS 18 will allow widgets on the lock screen for the first time, building on the existing lock screen customization that arrived in iOS 16. Users will reportedly be able to anchor widgets to lock screen wallpapers similarly to the Home Screen.
“For the first time ever, Apple is going to unleash widgets on the iPhone’s lock screen,” reports BGR.
This major expansion of lock screen capability hints at Apple’s intention to transform the lock screen into a more glanceable, personalized dashboard for top-level info from favorite apps.
Redesigned Multitasking Experience For iPadOS
While the iPhone version of iOS 18 will receive worthwhile upgrades, all eyes are on the iPad-exclusive iPadOS 18 – specifically the rumored multitasking changes coming to iPad.
According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with Apple’s roadmap say iPadOS 18 will mark the introduction of the biggest overhaul to iPad multitasking since the initial feature was launched. The revamp is said to make using multiple apps at once much more intuitive and streamlined.
“Multitasking on iPad is getting its biggest upgrade ever in iPadOS 18 next year,” reports MacRumors based on info shared by Gurman. “The update aims to make it easier to handle multiple apps at once and move between tasks on an iPad.”
Though details remain limited, Gurman speculates the iPadOS 18 multitasking update will allow resizable app windows and easier ways to group apps together in tabs or workspaces – taking clear inspiration from macOS’s excellent workspace handling.
This major iPadOS 18 overhaul will reportedly coincide with the launch of the long-rumored 14-inch iPad Pro model. The monster-sized tablet is tipped to arrive in Fall 2024 packing an OLED display and M3 chip. iPadOS 18 would leverage the extra screen real-estate by enhancing support for multiple simultaneous app windows.
|iPadOS 18 Feature
|Revamped multitasking UI
|Easier to manage multiple apps and windows; Workspaces to group tasks, Resizable windows
|14″ iPad Pro
|New giant iPad model sized between 12.9″ and 16″ iPad
Mixed Reality Headset Tied To iOS 18 & RealityOS?
The single biggest wildcard surrounding iOS 18 involves Apple’s secretive work on augmented and virtual reality headgear. Reports suggest iOS 18 could potentially coincide with the launch of Apple’s first AR/VR headset later next year.
Rumors indicate the initial ‘Apple Reality Pro’ headset will run a brand new xrOS operating system (codenamed Oak). But given the headset’s steep $3,000 price tag and ties to iPhone content, iOS integration seems vital even at launch.
Adding fuel to the fire, renowned Apple reporter Ming-Chi Kuo just issued an investor note highlighting how the headset will provide an all-new iOS computing experience compared to current devices. Kuo says the tight pairing between realityOS and iOS means “the OS for AR/VR devices and iOS will benefit each other.”
This symbiotic relationship leads many to suspect realityOS will rely on iOS 18 under the hood. iOS 18 would potentially let Apple Reality Pro users view iPhone notifications/messaging inside the 3D headset environment. Importing iPad apps as resizable windows also seems feasible given iPadOS 18’s incoming multitasking enhancements.
While the initial realityOS experience will feel distinct from iOS, expect deeper iOS/iPadOS integration over time as Apple’sXR ecosystem matures. iOS 18 could plant the seeds for tighter interoperability.
What’s Next? – Expanding Health Features
Looking ahead, if Apple sticks to recent naming convention tradition, we can expect iOS 19 in 2026 to build upon this year’s major iOS 18 upgrades – likely expanding widget functionality to more lock screen UI elements.
On that note, rumors indicate iOS 19 may also double down on Health app improvements barely touched in iOS 18. According to Bloomberg’s Gurman, significant Health updates are planned but may miss the initial iOS 18 rollout – making them prime candidates for iOS 19 debuts instead.
Specifically, future iOS versions are tipped to add the ability for doctors to prescribe medications through iPhone’s Health/Wallet apps. Apple is even said to be weighing glucose monitoring and food logging capabilities for a more comprehensive view of user health.
While iOS 18 shapes up to be a banner year for Apple’s mobile ecosystem, iOS 19 and beyond might take personalized health tracking to unprecedented levels – fulfilling Apple’s greater vision of transforming the iPhone into a comprehensive health guardian on your wrist or in your pocket. iOS 18 plants the seeds while later versions harvest the fruit.
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