iOS 18’s Hottest New Features: Apple Intelligence And Apple Wallet

Apple Intelligence
Apple Intelligence

As iPhone users across the globe gear up for the release of iOS 18, they recently took the stage to announce what the update will bring at its WWDC 2024 keynote. Slated for a fall 2024 release, the latest update promises to deliver a full suite of enhancements, from AI-powered productivity tools to advanced payment features and a Photos app overhaul. 

At the recent WWDC 2024 on June 10th, Apple execs were out in force to hype up the impending software. While each new iteration of iOS is branded as the “best ever”—and often fails to live up to that—this time around it looks like we genuinely are in for an iPhone evolution: even good ol’ Siri is getting a reboot, its first since it debuted on the platform back in 2010.

Dare we say it, some features are even offering a glimpse into the future of mobile tech, especially when paired with the upcoming iPhone 16. 

Apple Wallet Upgrades

Excitingly, iPhone and iPad users across the globe will be able to access a raft of the latest updates to the Apple Wallet feature that promises to be a lot simpler. For instance, if you’re visiting Japan and trying to figure out how to add Suica to your Apple Wallet, wonder no more! A new addition to the feature will be Tap to Provision, which will enable users to add cards to their Apple Wallets simply by tapping them on the back of compatible devices. 

Tap to Cash is also one of the headlining updates to the operating system, which will enable users to send and receive Apple Cash simply by holding compatible iPhones together. No more having to share phone numbers or any other personal or identifying information! 

Towards the end of 2024 and into 2025, most users will be able to use Apple Pay functions to complete transactions via third-party web browsers and computers. Plus, a new integration is on the cards that will allow US-based users to apply for financial credit directory through Affirm when checking out using Apple Pay. 

Apple Intelligence

Despite how controversial the concept of Artificial Intelligence has become; it seems that every major hardware and software tech company is integrating some form of AI into their offering. Google, Samsung, and Microsoft are just three brands that recently embraced AI functionalities and now, Apple wants a piece of the action. 

Apple Intelligence is the flagship innovation in iOS 18 and, far from being yet another OS update trend, it’s set to be around for the long run. Powered by Apple Silicon, it’s unfortunately not going to be compatible with every device that can run the forthcoming software update and it will also incorporate cloud server storage. 

While most devices compatible with the software will be able to run on-device processing to complete low-level AI tasks, more complex tasks will require more processing, hence Apple’s innovative solution to utilise cloud storage via a secure data centre. Cloud computing always comes with an increased set of risks, but the company is mitigating that by ensuring that the Private Cloud Compute platform (which also runs Silicone) will be focused on ensuring data security on an individual user basis. This means that only the relevant data needed to complete a task will be sent to the cloud and it won’t be stored long-term. 

The impact of Apple Intelligence will stretch across three functions: language, action, and images. The new word processing tools Rewrite and Proofread incorporate generative AI to assist with everything from composing emails to checking texts for grammar. Reduce Interruptions takes Focus mode to the next level while combining the Notes and Phone apps means users can get audio recordings with transcripts. 

Image Playground also makes use of generative AI to give you full control over the creation of images based on suggested concepts, descriptions, and even the people identified in the phone’s photo library. 

Finally, Apple’s existing AI tool, Siri will be getting a glow-up—literally! In iOS 18 (and beyond) a phone’s edges will glow when Siri is activated. What’s more, it will finally be possible to type requests to the digital assistant as well as use voice, a feature that’s been running on Google Assistant for years now. 

And of course, Apple Intelligence will also offer ChatGPT integration on iPhone, which will open new possibilities for the users.

How to Get Early Access to iOS 18

The general buzz is that iOS will be properly launched from September 2024. It’s set to be compatible with every iPhone capable of running iOS 17 (including 2018’s iPhone XR and XS models) and select iPads. However, some Apple Intelligence features will only run properly on newer models. If you don’t want to go the entire summer without this latest operating system upgrade, it is possible to get your hands on it before it officially hits the market. 

IOS 18 is in developer beta mode, meaning it’s only accessible by Apple users on the Apple Developer Program. However, you don’t have to be an iPhone developer to access it, anyone with an Apple ID can sign-up to join the programme. Be warned, though, as the system will still likely be quite rough around the edges, but at least you’ll be able to give some of the cool new features a test run before its final release. 

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