iOS 18 is still a year away, but I'm already thinking about what I want the update to add to my iPhone

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract blur swirling background.
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Apple's iPhone has long since surpassed its Mac lineup as the company's big moneymaker, and as a result, it feels like iOS has evolved more quickly than its siblings ever could.

The App Store, Siri, multitasking, and much more have all been added since the platform began life as iPhone OS in 2008, and while iOS 18 is reported to feature a big AI push, there's still plenty more we want to see from this upcoming release.

From taking inspiration from Google to things we've wanted to see for years, here are a few features we'd like to see in iOS 18.

A small AI note

Petey Apple Music playlist on iPhone

(Image credit: iMore)

With much of the early reports on iOS 18 suggesting that Apple is leaning into a ChatGPT-style AI assistant to supercharge Siri, I think there's a lot of potential.

Siri needs to get smarter, first and foremost. So I expect we'll see a drastic overhaul of the virtual assistant's capabilities, but I also think it'll make a big difference across the OS.

Features such as app recommendations, editing any kind of image or video, and hopefully continuing the improvements made with predictive text and the iPhone's keyboard, could give productivity an even bigger boost than it has in recent years.

Magic Eraser

Google Magic Eraser on iPhone

(Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto)

Over the last few months, I've been watching a lot more TV, and while I'm sure the latest Google Pixel phone is great, there's no way I'm leaving the Apple ecosystem, including all my purchases and accessories, behind. 

And yet, there's one piece of that Google pie that intrigues me - Magic Eraser. It's the one piece of every Pixel commercial I find myself sitting and watching.

It's an AI-based photo edit that can remove anything from an image and take a pretty decent stab at amending what was behind it to look natural. It's a great idea, and while it is possible on iPhone through the Google Photos app, it would be good to see Apple's take on this magical photo-editing software.

Maybe this is being considered for the reported AI focus of iOS 18, but every time I see that commercial, I think of how useful it'd be to just instantly erase the mess in my house when I take a picture of my kid. 

New iMessage features

iMessage Verification in iOS 16.6

(Image credit: Apple)

iMessage has gained plenty of new features in recent years. Some are good, such as in-line replies, while some like iMessage apps are less useful for many.

Still, Apple's message client is becoming compatible with RCS, a message standard to communicate with Android phones, so wouldn't this be a good opportunity to show what iMessage can do?

I'm not saying we need even more apps or stickers within iMessage, but I think some handy additions could make the app shine.

I never thought I'd want more Slack-like features on my phone, but I always use the message reminder feature in my day job, and regularly use scheduled send, too. Can we get those please, Apple?

Finally, I want polls added to iMessage. My group of friends and I could suggest a handful of dates to meet up, and then select the best ones for us. Sure, you can do it with TapBack reactions on messages, but a poll would be nicer - you could even link it with the calendar app. 

I will concede that iMessage has gotten a lot more complex with the features it's added, but I think the iOS 17 UI refresh has made it much easier to navigate - and nicer to look at, too.

Increased stability

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract blur swirling background.

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

I'm unsure if it's just me, but iOS 17 feels particularly buggy. It's not like I am running older hardware, either - it's on Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro Max

At one point, there was an annoying bug where my keyboard wouldn't show up until I closed an app and came back to it — meaning I lost whatever I was doing up to that point. That lasted for the best part of a month.

I've also had cell signal drop despite multiple bars of cellular connection. But my iOS 17 woes didn't stop there — the camera sometimes refuses to show in the Camera app, and there is often a weird inability to play or pause music at times.

While iOS 18 is expected to be a big update, and bugs are never predictable, I'd love for this update to be a little less rough around the edges.

Lloyd Coombes
Contributor

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom.

Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more.

He’s also the Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.

  • Just_Me_D
    A year away? Unless Apple make changes to WWDC, we should see the initial developer beta of iOS 18 in June. — 5 months away.
    Reply
  • graclarkey
    Typing indicators and read receipts in group iMessage chats, please Apple
    Reply