New iOS 18 leak hints at an Apple Vision Pro-inspired redesign for the iPhone as WWDC preview nears

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(Image credit: Future)

Apple's iOS 17 software might have only been on iPhones around the globe for a little more than six months, but eyes are very much on the upcoming unveiling of iOS 18. Apple is strongly expected to announce that update and preview it to the world on June 10 during the WWDC opening keynote, and while Apple has yet to confirm the software, we're starting to learn more and more about what it will have to offer.

The expectation is that iOS 18 will be a big new update for iPhone owners, and they won't have to rush out to buy a new iPhone 16 or iPhone 16 Pro models to enjoy it. We've already been told to expect iOS 18 to offer new customizability options, particularly in relation to the iPhone's Home Screen, and now a new report suggests that Apple will be drawing from its most recent new product launch for inspiration for the overall look and feel of the software.

According to that report, Apple will use visionOS-like design elements for iOS 18 including the camera app and beyond.

visionOS comes to iPhone

The new report by MacRumors is based on an image of the supposed iOS 18 Camera app that hints at what is to come from the update later this year. The report says that the iPhone frame template was shared by an anonymous source who says that they got it from an iOS engineer. The same image will reportedly be included in the iOS 18 Apple Design Resources that developers use when building their own apps for distribution in the App Store.

This report follows a similar one from earlier this year by The Verifier that claimed visionOS featured heavily in the design of iOS 18's interface elements. With that, Apple was thought to be bringing a new translucent look to the iPhone with the Apple TV app one element that was mentioned at the time. However, given The Verifier's mixed track record, the information wasn't seen to be 100% credible, although this latest report does add additional context.

The Camera app shown in the MacRumors report does appear to match the new translucent design language we had been told to expect, but it's important to remember that any anonymous source has the potential to share false information without any potential for recrimination.

Given the expectation that iOS 18 will be a huge update, it's definitely possible that Apple may have big plans for this year. We've already been told to expect Apple's AI push to include iOS 18 and macOS 15, with the company thought to be in talks with Google and OpenAI to discuss the potential for using the companies' respective generative AI technology. Apple is also working on its in-house option, but it isn't expected to focus on ChatGPT-like features with iOS 18 according to a recent leak.

If Apple goes the route that we expect it will announce iOS 18 along with updates for its other devices before making them all available in developer beta on June 10. The updates won't be made available to the public until the fall, however, with mid-September likely to be the final launch date.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.