Upcoming iOS 18 iPhone update tipped to include new Notes app voice recording and math features as WWDC 2024 nears

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If Apple sticks to the familiar cadence we can expect it to announce the iOS 18 software update at WWDC in June before releasing it to the public in the fall. And while we're still a couple of months away from Apple previewing the new software we're starting to see more and more leaks around what it will and will not have to offer.

There have been plenty of claims of new Apple AI features coming to iOS 18 and macOS 15, and now we're hearing that there could be some big changes coming to an unsung hero of the Apple app family — Notes.

Apple's Notes app is available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Vision Pro and while it had a rocky start, it's grown into the go-to note-taking and data collection app of choice for a whole lot of people — yours truly, included. Now, a new report claims that iOS 18 and macOS 15 will see the Notes app gain some new features, specifically the ability to embed add a voice recording to a note as well as take advantage of new math capabilities.

Take note

This is all according to a new AppleInsider report which cites people "familiar with the matter" when it says that new audio recording support is coming to the Notes app.

"Recordings made within the app get embedded within individual notes, meaning that users will have the option to include additional text or images alongside their audio recordings," AppleInsider explains. "This would allow users to, for example, add descriptions or context to an audio recording made within the app." Some potential use cases, we're told, include students taking audio recordings of classes and then adding them to a note alongside photos of a whiteboard and their own written notes. All of the notes and recordings will then sync via iCloud, as you might expect.

Another addition is what is currently being called "Math Notes," a feature that will " leverage connectivity with the company's Calculator app, allowing users to integrate information from Calculator within the Notes app."

"Though it remains incomplete at press time, the update is likely to usher in support for displaying proper mathematic notation, an essential shorthand for academic, science, and engineering applications," the report explains. "Users will be able to open Math Notes from the Calculator app through a dedicated option or button, allowing for quick and easy navigation. The exact implementation of this new feature, however, remains to be seen."

While I'm not sure that I would make extensive use of either of these new features, I'm absolutely a fan of Apple making regular and notable improvements to the Notes app. It's become my second brain, storing everything from my kids' report cards to notes about upcoming birthday get-togethers and everything in between. I would never have thought that possible until recent updates brought power user features to an app that was previously all too shallow.

With this rumor, it would appear that Apple will continue to give the Notes app some love, and I can't wait to see what else is coming to an app I use more than most on my iPhone and Mac.

As mentioned, Apple is likely to preview iOS 18 alongside updates for the iPad, Mac, and other platforms at WWDC on June 10. It's then expected to enter developer beta on the same day before being released to the public in September.

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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.