After two weeks with iOS 18 this one change could be the biggest quality-of-life improvement of the iPhone's next software update

flashlight iOS 18
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

When Apple announced the ability to change the shortcuts found on your Lock Screen in iOS 18, I breathed a sigh of relief. No longer would I need to endure the frustrating and sometimes embarrassing situation where removing my iPhone from my pocket meant shining a bright light in the face of the unlucky person in front of me.

Not only can you now choose from a wide selection of shortcut options for your Lock Screen but more importantly you can remove the flashlight functionality altogether. Could this simple change be the biggest quality-of-life improvement in iOS 18? I think so.

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

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No more accidental flashing

iOS 18

(Image credit: Apple)

The first thing I did after installing the iOS 18 developer beta on my iPhone 15 Pro Max was remove the left-sided Lock Screen flashlight shortcut that has been the bane of my existence for far too long. Don’t get me wrong, the flashlight is very useful and I use it regularly to find things like my dog’s toys under the sofa. But it’s also one of the most annoying features on my iPhone, constantly getting activated when I don’t want it to.

I always keep my iPhone in my left-hand pocket which means I take it out with my left hand. Because of this, at least once a day my left hand comes in contact with the flashlight Lock Screen shortcut and shines a bright light from my flash. But in iOS 18, this annoying and often embarrassing feature can now be removed — and I’m so damn happy about it. 

For a lot of people, the best thing about Lock Screen shortcut customization in the latest software update due to officially release this fall will be the ability to choose whatever you want. From launching specific apps, setting a contact to speed dial using the Shortcuts app, or even Shazam, the new Lock Screen customization options bring the benefits of the best iPhone’s Action button to all iOS 18 compatible devices. But for others, just the ability to remove these shortcuts like the flashlight will be far more useful than any extra functionality.

iOS 18’s trump card

iOS 18 Bento

(Image credit: Apple)

After using iOS 18 for over two weeks now, I’ve really enjoyed the subtle changes that positively impact my daily life. From removing screenshots by filtering them out of the new Photos app to adding tasks from Reminders into the Calendar app, it’s an update that may not have flashy features as of yet but definitely improves the smartphone’s user experience.

With Apple Intelligence on the horizon and AI features such as photo generation, proofreading, and smarter Siri to work as your personal assistant coming later this year, iOS 18 is shaping up to be a fantastic new era for the iPhone. With all the flashy additions, however, the ability to remove the flashlight and instead activate it via the Action button when I need is the one thing I’m most hyped about.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.