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iOS 18: Six new features coming to iPhone

While new AI features will steal the show at WWDC next week, Apple has a number of other changes planned for iOS 18. This includes new home screen customization options, design changes, and more. Head below for a roundup of some of the non-AI features rumored for iOS 18 this year.

Place icons anywhere on the home screen

Rumors say that Apple will let users freely place app icons and widgets on their Home Screen for the first time. This means iPhone users will be able to break free from the current fixed aligned grid, and create gaps between widgets and app icons.

This matches functionality offered on Android. Additionally, the iPad currently lets users place widgets (but not app icons) anywhere on the home screen.

Theming app icons

Another big change coming to the iOS 18 home screen will be the ability to customize app icons. According to Bloomberg, this new feature will let users “change the color of app icons” on a system-wide level for the first time.

We’re still waiting for more details on how exactly this will work. The example offered by Bloomberg suggests you could “make all your social icons blue or finance-related ones green.”

Apple Maps upgrades

Apple Maps will reportedly add support for a new custom route creation feature with iOS 18.

Custom route creation would enable iPhone users to design their own specific routes for a trip, rather than relying on one of the routes suggested by Apple Maps. Currently, Apple Maps offers several route options to your destination, but this feature in iOS 18 would provide you with complete control over the precise details of your journey.

Control Center revamp

According to Bloomberg, iOS 18 will bring a revamped Control Center functionality to iPhone users. The new Control Center design will feature an updated music widget, as well as improvements to HomeKit integration.

Currently, iOS will “intelligently” choose up to six accessories to display in the Home section of Control Center. This layout, however, is managed automatically and isn’t always great at surfacing the exact controls users are looking for. While Bloomberg doesn’t offer specific details on what iOS 18 will do to improvement HomeKit support in Control Center, ideally, one area of focus will be giving users that added customization.

Text effects in Messages

A report last week suggested that iOS 18 will add text effect support to the Messages app. According to MacRumors, this feature will let users “add animations to individual words within a message.”

New Settings app

Settings in iOS 18

Finally, iOS 18 will reportedly include a new version of the Settings app for iPhone users. The new Settings app will allegedly feature a revamped interface with improved organization, as well as more powerful search for easily finding the settings you’re looking for.

9to5Mac’s Take

While I’m excited to see the AI features in iOS 18, I can’t help but think a lot of iPhone users will be more interested in the new home screen customization options. The release of iOS 14 in 2020 with support for home screen spurred a viral ecosystem of users looking to personalize their home screen. It sounds like iOS 18 will deliver on some of the additional customization options that users have been asking for since then.

What are you most excited to see in iOS 18? Let us know down in the comments.

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