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iGBEditorialiOS 18 vs iOS 17: Should I upgrade?

iOS 18 vs iOS 17: Should I upgrade?

At WWDC 2024, Apple unveiled iOS 18 with exciting new features and improvements for your iPhone. Apple geeks like us can’t wait to try the features, and thankfully the iOS 18 Developer Beta is available to install now. But before you decide whether to upgrade, let’s take a closer look at what the iOS 18 update has to offer.

In this article, we’ll discuss the key differences between iOS 18 and iOS 17 so you can easily decide whether the upgrade is worth it or not.

Does your iPhone support iOS 18?

The good news is that iOS 18 supports the same devices as iOS 17. This includes the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and later models. Also, the upcoming iPhone 16 series will likely come with iOS 18 out of the box.

Now that you know whether your iPhone will support iOS 18, let’s explore the new features

iOS 18 vs. iOS 17: What are the major new features?

iOS 18 brings several new features and improvements, making it a significant upgrade over iOS 17. Here’s a closer look at some of the standout features you’ll find in iOS 18:

1. Apple Intelligence

iOS 18 introduced an AI-powered feature called Apple Intelligence. It makes use of generative models to produce relevant texts and visuals and create custom emojis. Furthermore, it drives automation in Siri and across native apps, increasing productivity.

2. Customization options

Customization is the name of the game with iOS 18. If you loved the new widgets and home screen setups in iOS 17, you’ll be thrilled with the additional options in iOS 18.

Customize Home Screen
iOS 18 vs iOS 17 iPhone Home Screen Customization

iOS 18 lets you personalize your home screen and has revamped the Control Center. You can now freely arrange apps and widgets on the home screen, and the Control Center has new sections and quick controls for your favorite apps.

iOS 18 vs iOS 17 Control Center
iOS 18 vs iOS 17 Control Center Customization

Moreover, Apple has made it easier to change app icons without needing third-party apps. App icons and widgets now feature a sleek Dark mode and can be tinted with any color to complement your wallpaper. Further, you can change the quick access controls on the Lock Screen.

3. Enhanced privacy

Apple has always prioritized privacy, and iOS 18 follows suit with several new privacy features.

The new Passwords app makes accessing iCloud Keychain passwords easier. Furthermore, iOS 18 lets you control which contacts an app can access. Additionally, you can lock apps and hide apps in a safe hidden apps folder.

Tap to Cash on iPhone with iOS 18
Source: Apple

Apple also launched Tap to Cash with iOS 18. Thus, you can make Apple Wallet transactions quickly without disclosing your phone number or email address.

4. Improved Photos app

The Photos app in iOS 18 has been significantly redesigned owing to AI integration. Your images and videos are now organized into “Collections” such as People & Pets, Recent Days, and Trips. Collections can be pinned for quick access.

Improved Photos app with iOS 18
New improved Photos app in iOS 18

A new Carousel feature also displays daily highlights. The app has new sections, such as Utilities and wallpaper suggestions. Similar to the screenshots, images of receipts and handwritten notes will be stored in different albums. Now you can fully customize your Photos app according to you.

5. More fun in Messages

iOS 18 brings new text effects in iMessage, allowing you to add animations to your messages. You can also use any emoji or sticker in Tapbacks (instead of the usual heart, thumbs up/down, question marks, etc.). The Send Later feature, which lets you schedule messages for a time down the road, is another highlight in the iOS 18 update.

Text Message effect and Send message feature in iOS 18
iOS 18 Text message effects and Send Later feature

The Messages app also supports RCS messaging with non-Apple devices. This means your Android friends will now receive read receipts. Apple also introduced Messages via Satellite, so you can continue your chats even when cellular and Wi-Fi networks are unavailable.

6. Overhaul for native apps

iOS 18 updates several native apps, including Mail, Safari, Maps, Notes, and Journal. The Mail app now includes on-device categorization, sorting incoming emails into Primary, Transactions, Updates, and Promotions.

Safari highlight and Mail app customization feature
iOS 18 Safari Highlight and Mail App Customization feature

Safari introduces Highlights to surface quick links on a webpage. The Reader mode now includes a summary and table of contents for longer articles, too. While Notes app has Live Audio transcription and Math notes features.

When will iOS 18 be available?

The developer beta of iOS 18 is already available through the Apple Developer Program. If you prefer a more stable build, a public beta will be available in July via the Apple Beta Software Program. The final release of iOS 18 is expected in September after the iPhone 16 announcement event.

iOS 18 vs iOS 17 – Should you upgrade?

Whether you should upgrade from iOS 17 to iOS 18 right now depends on your needs and preferences.

If you’re eager to try out the new AI features, with the help of which you can remove unwanted objects from the background, personalized home screen, enhanced privacy, change Siri’s name, redesigned native apps, and try new iPhone Mirroring app then iOS 18 is worth considering. However, if you’re happy with your current setup and don’t want to deal with the bugs of the beta software, you may wait until the stable version of iOS 18 rolls out.

Ultimately, the decision to update is yours. I suggest not installing Developer Beta on your primary device. If you have a spare iPhone, getting your hands on iOS 18 now could be a good way to determine if you like the update or not.

Can you record calls with iOS 18?

Yes, the native Phone app lets you record calls on iOS 18. On a live call, you will see a record button. Tap it to start the recording. However, note that as the recording starts, the caller will be notified about it.

Read more on iOS 18:

  • Ava

    Ava is a die-hard Apple aficionado and seasoned writer with a knack for breaking down complex tech concepts into easily digestible content. Having honed her writing and editing skills over 3 years at renowned media houses like TechBurner, Ava crafts informative and engaging articles including troubleshooting guides, product reviews, editorials at iGeeksBlog. When not typing, you can find her exploring the latest Apple releases or pondering the future of tech innovation.

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  • Marcus

    Marcus Mears III is a lifelong technology enthusiast with half a decade of experience developing prose that keeps readers in the know. With hundreds of reviews, buying guides, and how-to explainers across a number of tech and lifestyle publications like How-To Geek, MakeUseOf, and iGeeksBlog, Mears’ work helps readers around the globe learn to make the most of their devices and software. He uses a 2016 MacBook Pro as his daily driver laptop and a self-built Windows PC for gaming and productivity.

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