Published On: Sat, Feb 3rd, 2024
Technology | 2,627 views

Your iPhone is set for ‘the biggest’ free update ever later this year

If you have an iPhone you might be used to downloading a new version of iOS software every year that brings several updates and improvements to your phone for free. 2024 will be no different, with iOS 18 set to be one of the biggest updates ever for Apple fans when it drops later this year.

That’s according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who said in the subscriber-only section of his Power On newsletter: “I’m told that the new operating system is seen within the company as one of the biggest iOS updates — if not the biggest — in the company’s history”.

Gurman has a great track record when it comes to Apple rumours. He expects the new software update will focus on improving the iPhone’s artificial intelligence (AI) features, which would follow the slew of new AI tools from smartphone rivals Google and Samsung on their latest Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 phones respectively.

Gurman said iOS 18 will have generative AI smarts that “should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences”, something Google products can do in apps like Gmail. The Galaxy S24 series of phones also has a feature called Chat Assist that can reword a draft of a text to appear more casual or professional.

iOS 18 is also expected to insert similar AI features into popular first party apps such as Pages, Keynote, and Apple Music. The latter’s main rival Spotify recently launched an AI DJ that spins tunes for subscribers based on a number of listening habits.

AI seems to be the latest craze for phone makers battling to make their products stand out. Tech site The Information has reported in recent months that Apple plans to make its voice assistant Siri smarter by hooking it up to what are known as large language models – the tech behind generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot.

If you have an iPhone released in the past few years then you will very likely be able to download iOS 18 when it comes out. That will probably be in September 2024 when we expect the iPhone 16 range to be announced – Apple usually does its annual main iPhone launch around this time of year.

The tech firm then pushes out the latest software to its older phones to give people the newest features. At the moment, anyone with an iPhone released in 2018 or later can get iOS 17 – phones such as the iPhone XR and XS. If you have an iPhone 7 or 8, you are now out of luck and Apple won’t be updating your phone anymore.

It’s therefore likely that if you have a 2019 iPhone like the iPhone 11 then you will get iOS 18, but we will have to wait till later this year for Apple to confirm.

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