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Home / News / These new iPhone features are our first look at iOS 18

These new iPhone features are our first look at iOS 18

There are a bunch of new accessibility features for the iPhone, which will be released as part of the major free iOS 18 update

Apple is working on its next major software update for the latest iPhones – iOS 18. We won’t be seeing the free major update for a few more weeks when it debuts at Apple’s developers conference. But the tech giant has given us our first look at the upcoming software with the release of these new iPhone accessibility features.

The biggest of the new features has got to be Eye Tracking. Apple is giving us the power to control iPads and iPhones just by looking at them. It’s been designed primarily for users with physical disabilities. This feature uses the front-facing camera to track where you’re looking, letting you command your device without lifting a finger.

Then there’s Music Haptics, which feels like turning your favourite jams into a vibrating symphony. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, this feature will let you experience music through vibrations of the iPhone’s Taptic Engine. Vocal Shortcuts are here to make Siri even more useful (or at least try to). By setting up custom sounds or phrases, users can get Siri to perform tasks. It’s a nifty trick, especially for folks with speech variations.

For anyone who turns a bit green in cars, Vehicle Motion Cues might be your new best mate. This feature uses animated dots to sync with the motion of your ride, aiming to reduce the clash between what your eyes see and your body feels.

Apple’s not stopping at mobile devices, either. The accessibility love is spreading to CarPlay and visionOS. CarPlay will now listen out for sirens and honks for those with hearing difficulties. And visionOS is set to introduce Live Captions for everything from FaceTime chats to video streams.

Expect iOS 18 to debut at Apple’s WWDC 2024 developers conference in June, before it rolls out to everyone in September. It’s thought that the next version of the iPhone’s software is going to pack a number of new AI-powered features, potentially including a revamped Siri. The design is also set to get a major refresh. With so many changes, making this update as broad as possible can only be a good thing – giving users an extra reason to keep their iPhone. And upgrade to the next one, naturally.

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Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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