Apple unveils major iPhone software overhaul

Apple unveils major iPhone software overhaul
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Apple has announced a raft of changes to its iOS operating system which operates on all iPhones and will be updated later this year.

The features will allow new customisation of the look of your iPhone screens, a new look Photos app and improvements to the Messages app.

Timing of the new iOS – to be known as iOS 18 – will coincide with the launch of a new iPhone later this year, but will be available on iPhones back several generations.

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Following on a trend from users over recent years to colour code their iPhone screens with apps in certain orders or colour groups, the new iOS for iPhone will allow users to choose a colour theme for all apps, to make them all look part of your overall phone theme.

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In addition, you will now be able to move your icons to any area of the screen, leaving gaps on the screen.

Until now, apps and widgets were always arranged from the top of the phone downward.

With iOS 18, you can place a few apps along the bottom part of the screen to perhaps make them easier to access, or leave space for the photo you have as your wallpaper to be seen.

The Photos app in iOS 18 gets a big overhaul.

Apple has redesigned this to take into account the vast number of photos we all now have in our libraries.

This means a big adjustment for people who have been used to a certain way of operating for a very long time.

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The changes make it easier to avoid things you took photos of that aren’t essentially photos.

For example, if you take a lot of screenshots, or photos of receipts, those can be hidden easily, or won’t appear in daily memories.

In Apple’s iMessage app, the place where most people send text messages and photos to each other, a huge change which Apple didn’t spend any time highlighting is “RCS Messaging Support”.

This means for those friends who are “green bubble” users – those people not using an iPhone – if they have a modern Android phone, features such as a thumbs-up reply “tapback” will now work, and your photos and videos will be sent in higher quality.

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You should also see those dots when they are typing, not just your Apple iPhone-using friends.

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No word yet on if this will allow “green bubble” friends to be part of group messages with iPhone users.

iOS 18 will be used by developers of apps over the months ahead to ensure their apps are updated and ready, while Apple will likely hold a “Public Beta” allowing people to test the new Operating System before it’s released free and to all compatible iPhones later this year, likely mid September.

Trevor Long travelled to the US as a guest of Apple Australia.

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