Unveiling Hidden Gems: Discovering Unmentioned iOS 18 Features Following WWDC 2024

WWDC 2024 has had it all: tech, speed, and announcements galore. Curiously, the features of the next public release of iOS – iOS 18 – have been a highlight of the event. But in all this hubbub, several iOS 18 features sadly haven’t had the opportunity to shine. These features didn’t make it into the keynote and were announced either in some obscure newsroom post announced a few days before the start of WWDC, or were found lurking about in the code of the early public betas of iOS 18 that developers could access. Well, this is why we’re here. We want to give those left-out features the spotlight they truly deserve. What’s more, we want to remind you about the aggressive year-over-year pace of technological innovation that APPLE brings to your iPhone and iPad.

A GAZE INTO THE FUTURE: Eye Tracking on iPhone

One of the most interesting features of APPLE’s new AR headset (that wasn’t mentioned during the keynote) is eye tracking, which APPLE is extending from the Apple Vision Pro to both iPhone and iPad by way of iOS 18. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Eye Tracking and, just like that, you can control your device with your gaze. And it’s not a gimmick: eye tracking could be a major step forward in making devices accessible to all users by giving people who are limited by physical ability an easier way to use the technology.

Solving Problems with 'MATH NOTES' on iPhone

The second unsung feature to come out of the WWDC this year is ‘Math Notes’. The announcement during the iPadOS 18 keynote was met with the delighted cheers of iPad users excited about one of the feature’s promised upgrades. But, unexpectedly, the feature is now available on the iPhone. If you’re not a math aficionado, you might wonder what the big deal is. Math Notes is the capability to instantly have handwritten equations solved at the tip of your fingertips. And, until now, it was the stuff of dreams. Even on the iPad, it had been previously limited to the use of an Apple Pencil. Now it can be used on the iPhone without the need for a stylus, and in the same way the iPad hardware functions: the solution appears in the user’s handwriting style. The inclusion here on the iPhone doesn’t just expand the reach of the feature, making it available to a new user base, and continuing the trend of making the iPhone a more sophisticated educational device. When you consider what this represents, it becomes a true breakthrough.

Lighting the Way: Adjustable iPhone Flashlight

In a move that’s only typical of APPLE, the company revealed – without fanfare, amid the main event – a new flashlight control UI that can be accessed with a swipe-down gesture from the lock screen. This might seem cosmetic, but it allows single-handed control over the width of an iPhone’s flashlight beam – a useful, user-centric improvement that APPLE happily underplayed. This sort of functionality is a small, but telling, part of a broader effort on the part of APPLE to offer users exactly what they want and need – how they want and need it.

Visual Feedback through BEZEL ANIMATIONS

It got almost no press attention at the time, but one of the new features included was ‘bezel animations’ that would play when the side buttons on the iPhone were pressed – a visual cue to support aesthetic feedback. The fact that APPLE watchers also speculate about future iPhones with solid-state buttons that might benefit from additional bezel animations as a haptic illusion suggests that these extra animations might come to be worth something.

Simplifying Connections: QR Codes for Wi-Fi Sharing

Finally, the ability to share Wi-Fi passwords leapt forward with iOS 18. The Passwords app’s QR code generation feature, while not explicitly mentioned at WWDC, is likely to become another way for people to connect. Once a Wi-Fi network is set up, guests can be let in simply by scanning a QR code, thus eliminating awkward exchanges or seeking long-lost passwords. It’s another example of how APPLE is trying to make connectivity as effortless as possible.

The Core of Innovation: APPLE at Its Best

It’s easy to see why we haven’t heard much of these features of iOS 18: APPLE’s innovation machine is fully functional. It’s working to improve accessibility with eye tracking, simplify daily tasks with smart note-taking and connection options, and understand users’ needs in specific, sophisticated ways and tackle them with customised innovation.

Exploring the Essence of APPLE

Ultimately, APPLE is innovation, quality and a willingness to ensure user satisfaction at every turn, as each iOS update and new feature introduction comes to define the ever-evolving APPLE ethos and continue its legacy as an industry leader. The secret features of iOS 18 will never make it to a stage at WWDC 2024, but they’re nonetheless perfect exemplars of how we do better with APPLE, how the iterative marching on of technology just keeps making things better – how APPLE’s devices stay front and centre in our lives, easing tasks, enabling connection, aiding communication and improving experiences. And with every new feature release, our anticipation for what come next is never dimmed. We trust APPLE, to consistently aim for, and succeed at, the impossible.

Jun 15, 2024
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