6 New Enhancements for iPhone Messages in iOS 18

Apple is set to release iOS 18 in one week, and this update is expected to include numerous new features for the iPhone’s Messages app. This highly anticipated upgrade will be announced during the WWDC keynote on June 10, with the first beta available to Apple Developer Program members immediately following the event. A public beta is expected in July, with the upgrade becoming available to all customers with a compatible iPhone in September.

New Features for Messages App in iOS 18

Here is a recap of what to expect from the Messages app on iOS 18:

  1. RCS Support Last year, Apple announced it would support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS (Rich Communication Services) in the Messages app starting “later” in 2024. Based on this timeline, RCS support is expected to be a key feature in iOS 18.Improvements to Expect:
    • Higher-resolution photos and videos: Users will be able to send and receive media in better quality.Audio messages: Improved audio messaging capabilities for clearer communication.Typing indicators: See when someone is typing a response.Read receipts: Know when your messages have been read.Wi-Fi messaging: Send and receive messages over Wi-Fi.Improved group chats: Including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users.
    These features, already available for iMessage conversations with blue bubbles, will extend to green bubbles over both Wi-Fi and cellular networks. SMS will remain available as a fallback option.
  2. Per-Word Effects Apple plans to add a per-word text effects option to the Messages app on iOS 18. This feature will allow users to animate individual words within a message, unlike the current entire-bubble or full-screen effects like invisible ink or confetti.Potential Additions:
    • Bold, italics, and underline formatting options: While not yet confirmed, these enhancements would further enrich text messaging.
  3. Suggested Replies iOS 18 will introduce AI-generated suggested replies to the Messages app. This feature will analyze recent messages in a conversation and provide a few suggested replies that users can tap to send.
  4. Custom Emoji Another AI-powered feature rumored for iOS 18 is the ability to send custom emoji that are automatically generated based on the context of recent messages. This feature aims to add a personal touch to emoji communication.
  5. Message Recaps iOS 18 is expected to provide AI-generated recaps of information from several apps, including recent messages received in the Messages app. This feature will help users stay updated with important conversations and notifications, making it easier to catch up on missed messages.
  6. New Tapback IconsTapback icons (the heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, “haha,” exclamation marks, and question mark that can be added to messages) may be redesigned in iOS 18. This update aims to enhance the visual appeal and usability of these quick response options, providing a fresher look and feel.

MacReview verdict

Apple’s iOS 18 promises to bring several exciting new features to the Messages app, enhancing the messaging experience with improved functionality and innovative AI-powered tools. From RCS support to custom emoji and suggested replies, users can look forward to a more versatile and engaging platform for their conversations. As we await the official announcement and subsequent beta releases, these anticipated updates underscore Apple’s commitment to continually improving its user experience.

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