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Rumor: iOS 18 could borrow design cues from visionOS for iPhone and iPad

2024 February 9
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Rumor has it that iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, Apple’s next major updates coming this fall, could bring a visionOS-inspired design to the iPhone and iPad’s interface.

visionOS user interface design elements

According to the Israeli publication The Verifier, iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 will bring some of the design elements from the Vision Pro’s operating system to your iPhone and iPad. The publication says it has learned about this “a few weeks ago.”

The iPhone and iPad’s user interface will reportedly receive a substantial facelift, with the menus, tabs and other items updated with fresh ideas inspired by visionOS. These changes will be readily apparent in built-in apps like Safari.

iOS 18 could borrow design cues from visionOS

To back up its claims, The Verifier put a spotlight on the recent visual changes in iOS and iPadOS software that don’t appear to follow Apple’s own design guidelines.
A good example is tvOS 17.2’s redesigned TV app with its translucent floating sidebar seemingly resembling side controls in visionOS apps.
Apple TV app on visionOSAnother one is the new vertical menu in the Messages app on iOS 17 that can be touched to reveal iMessage apps or held pressed to open a Photos picker.
The side menu in the iPhone's Messages appYet another one is the interface for customizing the iPhone 15’s Action button—a great example of a futuristic design that feels out of place in the Settings app.
Action button customization set to Camera in the iPhone's Settings appNo other publication has said anything about iOS 18 receiving a facelift, except Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who said recently that Apple’s executives consider iOS 18 the most significant update in the company’s history.

The most ambitious update in Apple’s history

“Apple’s head of software engineering, Craig Federighi, told employees last year that the iOS 18—codenamed Crystal—will have ambitious changes all around,” he said.

He claimed Apple would enhance iOS 18 with “major new features and designs.” The update allegedly needs to be “extra-impressive” to wow users because Apple knows that “the iPhone 16’s hardware won’t have any major advances.”

Of course, iOS and iPadOS 18 18 are widely expected to bring generative AI features to iPhone and iPad owners, including automating multi-step tasks with Siri and infusing stock apps with generative AI features.

The Music app could gain automatically generated playlists, while Pages could bring a writing assistant and Keynote the ability to create slide decks from prompts.

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