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Apple’s iOS 18 update might not have the major redesign we heard about

Published Feb 26th, 2024 7:14AM EST
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Image: José Adorno for BGR

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iOS 18 was expected to be an “ambitious and compelling” update. At least, this is what Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman heard from a top voice at Apple’s headquarters. Although he never said this upcoming operating system would get a redesign overhaul, we did hear that Cupertino was readying an AI-inspired update.

Now, in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman believes Apple is working on updating the “design of iOS as early as this year, but I don’t believe it will be a total overhaul that mirrors visionOS.” With that in mind, Apple might be planning to change a few elements of the iPhone’s operating system, but not all.

While visionOS brings 3D aesthetic buttons and glassy background textures, iOS 17 doesn’t have either this concept or Apple’s macOS look. Even though a sketchy leak suggested that iOS 18 could get a major visionOS-like design update, it’s more likely that the company will only polish a few elements. Here’s why.

Apple will never relive its iOS 7 moment by redesigning iOS 18

Customizing Contact Posters in iOS 17 is just like customizing the Lock Screen.Image source: Apple Inc.

Almost 11 years since Apple revamped iOS with its seventh major update, I don’t think Cupertino will ever take a bold approach with its iPhone operating system again. While the design change from skeuomorphism to flat and simple became a trend, this release was also marked by its Apple Maps fiasco introduction and the end of the partnership between Apple and Google with a built-in YouTube app.

Even though the system has completely changed this past decade, Apple doesn’t seem ready to reinvent the wheel. When the company introduced macOS Big Sur and its new look, it was rumored that its icons would come to iOS. They didn’t.

Now that visionOS is available, it’s only natural that leakers and reports point in this direction, but we won’t likely see this change.

For those eagerly waiting for iOS 18, I’d instead expect AI changes rather than a design revamp. If you’re curious about what Apple is preparing for this operating system update, BGR has compiled a guide with all the latest reports below.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.