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iOS 18 may change Apple ID to Apple Account, and it would make way more sense

Published Feb 29th, 2024 11:17AM EST
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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You can use an iPhone without getting an Apple ID, but you’d have to settle for a dumb phone rather than a smartphone experience. You can’t download apps or any other digital content without an Apple ID. That’s why most iPhone users have one. That Apple ID is our Apple account, which lets you manage and secure all the digital data tied to Apple products, like iCloud and other Apple services. You don’t just want an Apple ID; you want to secure your Apple ID and prevent anyone from getting access to it.

Apple is reportedly considering changing the name of Apple ID to “Apple Account.” It could happen once iOS 18 arrives. While it’s unclear why Apple might make the change, it would make a lot more sense in the context of Apple’s current business.

Sources who are supposedly familiar with Apple’s plans informed MacRumors that Apple is already testing the Apple Account name.

If Apple switches Apple ID to Apple Account, it would happen alongside the releases of iOS 18 (codename Crystal) and macOS 15 (codename Glow), says the blog. “System applications will receive modifications to reflect the change, as will Apple’s website — assuming the company chooses to implement the new branding.”

The sources aware of Apple’s work on the Apple ID rebrand did not explain why the rebrand is needed. Clarity could be the main reason, but I’m just speculating.

I’m a longtime user who is well aware of what Apple ID is and what it can do. Hundreds of millions of iPhone users are just like me. We know this is an Apple account, where all the digital elements of the Apple device experience reside. 

It’s similar to how a Google Account gives you access to all Google apps and services. Some people might get confused. It might not be clear to them what Apple ID is because “ID” sounds less like a digital property. Just like some Gmail users might not be aware that their Gmail account is part of their Google account

Remember that Apple also uses “ID” for Touch ID, Face ID, and Optic ID. These are biometric authentication systems that use fingerprints, 3D face scans, and iris scans. You use Touch ID, Face ID, and Optic ID to log into some Apple ID features. 

With all that in mind, calling it Apple Account might make more sense than Apple ID. 

Logging into my Apple ID on
Logging into my Apple ID on Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Also, we’re in the era of AI, with iOS 18 expected to pack big AI features. Since this is Apple, it’ll likely make a big deal about how its large language models handle data. How some AI features will happen on-device while others need the cloud. 

Most importantly, considering everything happening with the competition, you’ll need an Apple Account to handle some of the generative AI experiences. You need an account for ChatGPT, Copilot, and Gemini. You either can’t access these services without an account. Or, if you can, the functionality is limited.

We already have Apple Accounts, the Apple IDs we use. But Apple could talk about Apple Accounts more than usual, especially when describing AI features, privacy policies, and so on. 

Rebranding Apple ID to Apple Account would eliminate any confusion. But I’m just speculating. Regardless of what the Apple ID ends up being called, however, it’ll still give us access to existing features, in addition to everything that will be tied to AI, and other specific iOS 18 features that might involve one’s account.

I will remind you that iOS was once called iPhoneOS. Apple changed it in time for the first iPad. Then, when it needed to break the tablet’s operating system away from iOS, we got iPadOS, with its unique tablet-centric features. Therefore, if Apple wants to drop the Apple ID marketing name, it might have a good reason to do it. 

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.