Apple iOS 18 hands-on experience: One-click icon theme change, iPhone call recording is finally here

To be honest, after being shown off by "Apple Intelligence" for 40 minutes, I can no longer remember any updates to the iOS 18 system itself other than the home screen.

However, after actually getting started with iOS 18, perhaps due to the temporary absence of AI, the functionality and customization of this new system are much higher than expected.

As for Apple’s much-anticipated smart AI series functions, we will have to wait until the autumn to reveal the “true face of Lushan”.

Your iPhone, more free and personalized

From a variety of widgets, to definable icons, to personalized lock screens and business cards, iOS 18 is more liberating, allowing users to use more imagination and creativity.

The first is an update that breaks the eighteen-year tradition of iOS: icons can be freely placed on the home screen and will no longer be automatically filled in as before.

A more significant and stylized update is the introduction of the customization function of the icon color changer.

A more basic method is to make the application icon turn black along with the system's "dark mode". Currently, it only supports applications developed by Apple itself.

The more advanced method is for the user to adjust the color by himself, or use the system’s recommended colors based on the wallpaper to change the color of the entire set of iOS 18 application icons.

This full set of color-changing effects is more like superimposing a layer of filters on the basis of the original application icons and widgets to make them appear the same tone. The method is relatively simple and crude, but the advantage is that it does not require separate app adaptation. Can present a unified look and feel.

In addition to the color change, the icon actually has another update that has been mentioned in one stroke: there are also new options for the icon size. Users can "enlarge" the application icon without displaying the application name, and the interface is simpler.

In iOS 18, it is also easier to adjust the size of widgets on the home screen. Long press an application icon, and widget options of different sizes will pop up. Although, the visual sense of this function seems to be a bit strong.

The Control Center, which has not had major changes since iOS 11, has also been given a new look this time. The current interface is more "discrete" than before, but it also brings a higher degree of customization, allowing users to customize it more freely. The location and even size of the shortcut.

In addition to the familiar Control Center homepage, iOS 18 also launches three new pages of the Control Center: the music control page, the smart home page and the connection page, as well as in the upper right corner, a small "power off button" to illustrate the difficulty of soft shutting down the iPhone. Further decrease.

There is also a small, but very practical update: the two shortcuts on the lock screen are also open for customization. When this feature was demonstrated at WWDC, cheers came from the office.

The control center and lock screen shortcuts currently only support some of Apple's own shortcut operations, such as Shazam to listen to songs, translation software, etc., but Apple will provide APIs for third-party applications to access. Imagine that when the WeChat payment code is connected to these quick operations, it will be more convenient and convenient to swipe the code for payment on weekdays.

Customization even comes to the flashlight. After turning on the flashlight on iPhone 15 Pro, you can slide up and down on the smart island to adjust the brightness, and you can also slide left and right to adjust the focus. Similar high customization also appears in the "Optimize Battery Charging" option of the iPhone 15 series.

This reminds me of Windows Phone's slogan back then: "We don't build phones for everyone, we build phones for individuals." Now, the iPhone can not only show personality, but also fit better. personal usage habits.

Photo album is all about technology and hard work

The Photo Album App, which stores many precious memories of users, can be said to be one of the most changed built-in apps in iOS 18, and it also contains many "black technologies".

First of all, the entire album interface has been overhauled. There are no longer multiple pages like before. The photo grid view and album, memories and selections are all unified on one page, and different display modes can be switched by sliding.

The new "photo album" breaks through the traditional "photo album" and uses "themes" to intelligently help users organize photos, and users can also pin the photo album to the top. The new "carousel" view will display selected content such as people, pets, places, etc. collected by users on a daily basis.

In the photo grid, Apple provides a "filter" that allows users to check the content they want to display, such as personal collections, screenshots, videos, etc.

In addition to intelligently helping users select beautiful pictures and create photo albums, machine learning in photo albums also enables stronger "text search for videos" based on "text search for pictures". Not only can you search for photos and videos in everyday language, but you can also search for spoken content of videos.

iPadOS: The calculator comes with a big one

It can be said that the first "highlight moment" of this WWDC is this long-overdue iPad native calculator.

14 years after its introduction, iPadOS 18 finally ushered in an Apple-native "calculator" application. This hard-won update also received a "warm welcome" from Apple's official joke.

I originally thought that this calculator was just an enlarged version of the iPhone version, but I didn’t expect that Apple’s iPad calculator, which has been researched for 14 years, can really be described as “amazing”.

In addition to supporting all iPhone calculator functions, the new calculator also brings a powerful function of "handwritten formula calculation", which can be called an artifact for science students. This calculator allows users to use Apple Pencil to write complex mathematical expressions directly on the calculator, and even perform physical calculations.

After writing the functional expression, you can also generate the corresponding chart and adjust the variables in real time, and the chart will change accordingly.

Regarding handwriting, the press conference also introduced the "Smart Script" function of a memo, which uses machine learning to identify user handwriting and can automatically beautify the user's handwriting. However, in the current beta version, this function has not yet been implemented.

Call recording is not yet available, but other functions from friends are being followed up.

When introducing the "Apple Smart", the "Real-time call recording to text" flashed by the phone application aroused everyone's discussion and attention. However, the current test version has not yet found the presence of call recording. The nature of this function The calls from the "Apple Smart" are converted to text in real time, so they will be tested after the Apple Smart is launched.

Although the call recording function has not yet arrived, the iPhone can finally retrieve contacts directly by entering the phone number, instead of just displaying a contact name alone without any interaction as in the past.

As for other call-related functions, there is the new AirPods Pro voice highlighting function. When making a voice call with others, AirPods will eliminate the noise around the user and highlight the user's voice so that the other party can hear their voice more clearly.

There is also a new "i-person welfare" feature: with AirPods, you can ask Siri to help you answer or hang up the phone by nodding and shaking your head, without having to respond to Siri in public in embarrassment.

The equally popular "App Lock" and "Hide App" functions have also come to iOS 18. Once an app is locked and hidden, messages and email-related content within the app will also be hidden, will not appear in search results, and will not receive push notifications.

Although iOS 18 follows the footsteps of its friends and launches App Lock, the current App Lock is not flexible enough. If the app is locked, notifications will not be pushed. Therefore, it is not suitable for WeChat at this stage, which has frequent notifications but has In applications with certain privacy requirements.

Another feature that is in line with its competitors is the "game mode" on the iPhone, which has been launched on the Mac before. When Game Mode is turned on, iPhone will limit background activity, improve gaming performance, and improve the responsiveness of AirPods and game controllers.

SMS and email updates: a powerful way to stay connected

Almost all recent generations of iOS updates have brought new iMessage features, and iOS 18 is no exception. The latest iMessage supports adding animation effects to text, the double-click "click back" function is also unprecedentedly powerful, and supports all emoji and emoticon stickers. iMessage also newly supports scheduled messaging.

But this time, the information updates are not limited to iMessage. It can even be said that other updates are more eye-catching than iMessage. A big update is that the Message App finally officially supports RCS (Rich Media Message), which is the 5G messaging function. Even if you send text messages to friends who use Android, you can also send high-definition videos and pictures.

Another big update is that the iPhone can also send satellite text messages, and this satellite text message also supports some iMessage features, including likes and emojis.

As for the Genmoji expression generation function and Vincent picture function demonstrated at WWDC, they will not be available on iOS 18 yet because Apple smart phones have not yet been launched.

Also missing from the first preview is the new Mail app. The newly designed mail application will bring classification functions to put different types and priorities of mail into different categories. There is also a new summary view that brings together all relevant emails from the same business for users to quickly browse.

In the WWDC new system preview article, a reader left a message that impressed me deeply:

After experiencing iOS 18, I just want to say that it is indeed the case. These new features cannot be said to be very "revolutionary", as many of them are features that have already been implemented by friends. Today's iOS has more and more complete small functions and a higher degree of customization. Mobile phones are becoming more and more personally identifiable and easier to use. Apple, which once taught users how to use mobile phones, seems to have given up on itself.

Every year WWDC is always criticized for being "not amazing enough", but these small features that add up to a large amount are the cornerstone of the continuous improvement of the user experience.

Besides, Apple’s smart phone is responsible for amazing things this year, isn’t it?

According to feedback from friends who have already upgraded, the iPhone may experience a short period of heat after upgrading to the preview version. The system as a whole has fewer bugs, and there are no big problems in adapting to applications such as WeChat that are used daily. However, during the experience, Occasionally, there are problems with freezing and application crashes.

The current iOS 18 is still the first developer preview version, which lacks stability. It is expected that the public preview version in one month will be improved a lot. If there are friends who really want to try it out, they can click on the original link to get the upgrade after backing up the data.

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