iOS 18 beta release date speculation – when will it arrive?

iOS 18 might be arriving in right on time

An iOS logo with a clock next to it, teasing the upcoming iOS 18 beta release date.

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Every year, Apple introduces a new version of its iOS operating system for iPhones, and this year, all eyes are on iOS 18 – rumored to be one of the biggest updates in Apple’s history. However, ahead of its full release, there are normally a few public beta versions that let iPhone users try out some of the upcoming features from the pending iOS update. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the iOS 18 beta release date speculation, thinking on when the anticipated iOS 18 software update beta might arrive for developers and the public.

iOS 18 beta release speculation

As per Apple’s tradition, a complete iOS update is typically released in September alongside a fresh lineup of iPhones. However, Apple usually unveils the upcoming iOS version at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, where developers get a sneak peek at the new features. Following the announcement, there are various public beta versions for users to test and provide feedback. If history repeats itself, we can expect iOS 18 to follow a similar timeline.

When is iOS 18 coming out?

Based on the company’s history of previous release patterns, it’s possible that a developer version of the iOS 18 beta will become available in June following its WWDC preview, and a public beta will follow shortly – possibly in July. Of course, this hasn’t been confirmed yet, so we’ll have to wait until at least June for a clarified beta version release schedule from Apple.

How do I install the iOS 18 beta on my iPhone?

So, we’ve established that it’s likely that Apple will open the iOS 18 public beta in July, allowing users to experience the new update before its official release. But how do you actually install it? Well, in order to get the iOS 18 beta, you first have to be signed up for the Apple Beta Software Program. You just need to sign in on the Apple Beta website using your Apple ID, and enroll your iOS device. Once you’ve completed all the relevant steps, restarting your device should see the beta start appearing as an option for a software update once it becomes available around the time we mentioned.

Which iPhone models will support iOS 18?

While Apple has not released the official list of supported devices for iOS 18, it’s safe to assume that iPhone models from the iPhone 11 and newer will be able to run the latest update. For reference, iOS 17 works on models from the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS / iPhone XS Max onwards, and other phones that came out in 2017 all got support – including the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. So, this points towards iOS 18 coming to phones that had a launch in 2018. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is all just speculation for now.

So, older devices may also support iOS 18, but they might not offer all the advanced features and capabilities; namely, the generative AI features that offer deeper integration with AI on your iPhone. This is due to the outdated hardware that can no longer keep up with the performance demands of on-device AI.

Will the iOS 18 beta have AI?

Of course, no features of iOS 18 have been officially confirmed, but it is so far heavily speculated that there will be a wealth of AI capabilities coming with this new update. Following the hype that came in the wake of the launch of the AI chatbots ChatGPT and Google Bard, major tech brands including Samsung and Google started using AI to increase the functionality of their flagship smartphones. So, it’s likely that Apple will follow suit in bringing artificial intelligence to the iPhone; Tim Cook himself has commented on Apple focusing a lot of resources into AI development. This might come in the form of a Siri more capable of performing complex tasks – this will be a welcome change, as the functionalities of Siri are starting to feel no more than average compared to what’s offered by Alexa.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has been extensively working on its generative AI and large language models for a while now, even deciding to scrap its plans for an electric car in favor of investing in AI. What’s more, Gurman quotes that “the first new features are planned for iOS 18”.

✓ Marla’s thoughts

Does Apple AI have an official name?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem Apple has made an official name for its AI suite or AI models public yet. However, its large language model framework is reportedly called ‘Ajax’.

iOS 18 is making the iPhone even more accessible

According to MacRumors insider sources, a core segment of iOS 18’s features will be focused on increasing accessibility. One of these might be Adaptive Voice shortcuts, which could allow users to map a unique verbal phrase to a new accessibility feature. By speaking your phrase aloud, you’ll be able to shortcut to the accessibility setting you desire; this also includes existing ones such as Zoom, Voice Control, and VoiceOver.

What’s more, a Hearing Aid Mode could be in store for the AirPods Pro alongside the iOS 18 launch. Coming from his subscriber-only Power On newsletter, Gurman claims that a hearing aid-style function will be coming to the AirPod Pros when the next iOS update arrives in the fall. However, this would of course have to be approved by the FDA to be marketed as such.

Conclusion

So, we can conclude for now that the iOS 18 beta release date may fall at some point in the middle of the year, perhaps in July. It’s a noteworthy date to keep in mind as rumors are pointing towards iOS potentially being one of the biggest iOS updates of late, with a load of AI functionalities and possibly some design changes to line up iOS and Vision OS that launched with the Vision Pro.

iOS 18 is set to be a significant update for iPhones, as it could introduce exciting new AI features, AI-powered apps, and RCS support (Rich Communication Services) for better MMS communication with Android users. With improved Siri capabilities, enhanced messaging experiences, and the potential for sideloading in the EU, iOS 18 promises to provide users with a more advanced and versatile iOS ecosystem.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.