iOS 18: 7 upgraded apps that slipped through the cracks at WWDC

 iOS 18 features with Craig Federighi
(Image credit: Apple)

WWDC 2024's big announcements for iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia and more have already been made, but additional Apple services updates that weren't mentioned during yesterday's presentation have since been made public.

Some key apps like Pay, Maps and Music have all seen some changes, with others getting small refreshes to designs and naming here and there. None of these rely on Apple's headline-grabbing Apple Intelligence suite, but look useful all the same.

Here's the rundown of Apple's sneaky off-camera changes to iOS 18, sorted by app:

Apple Wallet and Apple Pay

Apple Pay will now be usable on compatible web browsers in certain markets by scanning an on-screen code with the iPhone to verify your identity. This plus the option to add new cards to Apple Pay via NFC (by tapping it on the back of your iPhone) sound like welcome quality-of-life changes.

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

We were already told during the WWDC presentation about how Apple's payment services will work with bank rewards and installment payment plans. But it's now confirmed, as you may have suspected, that whether you're able to use these yourself will depend on if your bank decides to implement it.

It's a similar story with Tap to Cash, which lets you send Apple Cash by tapping another user's iPhone. This is only offered in the U.S. at launch.

The following banks are confirmed to support installment plans in Apple Pay:

U.S. banks supporting Fiserv, plus Discover and Synchrony, will allow their users to make reward redemptions. American users will also be able to apply for loans with Affirm via Apple Pay.

Maps

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

The WWDC keynote took us through Apple Maps' new walking routes feature, which includes many pre-set routes across U.S. National Parks that you can filter for length, elevation and so on, plus the option to make custom hikes anywhere you like and save them offline. The new part is that these saved walks are now located in a new Places Library menu that lets you add annotations to the routes.

Apple Fitness Plus

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's redesigned the way Fitness Plus displays its offering to users. There's now a For You page to show you recommended workouts, a Library page for saving your favored routines, and an Explore page and search feature to help you to find something new. The iOS Fitness app's Summary tab features more recommendations as well as your activity details in iOS 18 too.

Music

In iOS 18, Apple Music's SharePlay feature can used on HomePod, Apple TV or other Bluetooth speaker. It can all be controlled without needing a subscription, which should make it easier to share your playlists with others who've paid for Spotify or Tidal instead.

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

Music Haptics are also now available, an accessibility feature that makes the iPhone buzz and tick in time with the music. Apparently already available across "millions of songs" in Apple's library, this is designed to help users with hearing difficulties to appreciate their music better.

Apple TV

Similar to rival features like Amazon Prime Video's X-Ray, Apple TV now provides an InSight function when you're watching its offerings. This will show information about what you're seeing on-screen, letting you learn more about the show and its characters, its cast or its soundtrack.

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

If you're using a 2021 Apple TV 4K or later, you also get Enhance Dialogue option to help voices carry over noisy scenes, and automatic subtitles feature that will enable themselves if the show or movie switches to a different language, you mute your TV or rewind.

iCloud and Apple Account

iCloud users are now getting clearer prompts in iOS 18 to enable features available with their subscription level, and a quick way to check their backup status.

Also, Apple ID is getting a rename to Apple Account. It's the same underlying service, just with a new name


The beta of iOS 18 is now live for developers, but we won't be able to try these and the software's other new features until the public beta goes live. So check back in a few weeks for our first impressions of the new and improve iPhone experience.

Right now, check our iOS 18 hub for a summary of the biggest changes, such as RCS messaging support or improved lock/home screen customization and the reworked Photos app. Or read our overall WWDC 2024 guide for a look at everything Apple announced during its developer conference.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.