There is widespread speculation that iOS 18, which is slated to be released later this year, will undergo significant design changes influenced by visionOS, the operating system that powers the recently launched Apple Vision Pro headset. Check out the details.
iOS 18 is Rumored to Have a VisionOS-inspired Design
The rumors began to spread following an article by The Verifier, an Israeli journal famed for its technological insights. According to insider sources, iOS 18 and its equivalent, iPadOS 18, could take inspiration from visionOS, perhaps ushering in a significant change in the user interface. According to these sources, menus, tabs, and other interface elements may be given a “refreshing new vision” influenced by the headset’s operating system’s particular look.
VisionOS, despite sharing core characteristics with iOS, has a distinct visual identity defined by various differentiating traits. First and foremost, rounder shapes replace traditional boxy designs with smoother, more curved edges for buttons, windows, and other UI components.
Furthermore, visionOS integrates subtle shadows and depth, giving the interface a layered and three-dimensional appearance, presumably matching the spatial awareness found in AR/VR situations. With that being said, the upcoming iOS 18 / iPadOS 18 could see similarly-inspired floating features, such as overlapping windows and UI components, similar to how virtual apps materialize in visionOS, and may make their way into iOS 18’s design.
Recent changes to iOS and iPadOS lend credence to the idea of an approaching design revolution. Notably, the revamp of the Apple TV app in tvOS 17.2 included a translucent floating sidebar similar to the controls found in visionOS, indicating a possible path for iOS 18’s visual update.
However, despite the allure of a new look, it’s critical to manage expectations. Apple is well-known for keeping details under wraps, and big iOS releases rarely include wholesale design changes. Some industry analysts remain skeptical, arguing that more modest, incremental changes are more likely to occur.
This is speculation, as Apple has yet to confirm any design changes for iOS 18. Even if the allegations are genuine, the influence of visionOS may show as minor adjustments rather than a total rethink of the interface.
Clarity on iOS 18’s design trajectory is expected to emerge during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Moreover, the source of the information (The Verifier) has a mixed track record when it comes to gravitas to their leaks and thus, it is better to take the aforementioned design overhaul with a grain of salt.
Overall, whether or not iOS 18 adopts a visionOS-inspired style, the speculation sparks a thought-provoking discussion about Apple’s future design choices. Given the growing importance of AR/VR technologies, it is not unreasonable to expect the incorporation of certain visual components from visionOS into other Apple platforms.