We reported yesterday that a “cultural shift” within Apple means it will release new features throughout the year as they are ready, rather than rushing to flood a new version of iOS with as much change as possible on its traditional annual cycle.

This means that we might not see too many new features drop with iOS 12 in September, but we’ll likely get a fair few additions spread over the following months, depending on how long development takes on each feature.

All well and good, but what new stuff should be we expect exactly? Well, various sources including Bloomberg have reported on the new features rumored for release later this year, so let’s take a look.

Animoji

The 3D animated emoji Apple unveiled with iPhone X look to be getting an upgrade, with a bigger selection of characters on the way to add to the 12 faces currently available.

Animoji tracks the users facial expressions and speech in real time

Perhaps more excitingly is that the feature is set to expand from Messages into Facetime, meaning users could have entire video chats with friends or family in the augmented guise of an alien or unicorn.

Animoji will almost certainly expand beyond the iPhone X this year when Apple’s new handsets are released in September, and it’s looking increasingly likely that the feature will make the move to iPad as well. On that note…

Face ID

Animoji require Apple’s advanced TrueDepth camera sensors to work, which means that for the feature to make the move to iPad we’d need to see a new iPad released with TrueDepth capabilities included.

Which, in turn, would mean Face ID on the iPad. This could happen before or after the release of iOS 12, sure, but it’s looking likely to be some time this year.

Stocks

The default Stocks app isn’t particularly popular, with most users either completely disinterested in the stock market or so invested in it that they favor a more detailed third-party app.

Regardless, the app has been a mainstay of iOS for years and is expected to be completely redesigned this year.

Do Not Disturb

The Do Not Disturb functions in iOS are already plenty useful, especially the ability to schedule times of day when you don’t want your device to make a sound.

Additions would be welcome, though, and it looks like we’ll be getting a few new settings in this area in 2018. Specifically, the ability to auto-reject calls and more control over exactly which alerts to screen and when.

Parental guidance

We’re also expecting to see new tools for parents to track their kids’ device usage and to set limits to curb over-reliance on an iPhone or iPad.

This is especially likely to release soon given the open letter to Apple posted by shareholders earlier this year.

A new Home

Perhaps the biggest change of all would be a redesign to the tried-and-true Home screen layout. What form this would take, we’ve no idea, but the standard grid of app icons has been around for a long time and rumor has it Apple is working on something new.

Even if all these changes won’t roll out at once, we expect to find out more from Apple itself at WWDC in June. Until then – watch this space!