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Get iOS 18 features today – by using apps that take things further than Apple

Apple recently unveiled a range of new features – big and small – you can expect to see in iOS 18. The update is due in September – but why wait? There are ways to use these features today.

Math Notes in iOS 18

You could install the beta – but that’s not advisable unless you own spare devices. And most of the exciting stuff is coming later this year anyway. Instead, try existing apps with similar – and often superior – functionality to what Apple’s planning for iOS 18.

Here are some of our favorites.

Generate images: Bing (free)


Like other features in this round-up, Bing’s generative images don’t integrate directly with iOS 18 apps. But you do get flexibility in being able to create anything you like, and quality tends to be high. Note a ‘boosts’ allowance dictates response speeds – but it refreshes daily.

Get Bing

Rewrite text: ChatGPT (from free)


With its chat-like interface, this app lets you use prompts to quickly write or edit text. As ever with this technology, be mindful of errors and its tendency to make things up. But for iteration and tonal shifts, it can be a handy time-saver.

Get ChatGPT

Collapse notes: Bear (free + IAP)


In iOS 18, you can collapse section headers in Notes, helping you navigate and manage large documents. Bear can already do this if you turn on ⋮ > Toggle Side Actions. Bear also lets you customize type and export notes in a range of formats.

Get Bear

Categorize email: Spark (from free)


The revamped Mail aims to quickly get you to important messages, which are categorized by default. Spark has long provided features to prioritize messages that matter and filter the likes of newsletters and notifications into separate folders.

Get Spark

Transcribe audio: Otter (free + IAP)


It’s wild that it’s taken Apple many years to integrate live transcription into Notes, given that Android’s had this functionality for ages. If you want it on iPhone today, try Otter. And if you pay, you can transcribe existing audio files too.

Get Otter

Summarize web pages: Arc Search (free)

Arc Search

In iOS 18, Reader in Safari provides article summaries. Arc Search’s take is more magical – pinch a page to get a summary. The app can also generate summaries of any search term (with references), saving you searching multiple sites yourself.

Get Arc Search

Manage passwords: 1Password


Passwords are a necessary evil, but iOS 18 will finally have a dedicated app. 1Password goes further, housing secure notes, payment cards and software license information. It also removes a worry of your passwords becoming inaccessible should you lose access to your Apple ID.

Get 1Password

Explore topographic maps: AllTrails (from free)


Apple sparked the interest of hikers by saying it will integrate trails into Maps – and let you create your own. AllTrails already has 400,000 such trails and is available worldwide, rather than being limited to the USA.

Get AllTrails

Improve calculator: PCalc ($9.99/£9.99)


In iOS 18, Calculator gets a ticker tape and a scientific calculator in portrait. PCalc has long had both (the latter accessed via ‘Vertical layout’ in its settings), and adds a raft of other features and customization options.

Get PCalc

Crunch numbers: Soulver ($14/£14)


Notes will integrate calculator notepad functionality in iOS 18, including variables for more complex sums than, say, 17+47. Soulver matches this but goes much further, with a superior grasp of plain English, line endings that can be integrated into any other line, and better export options.

Get Soulver

Track wellbeing: Moodflow (free + IAP)


Journal will soon let you log your state of mind, but Moodflow is dedicated to that task. You build a colorful calendar over time, helping you spot trends. Stats let you dig deeper. And there’s journaling, too, based around symptoms and gratitude.

Get Moodflow