Apple Unveils New Features for Services This Fall


Apple is rolling out new features for its services this fall with the release of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, watchOS 11, visionOS 2, and tvOS 18. Users can explore hikes in Apple Maps, redeem rewards and access installments with Apple Pay, enjoy a redesigned Apple Fitness+ experience, and more. These updates add new functionalities to popular Apple services.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, said, “So many of our users rely on Apple services throughout their day, from navigating their commute with Apple Maps to making easy and secure payments with Apple Pay to curating playlists with Apple Music. We’re excited to give them even more to love about our services, like the ability to explore national parks with hikes in Apple Maps, redeem rewards or access installments with Apple Pay, and enjoy music with loved ones through SharePlay in Apple Music.”

Apple Maps now includes thousands of hikes across U.S. national parks, filtered by length, elevation, and route type. Users can save these hikes to use offline and create custom walking routes for local exercises or full-day tours in new cities. A new Places Library allows users to save favorite hikes, custom routes, and places, adding personal notes about them.

Apple Pay introduces more flexibility for users when they check out online and in-app. Users can view and redeem rewards and access installment loan offerings from eligible credit or debit cards when making purchases. These features will be available for any Apple Pay-enabled bank or issuer in supported markets. In the U.S., users can redeem rewards with Discover and Synchrony and access installments with Citi, Synchrony, and issuers with Fiserv. Tap to Provision allows users to add credit or debit cards to Apple Wallet by tapping the card to their iPhone.

With Tap to Cash, users can send and receive Apple Cash by holding two iPhone devices together. This feature eliminates the need to share phone numbers and can be used for various payments, such as splitting a dinner bill or making a purchase at a garage sale.

Event tickets in Apple Wallet now have a new design and richer experience. Tickets can display key event information, such as a venue map and parking details, in-seat food delivery services, recommended playlists from Apple Music, local forecasts, and easy access to location sharing to help fans find friends.

Apple Fitness+ has been redesigned in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and tvOS 18 to help users make the most of its workout library, stay motivated, and keep consistent with their fitness routines. New features include personalized recommendations, an Explore section for discovering new activities, a Library section to track favorite workouts, and search capabilities to find specific activities, trainers, durations, and music artists. Personalized Fitness+ recommendations appear in the Summary tab of the Fitness app on iPhone.

Apple Music updates include new SharePlay features and Music Haptics, which allows users who are deaf or hard of hearing to experience music through the Taptic Engine in iPhone. This feature plays taps, textures, and vibrations to the audio of the music, and works across millions of songs in the Apple Music catalog. It is also available as an API for developers to make music accessible in their apps.

The Apple TV app introduces InSight, which displays information about actors, characters, and music from Apple TV+ movies and shows onscreen in real-time. Users can view an actor’s background and filmography or add songs from scenes to an Apple Music playlist. Dialogue Boost uses machine learning to improve vocal clarity over music and background noise on Apple TV 4K. Subtitles now appear automatically at the right moments, such as when the language in a show does not match the device language, when users mute, or when they skip back.

iCloud Mail introduces new ways to manage the inbox with categorization, sorting emails into Primary, Transactions, Updates, and Promotions. iCloud settings are redesigned to help users take action on personalized recommendations and view the status of iCloud backups. Apple ID is renamed to Apple Account for a consistent sign-in experience across Apple services and devices.

Image: Apple

Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.