Adam and I were recently talking about all the features that Apple introduced last year in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey, and we wondered: how many people are actually using these new features now that they’ve been around for almost a year? We were inspired by John Gruber’s Twitter poll showing that most respondents never use the Safari Tab Groups Apple added last year.
🗳 Poll for Safari users: How often do you use tab groups?
— John Gruber (@gruber) July 25, 2022
We have compiled a list of 20 top features Apple introduced in last year’s operating system upgrades, and now we want your input: do you use these features at all? And if so, do you use them frequently or only occasionally? Please fill out our survey before 8 August 2022, when we’ll evaluate and report back on the results.
20 Top OS Features
Here are brief descriptions of the 20 new features we identified from last year’s update cycle. They’re in no particular order but do match the survey question sequence, in case you need a description to jog your memory.
- Focus lets you create custom Do Not Disturb modes for different scenarios like work and reading. (When voting, consider only the new custom options, not the longstanding Do Not Disturb, Do Not Disturb While Driving, and Sleep modes that Apple integrated into Focus.)
- SharePlay enables you to consume audiovisual media with others over FaceTime.
- Safari Tab Groups bring together groups of tabs for different purposes, such as one for a house hunt and another for researching a new TV.
- Voice search in Safari on the iPhone and iPad lets you speak a search term or URL to navigate the Web without typing.
- Live Text deciphers text in photographs and other images so you can select and copy it like any other text.
- Visual Lookup identifies objects in photos like art, flowers, landmarks, pets, and plants.
- Hide My Email is an iCloud+ feature that lets you create disposable email addresses to reduce spam.
- App Privacy Report offers an overview of how apps and websites are using your data.
- iCloud Private Relay is another iCloud+ feature that routes your Safari browsing through two encrypted proxies to protect your privacy.
- Shared with You displays links sent to you through Messages in the Apple apps Music, News, Photos, Podcasts, Safari, and TV.
- FaceTime links enable you to create a link to a FaceTime call so anyone with the link can join. The feature also allows you to embed a call link into a calendar invite.
- Universal Control enables you to use one keyboard and pointing device to control multiple Macs and iPads.
- Tags in Notes provide another level of organization to notes.
- QuickNote on the iPad and Mac provides a fast way to bring up a Notes window for quick notes and sketches.
- AirPlay to Mac lets you AirPlay audio or video from your iPhone or iPad to a Mac’s screen.
- Shortcuts has been around for a while on iOS and iPadOS, enabling you to create automations and miniature programs, but it first appeared on the Mac in Monterey. (For this one, vote for Shortcuts in general, not just on the Mac.)
- Legacy Contacts allow you to designate people who should have access to the data in your Apple account after your death. (Vote “Frequently” if you’ve set a Legacy Contact and are someone else’s Legacy Contact, “Occasionally” if only one of the two is true, and “Never” if you haven’t used it at all.
- Memories in Photos aren’t new, but Apple overhauled them in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and Monterey, adding new types, looks, transitions, and an interactive interface. (Again, in this case, vote for Memories in general, not just the enhancements.)
- System-wide translation debuted in Monterey, enabling you to Control-click a word to translate it from another language.
- Full-screen menu bar: This addition to Monterey gives you the option to display the menu bar at all times when an app is in full-screen mode, rather than showing it only when you move the pointer to the top of the screen.
Thanks for responding to our survey—the answers should help us all separate reality from the hype.