There are new features and there are real features

I have found that I am using almost none of the latest iOS features that Apple has released. If they need any kind of effort on my part I am discovering that I am not even touching them. If they are implemented in such a way that they are obvious and are just there they seem to get regular use. It’s all in the implementation and the invisibility of how a feature creeps into my life.


I think I have used Memoji twice on the first day the feature was released. At no point since have I needed it or felt inclined to send one.

Screen Time

Looked at the first weekly report and never looked since. It’s a nice idea, but the reality is that most of us think we do not have a problem with our screen time and I am one of them, no matter how extreme the numbers are.

Photos places search etc

Still haven’t searched for anything by location or a keyword and completely forgot it was there for a long time.

Portrait Mode

I do like Portrait Mode in the right lighting, but I have used it three times since its release.


Not once have I used a shortcut after downloading it for more than one time.

Measure app

Was opened once out of curiosity, now sits somewhere in a folder. I don’t even know which folder.

Do Not Disturb (new options)

These are obvious and come in handy every single day.

Grouped notifications

This feature makes notifications much easier to view and manage. Obvious, in your face and a huge improvement.

The above are from iOS 12 and only two get use because they are somewhat unavoidable. The rest are fluff that sound good in the keynote.

Apple is great at building features that become part of our daily lives and it is getting more difficult to come up with genuinely useful new tools. I just hope that the company can find a way to do it more in the future.

Categories: Apple, Articles

2 replies

  1. Having been a software product manager I know what feature creep is. There is usually a push to add some obvious new features because simply making what you have better, for functionality or performance, doesn’t sell new devices or software.

  2. Yeah. But still, I always roll my eyes a little bit about “oh well apple’s not innovating”. It’s not like these people have their own ideas (at least not feasible ones) – and if pressed they say “well that’s apple’s job, to come up with stuff”. And that’s partially true, but still.

    What troubles me as well is half-assed features they’re sort of stuck with supporting – like, “Force Touch” – hardly anyone seems to love this technology, few apps make good use of it (I’d be willing to bet $100 more people activate it on accident, especially if they’re trying to get the home screen into app delete/move mode) and in fact they’ve dropped it off of some phones. But I wonder if support for that crap makes support for say Apple Pencil that much further out…

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