14 Compelling Features Coming to Apple’s Operating Systems in 2024

Originally published at: 14 Compelling Features Coming to Apple’s Operating Systems in 2024 - TidBITS

Apple doesn’t skimp when it comes to adding features to its operating systems each year. Here are the 14 features that most caught our attention.

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Obviously, it’s hugely important news for Siri to get a brain. That’s been a long-term pain point as each year we waited for the announcement that Siri could actually do anything useful, and were disappointed yet again when Siri got no smarter (except about sports…good grief).

Mirroring my iPhone on my Mac means it no longer has to interrupt me with a notification or noise, requiring me to pick it up? Fabulous! And did I understand correctly that I’ll finally be able to arrange apps on the Springboard of my phone from my Mac?! Boy, have I missed being able to do that since the days when iTunes still handled updates and app installs. (How many years ago was that?!)

Satellite messaging will be great. You wondered if it will work between two phones with no cell service, but I think it will work fine, because messaging is by definition asynchronous.

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Does the new password app replace the venerable keychain access? After all, there already was a separate app to manage passwords…

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A few additional notes:

For me, the editing features of Apple Intelligence will Sherlock Grammarly.

OSs not supporting Apple Intelligence include WatchOS and VisionOS. The AVP does have an M2 chip.

The discussion and examples for Apple Intelligence did not involve using health or fitness data.

There was no indication that the functions discussed discriminate between different M-series architectures. Nothing indicated that the M4 iPad Pros could behave more Mac-like, even with the improved keyboard and trackpad.

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I remember using a Summary function that was built into MacOS in the past. Does anyone else remember that? I thought it was cool, but we are talking about decades ago.

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I hope not, since they do different things.

Keychain access lets you access all of the stored keys, only some of which are passwords.

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It looks like a lot of interesting new features to look forward to. It’s also interesting how AI has suddenly turned into “Apple Intelligence.” :roll_eyes:

One thing that I saw from someone who has loaded the iOS 18 developer beta: iPhones that can set a charging limit (currently 80%) can now set the limit to a higher percentage if they like.

See Mike Beasley: "you can now customize the charge limit instead of…" - mas.to

(This whole Mastodon thread I found interesting; there are some changes to the Settings app on iOS coming, plus there is a look at the new passwords app.)

I’m using this setting on my 15 Pro now and would like to set it to 90% instead, just to have a little bit more charge at the start of the day.

I know I can’t use MacOS 15 on my iMac and MacBook Pro but I didn’t see the lists of iPhones & iPads that iOS/iPadOS 18 will support. Ditto WatchOS. Did they release them later in the day?
I have an iPhone 12, iPad Mini 5 and Mini 6,  Watch 5

I can’t think of a single compelling feature announced today. Please don’t give me a better Siri, for God’s sake. I do not use it and do not ever plan to do so. Meanwhile, I can’t even search my rules in Apple Mail. My reaction to the generative AI craze spreading like wildfire is pure hostility, and I say that as a person with an M.S. in Statistics who regularly uses machine learning in my work. OK, there might be some things in the next OS that don’t have to do with AI that will eventually surprise me with their usefulness. We’ll see.

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Remember it? It’s still around, as a Service. If you don’t see it in the Services menu with text selected, then activate it: Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts… > Services > Text; activate Summarize. I think it dates back to the classic era, although it was not a Service then.

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i’m still waiting for emoji to be made optional and deletable. probably be waiting forever for that, though.

I will look for the summary on my Mac.

I actually would appreciate some private, contained AI on my local devices. Something that would take my scanned pdfs, and organize them by who they are from, categories, years, etc. would be fantastic.

I think the breakthrough for them will be the privacy of the queries and information used as well as how well it will do things (I see you HomeKit). Hopefully everything will not need an update. For the first time, I am considering putting the beta on my tablet to try things out.

I have been longing for decluttering of their OSes for a while. Looks like this year won’t be that. It’s just more and more and more. There will always be a group for which a feature is useful. Does that justify burdening everybody with yet another gizmo? Obviously, you have to draw the line somewhere. Feels to me though like we keep drawing it further out there than it used to be. A bit Microsoftization is what that feels to me like.

I like the idea that I’ll be able to manipulate my iPhone when it’s in another room or without having to take it out of my pocket.

There’s been lots of talk about new options for what used to be flashlight and camera shortcuts on the lock screen. Is there an option to not have any shortcuts there at all? Or an option to stop left swipe from dumping me in camera?

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I was wondering if its a new app that was just what Password was in Settings App or did they just rename Keychain. The Mac has had a password manager for years but does more than the Password Settings does.

It is good that they are allowing more locking, but sometimes Apple ignores obvious enhancements. Like Notes has locked notes, but anyone using your notes can still see the titles. A solution for that would be the ability to lock folders.

6 posts were split to a new topic: Grammatical fine points and The Wizard of Oz

My 2017 iMac didn’t make the cut for Sonoma, so the Sequoia-related announcements get a big shrug from me. :person_shrugging: And as I no longer own an iPad, ditto for the iPadOS 18 stuff.

Being able to (finally) arrange icons on my Home Screen to my liking and lock down some apps in iOS 18 are the only announcements I would genuinely want to use, and it sound like my 2020 iPhone SE will get it. However, I won’t be installing the beta and will wait until it’s (hopefully) fully-baked and released.

I don’t use Siri today, or feel any need to, so I’ll be interested to see if Apple Intelligence makes me reconsider that stance. However, I won’t be letting OpenAI have access at all — and I have a feeling this is one partnership that Apple is going to regret.

A more conversational Siri would be welcome, that’s been my main point of frustration with it.

As will the iPhone mirroring. I wonder if there are limits on the access, just how remote can your iPhone be. Can you have your stolen iPhone call the police or turn on audio recording? There may be issues here as well as future plotlines in soap operas…

Beyond Siri, I have limited tolerance for most AI applications, at least to date, let’s see.

Mostly taking on board the amount of hardware upgrades that have entered the equation if I hope to stay current.

Two things sparked my interest after the keynote.
First, the Notes app seems to have caught up with the handwriting recognition of Notes on the Newton. Just wondering why it took so long? Not sure if it is going to make me write more on my iPad as, like Adam, I find typing to be faster most of the time.
Second, the announced enhancements of the Photos app might be helpful in selecting the better of several images, weeding out duplicates and reducing clutter? We’ll see.