Another Dozen Compelling Features Coming to Apple’s Operating Systems in 2023

Originally published at: Another Dozen Compelling Features Coming to Apple’s Operating Systems in 2023 - TidBITS

Apple has pulled back the curtains on the new features it is adding to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14 Sonoma, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17. Adam Engst recently wrote about his top features; here are 12 more that caught Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s eye.


In WatchOS 10, apparently, the Dock (currently accessed by tapping the side button) is being replaced by the Side Stack, which will present a list of widgets by rotating the Digital Crown. The Dock provides direct access to up to 10 apps selected by the user. The Smart Stack appears to be a new way to access favorite apps but apparently requires developers to create a new object. So, I wonder if there will be a default interface for developers who don’t create the new object, or if users will need to go through the full grid of apps to select such an app.

Even nerdier cyclists use ANT+ sensors, which Apple won’t support. In many ways ANT+ is a superior protocol for fitness sensors. I have lots of ANT+ sensors, but only a few that also support Bluetooth, and none that are Bluetooth only.

According to DC Rainmaker, Apple will not support controlling smart trainers in the next iOS/WatchOS, although they can get power/cadence over Bluetooth. Of course, there might be apps that do control trainers. I’ve recently gone to entirely using Zwift on my iPad mini, which works well. There’s also no cycling radar support on the Watch so far as I know, although Garmin has an iPhone app. There are lots of reasons I won’t be using my Ultra for cycling apart from the general reason that watches are terrible for cycling compared to actual cycling head units mounted on the bike.

No Tempe support, either. When Garmin came out with its first Fenix, it released the Tempe, an ANT+ temperature sensor. They were trying to solve the problem that trying to measure ambient temperature with a device mounted on your wrist isn’t going to work.


The Health app’s prolonged absence from the iPad and Mac made no sense. Apple is partially remedying this omission by bringing the Health app to iPadOS 17.

I thought Apple Silicon Macs could run iPadOS and iOS apps. (My MBA is Intel, so I lack Catalyst experience.)

Only those that the App Store allows you to download for Mac (devs can allow this or not). Apple’s Health has not been among them.

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I’ve always assumed that there are a lot of tricky security issues to be solved in putting Health onto iPads or Macs, since obviously it means sharing your health records between devices. I’m guessing that this has probably been a major factor in keeping it iPhone-only up until now.

For quite a while now, the Health app has supported iCloud sync of its data. This has been great especially if you own a watch and want to set up a phone from scratch without losing historical data - it just syncs down from iCloud.

So syncing to iPad (and eventually Mac) should be quite simple.

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There’s Just One Thing I want to see in Apple’s Operating Systems: Music/AirPlay that actually works (like it used to.) I’m a broken record on this, but I’m really disgusted with how Music running on my M1 Max has anomalies daily (usually sound stops although playback continues, and toggling the local display off and on again brings the sound back) and crashes at least weekly. I strongly suspect the culprit is AirPlay (in part from reading the crash reports). I’m sending AirPlay to an Airport Express and to a HomePod Mini.

This used to work. In fact, streaming to multiple Airport Extremes back when those were being sold worked pretty much perfectly.

I really don’t care about most of these new “features” (and I’d like to kick the person who decided that accidentally touching a window to the menubar resizes that window to the entire display.) I WANT APPLE TO LIVE UP TO THE “IT JUST WORKS” PROMISE WITH THEIR EXISTING SOFTWARE. If that means “no more user visible gimmicks,” that’s fine by me!

I totally agree with Paul. I have stopped using my Apple Watch for fitness tracking because of some of the things he pointed out. ANT+ support is crucial…and it is lower powered then Bluetooth. IMHO Apple watch needs longer battery life. My Garmin Epix2 can go a week without charging and still provides sleep tracking and heart rate features.

The Reminders app in iOS 17, iPad OS 17, and Sonoma will make it easier by sorting grocery items into categories for optimal grocery store triangulation.

Can you share the list with someone? My wife and I have been using AnyList for this and like it a lot. I know Notes has been getting better and better, but I’ve never gotten into the habit of using it.

I imagine this will be another case of an Apple app providing basic functionality and 3rd-party apps providing a deeper feature set (like Podcasts and Overcast).

One nice detail on the group password/passkey sharing from Ricky Mondello on Mastodon:


This is something that is making me think about switching from 1Password. My only concern remains the slightly increased vulnerability due to passwords being protected only by the device (or user account on Mac) passcode. I know that my wife is now comfortable with and in fact uses the built-in password storage on her devices, so sharing some of these would be a good addition. (As of now, if I die or become incapacitated, I’m depending on her or one of my kids getting access to my 1P data, including passwords to accounts that they would need, based on a “Just in case” document I have stored away.)

I do use 1P for things other than user IDs/passwords, but I think all of those could be replaced by encrypted Notes in the Notes app.

Then again - I can continue to use 1P for some things and use the built-in shared passwords only for those things that I want to share.

This article mentions some features coming to the next Apple Music version although most of the screen shots are related to iOS:

The crossfade feature which Mac’s have had for many years is finally coming to iOS in Apple Music although other players have had that capability for a long time.

Could you cite some or a couple of these so that I can try them out? Thanks!

I HOPE this includes “shuffle by album”, something sorely missing on the iOS Music app that has been in the Mac app since the beginning.

I have used this free one for around seven years and it works fine. If you have higher resolution files, then you would need the paid version:

However, you cannot change the duration of the fade as you can on a Mac.

I tried a few others back then and either they didn’t work well or used too much battery life. The Onkyo app just works.

One other nice feature is the EQ that actually works compared to the few choices in iOS.