How should Apple alert users to new features

But Apple and other tech companies need to be tasked for this “Update turns features ON by default” policy. Let us, the user, determine if we want it on.

Then Apple would have to tell us about new features and how they work and are controlled, which would also be a change in course for them!


IMOH- that Apple turns on by default way too many things with an install or upgrade without notice. I and I bellevemany others would prefer ’ bare bones’ install and upgrade and a simple screen to ’ turn on ‘other than basic. Especially in the area of communications. Its bad enough with email names being hacked by the billions- and many who use their name as " joelunchpail mac , iphone, computer, administrator, etc. Makes one a ’ soft target’ My guess is that a ’ hacker’ type is more likely to chase or contact JoeSmith@xxxyyzz than rockyroad@ xxxyyyzz.

Sometimes Apple introduces new feature with an intro screen that comes up after rebooting. It usually attempts to explain the feature and then has a button for turning on or off.

I do not understand why they don’t do it for something like this. There is no need to sneak new stuff into people’s phones behind their backs. If the feature is good, people will be convinced. If they need prodding, the feature likely is not appealing. Put paying users ahead of petty marketing.

iPhone onboarding for a new user is already pretty extensive. It has to be a hard problem to decide exactly how many options and questions they should put new users through. Compared with other privacy leaking features, NameDrop is pretty benign to have as a default yes.

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I disagree.

First, if you upgraded to iOS 17, that didn’t happen behind your back. It has a ton of new features and everyone knows that. And they know there are features they don’t know about and they typically enjoy finding them over time.

And no, people will not be convinced they will enjoy name drop before they experience it. Jobs was remarkable because he was adamant about the fact that people don’t know what’s best for themselves or what they even really want, until they are shown it. And that’s why Apple is genius. You walk them into the deep end, confident that they will be glad you did.

The only good argument in favor of NOT turning it on by default was the concern over personal security, and that was found to be over blown if not completely irrelevant. At least so far.

That’s my take.

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“It has a ton of new features and everyone knows that” Nope - everyone does NOT know, and many-most do NOT care. I’ve been using apple since apple 11 plus. I use iphone mostly for PHONE and a few pics. PERIOD. 90 percent of the unique features I do NOT know or care about. But I do care about comm related issues security, and try to avoid being a soft target. i use a mac mini 95 percent of the time
for historical research and personal documents, etc. MY point and I believe that of others is that real security problem or not- I can find NO rational reason for auto on of that and similar features. For reliability I prefer a old fashioned landline- Do NOT use text for various reasons starting with basi/c FAT fingers. Get puckered by vendors, banks, etc that assume or require a mobile number to use.
probably qualify for posterluddite.

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I have no issue with ‘Features’ being automatically activated IF they don’t effect my normal usage. What I don’t like is when functional changes are made with no option to opt out.

The most recent one is the change to WatchOS and the control centre/dock. It frustrates me as it immediately affected my use of the device, imho, in a negative way.


Hope that was sarcasm!

Broadly Apple do fine here, new features occasionally break my workflow but as Dave said there’s pleasure in new discoveries as time goes on.
What also happens is that ver.1 is often of interest but not quite implementable in my workflows. And it is only later when the benefits become clear, or ver.2 perfects it. So I tend to find myself coming across features released some time ago, which now are of interest.

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You cannot go through the installation process of a major upgrade without being presented with splash screens about new features. Most people click through them. Most people don’t dig into what those features are. But with very few exceptions, they all know there are a bunch of new features and that that’s the whole point of the upgrade. They are tacitly accepting the progress of technology. And the ones that are suspicious of change avoid upgrades whenever possible, even if they’re benign.

“ 90 percent of the unique features I do NOT know or care about”

Here you are admitting that you know there are tons of features out there that you accept are present even if you don’t know the details. Thats my point.

And there are countless things going on on our phones all the time that we have no idea are going on.

There’s no escaping the fact that people implicitly understand that Apple is in charge of our iPhones more so than we are. We are willing passengers, not drivers.

For anyone who needs a heads up, there are even more Name Drop like features coming our way :-)

I upgrade for security…not for features.

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Speak for yourself. Those of us who like to stay in control of our digital lives look through them, just like we inform ourselves on places like TidBITS about what and why our devices do what they do. Just like privacy, which Apple pushes a lot, there is significant crowd of Apple users who like to be in control (remember “for the rest of us”?) of their devices rather than the other way around where they remain at the mercy of some random marketing exec working for some megacorp.

There is a significant difference between somebody choosing not to inform themselves vs. sneaking something in behind people’s backs regardless if they would like to inform themselves or not. You cannot fault Apple for users clicking over provided information, but you sure can fault them for withholding relevant information.

It’s quite simple really: if people need to opt-out, you need to inform them up front. If you choose not to inform them, you have to resort to opt-in.

That’s just preposterous. If Apple wants to be in charge, they can reimburse me for the cost of my iPhone. But as long as it’s me who pays $1000 for it, there is one person and one person only in charge of it: me.

Everything I have said has been about major iOS upgrades, like iOS 17.

But you just said you are and were informed:

So you looked through all the release notes and knew what was coming, and you’re still appalled that you didn’t know enough up front to opt out?

I’m confused.

Anyway, I don’t want to argue.

That’s why I am still on iOS 16. There have been security updates so that I don’t need to upgrade to iOS 17 yet.

Usually I click through them, not because I don’t want to read them, but because there’s an immediate need to get to the app that the alerts are describing. Unfortunately, there’s no way I’ve found to see the new features alerts after they’ve been dismissed the first time.

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There’s always an article in the Tips app for the device that summarizes the new features in a major OS release.

TIPS APP? not found on my app list. Another hidden feature ? Or must one go thru all basic lists and possible application notifications to find this and have it turned on or off or sign here ?

It’s just an app, so if you search, either with the “pull down from the center of the screen” search or the App Library search, you should find it. It does look removable though (at least going to the final confirmation dialog to do so works), so maybe you removed it? Also, I don’t think it’s recent, but if you’re running an old enough iOS it might not have it.