Written by Nick Heer.

Which New iOS and MacOS Features Do People Actually Use?

Adam Engst, TidBits:

However, as you’ll see, the respondents may be outliers only in degree, not direction. The most notable finding is that most of them don’t use most of the features listed. Only four features — Live Text, Shortcuts, Hide My Email, and Memories in Photos — received more votes saying they were Occasionally or Frequently used than Never used. (A fifth feature, App Privacy Report, was close, with only 57 more people on the Never side.) It seems probable that those responding to the survey were more likely than the average Apple user to use these features, suggesting that a broader survey would have shown even lower usage levels.

Via Michael Tsai, who writes:

I use Live Text frequently and Shortcuts and translation occasionally. Often, translation doesn’t support support the language that I need so I end up going to Google Translate.

It is a TidBits survey covering twenty new features in MacOS and iOS — both now mature platforms — so I am not surprised many of its respondents said they “never” use most of these features. Still, even as a longtime user of both operating systems, I find myself discovering new and new-to-me capabilities somewhat often.

Live Text, in particular, has made all the difference in the world for me. I cannot remember the last time I used it on iOS with the Camera app, but I am often dealing with images of text in my Mac workflow. Being able to select and copy text out of screenshots or graphics has been transformative.

The other features here are a mixed bag. I have iCloud Private Relay switched on for many of my devices, and I very occasionally use Hide My Email. If I want a throwaway address, I will often use a dedicated provider instead. I have not had a set of devices compatible with Universal Control until recently but it impressed me. Focus still requires too much setup for my liking, but I have modes for working and sleeping, and both are fine.

I mentioned “discovering” features. One reason for this, I think, is because Apple often mentions features without explaining or demonstrating them. Maybe I am just busier now or my brain is getting mushier with age, but I find I often have to look through Apple’s marketing pages to try to make sense of anything that has been announced. Minor software versions also quietly carry unannounced new features, too. When Visual Lookup was released in Canada with a software update earlier this year, it was not mentioned in the release notes.