9 great overlooked features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey

9 great but easily overlooked features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey


9 great features you might have overlooked in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey
There are so many big changes in Apple’s upcoming iPhone, Mac and iPad operating system updates that it might be easy to miss some smaller ones.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple made an enormous number of changes in its 2021 operating system updates. Many of these drew plenty of attention — like the FaceTime upgrade — but some useful improvements might have been overlooked in all the hoopla.

Here are nine new features in iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey you might have overlooked.

Overlooked features in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating systems remain similar enough that many of the features coming to one are also debuting in the other.

Safari pull to refresh

Soon, all that it’ll take to refresh a web page on an iPhone or iPad is pulling down from the top. If this sounds familiar, the same gesture has long been in Mail, Facebook, Twitter and many other applications. It’s very convenient, and helps make up for the Reload button being semi-hidden.

There are some big changes in Safari for iPad, too.

Find My when iPhone is off

Even when you think your iPhone is off, it’s not completely shut down. With iOS 15, it’s still connected via Bluetooth to the Find My network. So even if your battery goes dead, you can find your handset, because it reserves a bit of power for this feature.

An interesting side effect of this is that an iPhone can be located if it’s stolen, even if the thief turns it off.

Scheduling departure and arrival times in Apple Maps

Scheduling departure and arrival times in Apple Maps in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15: You can set the time you wish to leave or the time you need to arrive in Apple Maps in iOS 15 or iPadOS 15
You can set the time you wish to leave or the time you need to arrive in Apple Maps in iOS 15 or iPadOS 15.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

With iOS 15, Apple Maps can tell you how long it’ll take to get to a restaurant if you leave at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. Or you can find out what time you need to leave to arrive at a time of your choosing. This is based on historical traffic data (not precognition) but should be a useful tool for getting around.

It’s another example of Apple working to catch up with Google’s Waze.

FaceTime tells you you’re muted but trying to talk

We’ve all been there. You’re talking away in a video chat but you’ve forgotten you muted yourself. FaceTime in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 lets you know you’re on mute but still talking.

Security updates without feature updates

Starting with iOS 15/iPadOS 15, you’ll have the option to install security updates without also installing new features. This will make iPhones and iPads more secure without the risk of adding bugs.

Notify When Left Behind for any device

An iPad can be set up to alert you if you forget it at the office. The same trick works with a Mac, AirTags, iPhone and other Apple gadgets.

And this goes beyond leaving your tablet at work. People forget their devices on airplanes, in restaurants, in hotel rooms, etc., all the time. Hopefully this will happen less when the new feature arrives.

You can set locations where you don’t get the reminder. So you won’t be alerted if you deliberately leave your iPad at home, for example.

Enhanced Print Options

iPadOS 15 and iOS 15 print options are much more robust.
The iPadOS 15 print options get a lot closer to the macOS ones.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple significantly improved the options available when printing in iOS and iPadOS 15.

Other new features in iOS and iPadOS 15

Other improvements coming to iPhone and iPad did make headlines. For example:

Overlooked features in macOS Monterey

There’s plenty to like in the next macOS version. But here are a couple of nice tweaks you might have overlooked.

Automatic window resizing when changing monitors

Drag a window from your MacBook’s display onto a large external screen and it’ll automatically resize itself. This should make working with multiple monitors easier.

Low power mode

As iPhone does now, a MacBook that’s running low on power will reduce its processor’s clock speed and display brightness to extend battery life.

Other new features in macOS Monterey

Many of the changes in macOS Monterey did draw the attention they deserve. For example:

Source: Apple, Apple and Apple


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.