06/10 update below. This post was originally published on June 8th
Apple iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS 12 ‘Monterey’ were the highlights of WWDC 2021, packed with some great (and surprising) Upgrades for iPhone, iPad and Mac / MacBook users. But now Apple has quietly warned users not to expect everything they announced to be ready to launch, while a surprising number of basic features won’t reach millions of users at all.
Seen from AppleInsider, Apple used the fine print on its website to warn that the release of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 will be missing nearly 20 key new features. More importantly, many will never get to the relatively new iPhone and iPad models, as well as the (more terrifying) ultra-premium Macs and Macbooks that Apple is still selling.
Update from 06/09: Apple has now confirmed further promising news about iOS 15. The company announced that the software will be available for all iOS 14 compatible iPhones, which means that even the six-year-old iPhone 6S and the first-generation iPhone SE (2016) will be supported. This is blowing the competition away as only Samsung comes close with its recent promise to support four-generation security updates for Galaxy smartphones. But even that is a far cry from the full platform upgrades Apple is delivering here. Above all, this should also mean that used iPhones retain their value for much longer. Impressive stuff, Apple.
Apple iPhone owners: iOS 15, iPadOS 15 missing functions
At launch, Apple confirmed that these features will not be available:
- ID in wallet
- App privacy report
- House key, hotel key, office key, car key and remote control for car key
- Announce messages in CarPlay
- Hide my email
In addition, you need an iPhone XS or newer to get support for spatial 3D sound and portrait mode in FaceTime, interactive glove in maps, immersive pedestrian routes, text recognition for objects, digital key support in wallet, shared health data with your doctor, offline viewing , Dictation for more than 60 seconds and more. Some of these made sense, like support for digital keys tied to existing hardware, but others are clear signals from Apple to upgrade.
Apple iPad owners: iPadOS 15 missing features
At startup, the following is not ready:
- Hide my email
- Music: Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking
- Music: shared with you
- Music: photo memories
- Music: SharePlay
Hide My Email’s lag is shared with iOS 15, but the rest of the omissions are focused on Apple Music, although all of these features are ready for iPhone users when iOS 15 launches. There is currently no clear timeframe for when iPad owners will receive feature equality with their iPhone owners.
With iOS 15, however, many iPadOS features will never make it to older iPads – some inexplicably – and it’s a similar tail to iOS 15. iPadOS 15 preview page, Apple tacitly confirms that you must have an iPad with A12 Bionic or later to use it [deep breath] Spatial audio, portrait mode in Facetime, interactive glove in maps, immersive pedestrian routes, text recognition for objects, shared health data with your doctor, offline viewing and dictation for more than 60 seconds and more.
Apple Mac / MacBook owners: macOS Monteray functions are missing at startup
- Hide my email
- Photos: memory mixes
- Photos: Memories: Fresh new look
- Photos: Memories: Memory looks
- Photos: Memories: Interactive Interface
- Photos: Memories: Browse the view
- Photos: Memories: New Storage Types
- Photos: Memories: Watch next
- Photos: Memories: Shared with you
Hide My Email is a common topic again, but everything else is photo-based. One interesting caveat is that while Universal Control is excluded from the first beta of macOS Monteray, it is not on this list, which means it should arrive in time for launch. However, these lists can get longer as we get closer to publication.
06/10 Update: More bad news for MacBook and Mac owners, especially the vast majority of the user base who are still using Intel-based chipsets. Seen from MacRumors, Apple has used the finest fine print on the official macOS Monteray function page to reveal that no fewer than six major upgrades are limited to M1-based Macs. These are:
- Portrait mode in FaceTime
- Copy live text within photos
- 3D city mapping in Apple Maps and the new interactive globe
- Text-to-Speech in more languages
- Keyboard dictation on the device
- Unlimited keyboard dictation (the previous 60 second limit is removed)
YouTuber Rene Ritchie Expectations the decision is “because Intel Macs don’t have the neural engine that these features require,” but – right or not – that is an apologist’s line of reasoning. The fact a $ 53,000 Mac Pro Cannot process keyboard dictation for more than 60 seconds is not because it lacks a neural engine, but because Apple only programmed it to work with the M1 chip’s neural engine.
Hence, the real takeaway for Intel-based Mac owners is that Apple is already moving on. Prioritizing features for a small and relatively low percentage of the current Mac user base means Apple has Intel firmly in its rearview mirror. Officially, support for Intel-based Macs will be for many years to come, but this is the beginning of the end.
For fans of the iPhone and MacBook Pro, hopes are high that both platforms will hit the market with next-generation hardware. An M1X chip inside the new MacBook Pro is the highlight, although there is also one revised design, thinner bezels, new color options and mark the death of the Touch Bar.
For iPhone fans there were even more extensive leaks for the new iPhone 13 series. These include oversized rear view cameras, Beamforming microphones, significantly larger batteries, up to 1 TB storage, 120Hz ProMotion displays (Pro models only) and – finally – a smaller notch.
Ultimately, if Apple can deliver on the hardware front, most users won’t mind waiting a little longer for all of their software features to catch up.
Follow Gordon on Facebook
More about Forbes