Stuff I Didn’t Ask Apple For, But Got Anyway and Really Like

Here’s a list of capabilities Apple added to the Appleverse that I never really asked for, or at least didn’t write a blog entry asking for, that I really like.

End to End Encryption in Notes – This was a big one. I had long wanted to be able to share notes with my wife and Apple delivered on that several of years ago. That took notes to a usability level that let me get rid of Evernote and the thrice damned OneNote. Now that the notes are encrypted my wife and I can use them together for just about every aspect of our lives from caring for our aging parents to recipes. A useful product just keeps getting better.

It requires only one more thing to be totally perfect, the ability to capture a web page as a static file in a single click like Evernote does. While a page can be captured as a pdf, the method requires several clicks. It is necessary because a link will die if the page dies and my note become useless.

Shared Library in Photos – This was one I often wished for. My wife and I live our lives together, including photos. We want to share them. I shouldn’t take a picture of my grandsons and then have to send it to her, she should have it as a matter of course. In my opinion, this is a continuation of Apple’s realization their customers do not live their lives alone and that while the products are deeply personal, we often need to share deeply personal parts of our lives with people like spouses, children, and parents.

FindMy – Didn’t know I needed it but being able to know I didn’t leave my keys or iPad behind is a boon. My father, in particular, takes great comfort that I know where he (or at least where his iPhone) is. If only they would make an Air Tag small enough to go on my glasses.

Tip Calculator – Did you know there was a tip calculator in the Apple calculator on Apple Watch, and that it’s great? Type in the check amount, hit the tip button and the tip amount and total come up. You can turn the crown to increase or decrease the tip percentage. Really, it’s the small things.

Apple Pay – I know this is an old feature, but I continue being surprised by the number of people who don’t know this works. Paying with my watch is just the best. No need to drag out a card. It’s not something I would ever have asked for and at first I thought it was goofy but now I find myself selecting stores where it is taken over those where it is not. Did you know Dollar General takes Apple Pay?

Upcoming in iOS 17 is an accessibility feature called Assistive Access. Some of the previews I have read about this feature suggest it will permit an iPhone to be configured to resemble a Jitterbug phone that was widely advertised as a simplified phone/service for seniors. I am anxious to try this out for my Dad and my wife’s Mom who are always having issues with their phones. This has a chance to make their lives easier.