Am I Unusual In How I Don’t Use My Phone?


Am I Unusual In How I Don’t Use My Phone?

IOS 17 and MacOS Sonoma seem to have some odd prejudices


A sad cartoon iphone sitting alone on a park bench at dusk
My lonely iPhone — DALLE image by author

This is a lo-o-o-ng post that took freaking days to write because it talks about many new features coming later this year. Please feel free to skip any parts you don’t care about. I skipped stuff; why shouldn’t you?

Am I an outlier? Yes, I own and use an Apple computer, an iPhone, the Watch, an iPad, Apple TV, AirPods, Airpods Pro, and HomePods. Dollars to donuts — silly phrase nowadays considering the price of donuts, so no, let’s just say there’s a non-zero chance I’ll convince myself to buy that Vision Pro headset even though I shouldn’t.

But forget all that. Pretend for a minute that all I have is an iPad and an iPhone. Almost everything I do is on my iPad, so that’s not inconceivable. Nor is it unusual, is it?

Are you with me so far?

Good. In the fall we will get IOS and iPadOS 17, as well as MacOS Sonoma. Apple has promised a couple of features therein that make me very happy, but some others make me wince.

Happy Stuff and Eye Rolls — Health

Health will sync to iPad. Oh, frabjous day! How many times have I wanted to check something in the Health app but, nope, I have to go get my phone. With IOS 17, Health will appear on both devices. Yay!

Yes, but seemingly Mac Sonoma wasn’t invited to play. Why?

And what about Fitness? For me, Health and Fitness go hand in hand. Why not both? For that matter, why not everything? Why can’t I see my watch charge state from my iPad? Shouldn’t anything signed in on with the same Apple ID be synced with every other device if I want them to? Shouldn’t I be able to see the screen of my iPad from my Mac and vice versa?

Phone only stuff is partularly annoying. The ONLY time I want to touch my phone is when I leave the house. Is that weird or is it how most people work?

Initiate SharePlay

You hold two iPhones close together and then can use SharePlay enabled apps. Two iPhones they say, apparently no iPads or Macs allowed. Discrimination? Why? This seems pretty silly to me.

Swap numbers with NameDrop

More crowding phones together.

Watches can do this too. Imagine how foolish you’d look to people who have no clue why you are awkwardly pressing your wrists together, especially if one of you is a lefty and the other isn’t.

Not quite as silly as linking watches , but still a bit awkward to ask if they even have an iPhone, isn’t it? This is another feature I can’t imagine using.

New ways to AirDrop

When you bring two phones together, you can AirDrop. Nope, I am not doing that.

However, AirDrop does acquire the ability to start a large transfer as we do now and have it continue while we walk away into the wild, wild open air. I suppose that could be handy sometimes,


This might be very coolOr, it may be a waste of electrons. Apple says:

Using on-device machine learning, your iPhone creates personalized suggestions of moments for you to remember and write about based on your photos, music, workouts, and more.

It’s for iPhone and iPad, but it isn’t mentioned for Sonoma. I do like the idea of automatic annotation for my day, but most of my day happens on my iPad or Mac, not on my phone. The rest of it happens on my couch watching Apple TV and, boy oh boy, I would love to have a list of what we watched and when. I would LOVE that!

Apparently the new Home App will track 30 days of locks and alarms activity. That wouldn’t be journaled, I imagine.

Because my Mac is my least used device, tracking its activity would also be useful. That might not be good for Apple, because it might make me decide not to replace it when the M1 chip finally goes the way of all flesh — umm, electronics, I mean.

Maybe by then Vision Pro III will be all I need anyway. No ‘puter, iPad, TV or phone. Cool beans if it comes to that and I’m still kicking.

Maybe Journal will do more than I think.

Dammit. I don’t like doing betas but I also want to know more about what’s coming. Aaargh!

Customize what people see when you call

Yeah. I sure hope the “sensitive content” filters will be watching this because it’s 100% sure our resident jackass population will be using this to send dick pics and worse.

Do iPad and Mac get this? I answer most of my calls there when at home. Shouldn’t I get to see those contact cards?

Other than that, it’s a good idea, maybe. I would hope it would work like ring tones and let you use different photos for different people. I don’t need that now, but when I had my business, I’d have wanted a professional default.

No, I know we’ll be able to switch Contact Cards easily, but I don’t remember to do things like that.

And who am I kidding anyway? I would show up at the most fussy conservative and traditional financial firma in a T-shirt and jeans. They’d always give me the fish-eye and sometimes complained. I’d answer sarcastically: “No problem, there are thousands and thousands of Solaris Certified Engineers right here in Boston. I’ll go back home now and you can put a sign in your window saying Looking for Kernel Internals Help, must wear suit and tie.”

Live Voicemail

Huh? Why did they call it that? It’s a transcript on your lockscreen. Okay, I guess that’s sort of “live” and I do like the feature. It’s “Live Silent Voicemail Screening”, but yeah, too long. Maybe Peek-A-Boo Voicemail? No?

Again, you need your phone to see this. Sheesh.

Let your friends know when you arrive safely

Yeah, my wife is always asking our kids to let us know when they get to the grocery store. No, seriously, I like this. But it looks like it’s only phone again? I sure hope that’s wrong!

Use an external camera for FaceTime calls on iPad

Okay, good, though I didn’t know I can’t already.

iPad stage manager windows

Stage Manager might be nice on a big screen, but not as great here. I doubt this will help.

Catch-up and swipe right to reply

Mac, iPad, iPhone. Jump to the first unread message in a conversation and you can swipe to reply. A thick arrow briefly appears and then the reply field opens.

Swipe right to reply screenshot

Link related notes

I can make use of this. All three devices.

Start in Notes and finish in Pages

Only on Mac. I guess I see why, but why not Open With option elsewhere?

A new way to share and view locations in Messages

They say you use the plus button. What plus button? It’s new, bottom left. Anyway, the location shows up below messages in the conversation. Nice! All three devices.

Search filters in Messages

All three. Effectively this lets you narrow a search by searching within search results. I wish Mail had this.

Audio Messages are now transcribed

Nice, but not mentioned for Sonoma. Seems odd, as iMessage is on all three. Maybe it is there?

All your iMessage apps in one place

Ayup, just ten minutes ago I wanted to find a photo I knew was in a Message, so cool beans (I’m hip to the latest jive talk in spite of my age).

This does work on iPad, but isn’t mentioned for Sonoma.

All your stickers in one place

Nope, don’t care and if you send me stickers or emojis, I will mutter nasty words under my breath. What do they mean by this? I do not care.

Use your own photos to create Live Stickers

Nope, don’t care and if you send me stickers or emojis, I will mutter nasty words under my breath. I already told you I don’t care.

Use your stickers in more places

Nope, don’t care and if you send me stickers or emojis, I will mutter nasty words under my breath. I DO NOT CARE!

Record a video or audio message when someone misses your FaceTime call

Yes, great, but see dick pics above. Live dick pics this time.

And Nigerian princes, too. Oh, boy.

React with your hands in FaceTime.

We saw this in the recent Keynote. Hearts, confetti, fireworks, and more, just like the stuff you shouldn’t use in Messages.

This doesn’t tickle my toes. I think it will be one of those things that starts being very cringy very quickly. At least I hope so.

FaceTime on Apple TV

Hallelujah! This will use Continuity Camera through your iPhone or iPad. It’s also a developer API, so Zoom et al. will be able to do this too if they want. I’ll definitely be using this.


An iPhone sitting on its side and charging will display customizable information very similar to the Smart Stack feature or current Siri face on the Watch. iPad does something similar with widgets on the Lock Screen.

Sounds like a useful thing to do with unused equipment.

Apple implies that you can shout out Siri commands and the Standby screen will show you things like weather. Does this mean it has a higher priority than my Homepods?

Live activities can show the score of a game or the progress of your food delivery.

IPad has this too. I wouldn’t care about either of those: I live like a caveman and drive myself to get groceries.

New wallpapers iPhone and iPad

They mention Live Action wallpaper for iPad, but I thought it already had that. I also thought Lockscreen widgets were already on my phone, so they must means something else, but I don’t care enough to find out.

More accurate autokorect

I imagine a massive number of people will never know because they shut off autocorrect ages ago.

Safari profiles

Profiles are something Chrome already has. I am a true-blue Safari user, so I didn’t know what these are.

A profile is like logging in, but only to Safari. Different profiles can have different history, extensions, cookies, tab groups, and favorites.

Enhanced Private Browsing

This is 99% for porn and searching for divorce lawyers, bomb making instructions, and stuff you aren’t supposed to be doing at work, right? So it could be embarrassing or worse if someone else gets to see what you were looking at.

So now those private tabs will be protected by FaceID or (I assume) your passcode.

Private browsing locked screenshot

Autofill verification codes received in Mail

I’ve been confused before when I thought I was waiting for a 2FA text but no, it was in mail. Apple says IOS 17 will notice 2FA sent by mail and autofill.

Sounds tricky. I wonder if it will be buggy?

Music SharePlay in the car

So everybody can control the music? Family squabbles galore.

Share your playlist and everyone can add, reorder, and remove songs


AirPlay in your hotel room

Yeah? Don’t expect wide adoption of thar, nice as it may be.


Airpods will be able to blend Transparency and Active Noise cancellation, switching between them automagically. That I will use!

Press to mute and unmute AirPods

So when you are on a call and need to flush the toilet, you don’t need to dig out your phone?

Airpods improved device switching

I want to believe you, Apple, I truly do. Please let it be true.

Download maps to use offline

Another thing I thought I could already do but never have done.

Enhanced electric vehicle routing

Cool, if I ever get an EV I will need to know where those charging stations are.

Siri gets Back-to-back requests

And maybe I won’t say nasty things to her any more.

Just say “Siri”, no more “Hey”

That will take a few years to stop using.

Hey Siri or Siri screenshot

Visual Look Up

Google image search? Or Apple’s? Photos, video frames, stuff you lift out of photos.

Reminder Lists

They say grocery lists automatically sort items into categories to make shopping easier. You get to choose the type of list you make.

List types screenshot
Organized grocery list screenshot

I didn’t know butter is Produce. It thinks Prunes are Candy and Almond Butter might be a Sauce. Useless to me because I sort my list by date and time (time lets me order the list by shelf location). Mine looks like this:

Date & time sorted to effectively sort by aisle

More PDF features

Filling out forms, tabbing from field to field. Getting that has always cost money, now it will be built-in.

Share AirTags etc.

This will help my wife and I find each other in the mall.

Home kit

Activity History will let you see who locked or unlocked the door, who used the garage door and other stuff like that. I can hear the arguments now.

Apple News+

Crossword puzzles from newspapers? My wife will like that.

Your cats and dogs recognized in photos

No love for turtles, hamsters, pet tarantulas?

All done

I left some stuff out, I accidentally deleted some things while editing and forget to out them back, but this is still a lot, isn’t it? I poke fun at some things, but hey, Apple, you did good, didn’t you?


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