Here are all the lesser-known features included in iOS/iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS 12, and more

Apple Software Updates WWDC2021

Note: This post will be updated with new features as and when they are discovered.

This year, WWDC might not have introduced sweeping design changes. Instead, it revealed a bunch of useful, new features that we had been demanding for some time now.

With FaceTime expanding out of the bounds of Apple’s formerly walled ecosystem through support for Android and Web, the company is finally catching up to necessities spotlighted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The redesigned Safari finally touches on longstanding problems with tab management helping it compete with browsers like Chrome, which has had features like tab grouping for some time now.

Nevertheless, despite the bevy of announcements made at the WWDC 2021 Keynote, there are usually a ton of changes that we’re left to discover by ourselves. In this post, I’ll try listing all the less-documented (even undocumented) changes and new features coming to iOS and iPadOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and more.

Note: The items in the following list may be curated from multiple sources and some of them aren’t originally discovered by myself.

iOS 15


  • New widgets: App Store, Find My, Contacts, Sleep, Game Center, and Mail.
  • While navigating through text on your iPhone using a finger, iOS 15 once again shows a magnifying glass.
  • Find my can help locate a device that has been turned off or erased.
  • Users can temporarily back up their data to iCloud (even without a subscription) to easily transfer that data to a new iPhone.
  • Focus lets you set a profile for a single page on the home screen.
  • FaceID seems to unlock at a steeper angle.
  • You can now change the text and display size on a per-app basis.
  • Six new QuickPath languages: Dutch, Hindi, Russian, Swedish, Vietnamese, and Turkish.
  • Your expired boarding passes and event tickets in the Wallet app will be automatically moved to a separate list.
  • You can now add multiple passes to the Wallet app at once.
  • Developers can allow you to paste content from another app without having access to it.
  • Developers can let you share your current location with a customization button within their apps.
  • You can now reorder home screen pages in iOS 15.
  • You can now quickly view your card number by opening Apple Card in Wallet and tapping the card icon.
  • Apple Pay now features a redesigned payment sheet.
  • Improved search results in the Books app.
  • The Panorama mode in iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro has improved geometric distortion and better captures moving subjects while also reducing image noise and banding.
  • New dictionaries for India, Hong Kong, and China.
  • When the WiFi network is slow, iOS 15 will automatically prioritize 5G on supported devices.
  • Enhanced 5G connectivity.
  • With a press of the Share button, you can save a video clip of up to the last 15 seconds of gameplay using game controllers like the Xbox Series X|S Wireless Controller or Sony PS5 DualSense™ Wireless Controller.
  • HomeKit Secure Video can now detect packages.
  • New Keyboard layouts for certain languages.
  • Smart Replies now supports 10 new Indic languages.
  • On-device dictation is now available in more regions and languages.
  • You can now dictate for an unlimited amount of time as opposed to a 60-minute earlier previously.
  • The news feed in the News app has been redesigned.
  • New Custom Smart Folders automatically collect notes based on their tags.
  • There’s now a built-in two-factor authenticator within iOS 15, eliminating the need to download an additional app for that purpose.
  • You can now use tags within the Reminders app as well.
  • Improved natural language support while setting a new Reminder.
  • You can choose to stay on iOS 14 and get continual security updates.
  • Improved sharing of Shortcuts.
  • The Shortcuts editor is now smarter with suggestions to help you complete the shortcut you’re building.
  • The Translate app now has a new face-to-face view that changes the conversation view when chatting face to face so that each person can see the conversation from their own side.
  • The redesigned conversation view within the Translate app now has chat bubbles allowing you to follow more easily.
  • Language selection is now easier with better drop-down menus within the Translate app.
  • The Apple TV app now works with popular streaming apps in Japan.
  • You can now speed up or slow down the playback of Voice Memos recordings.
  • Voice Memos now automatically skips silent gaps in your recordings with a single tap of a button.
  • You can now share multiple Voice Memos recordings at once.
  • You can now receive next-hour precipitation notifications from the Weather app.


  • Siri now maintains context. This means you can now ask Siri consecutive questions without having it break the chain.
  • Siri can now take certain commands without an internet connection.
  • You can now share items using Siri.
  • Siri now offers on-device personalization.
  • Siri can now use on-screen context to send a message or place a call.
  • Siri can now announce incoming messages in CarPlay.
  • Siri can now take commands to control smart home devices at a specific time.
  • Neural text-to-speech voice is now available in more languages including Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish.
  • Mixed English and Indic language support.


  • Mute alerts are coming to FaceTime. These alerts will tell you if you are speaking while the mic is muted.
  • FaceTime now lets you zoom the camera.


  • SMS filtering is coming to Brazil.
  • New notification options in Messages for India and China.


  • You can now customize clothing in Memoji.
  • There are two new eye color options.
  • Three new glasses options including heart, star, and retro shapes.
  • There are nine new Memoji stickers.
  • You can now add multicolored headwear to Memoji.


  • You can now record your alcohol consumption within the Health app in iOS 15.
  • New Blood Glucose highlights.
  • You can now save COVID-19 Immunization reports right within the Health app by scanning the QR code on the report.


  • iOS 15 will suggest you mute notification suggestions on active threads that you aren’t engaging with.
  • Time-sensitive notifications are delivered immediately.
  • The menu for notifications options has been updated to reflect the rest of the system menus.


  • Safari now allows voice search.
  • You can now customize the Safari start page on your iPhone as well.
  • Safari now automatically upgrades sites known to support HTTPS from insecure HTTP.
  • Swipe all the way to the right on the tab bar to open a new tab.
  • You can now refresh a page by pulling down from the top of a web page.
  • Tab overview now shows tabs in a grid just like on Mac, as opposed to displaying a deck of cards you can swipe through previously.


  • Maps now shows nearby transit options.
  • Place cards have been redesigned.
  • A new Guides Home section features editorially curated guides for places you may love.
  • Searching within Maps now includes filters.
  • iOS 15 introduces user profiles in Maps. This means your favorite spots, reported issues, the preferred mode of transit, and more can all be found in one place.
  • Maps now lets you set leaving or arrival times while getting directions.


  • You can now search for images on the web using Spotlight.
  • Spotlight is now accessible from the lock screen.
  • App Clips can now be evoked from Maps search results in Spotlight.
  • Spotlight now lets you directly download App Store apps from search results themselves.


  • There are new Memory types.
  • The Photos app suggests new Memories to watch after one has ended.
  • You can now see detailed information about a photo in your camera roll. Information includes the size of the photo, its origin, camera information, and resolution.
  • Faster initial iCloud Photos Library Sync on a new device.
  • Third-party apps can now offer simpler selection workflows when you grant access to specific content in the Photos library.
  • Improved recognition in the People album.
  • Naming mistakes can now be more easily corrected in the People album.
  • You can select photos in a specific order.
  • There’s a new ability within Photos that lets the app know you prefer to see less of a specific date, place, holiday, or person across Featured Photos, in the Photos widget, in Memories, or highlighted in the Library tab.

iPadOS 15

Most iOS 15 features apply to iPadOS 15 as well.

  • You can quickly access the App Library right from the iPad’s dock.
  • You can now add images and sketch over them within handwritten notes.
  • Better note-taking support for the Japanese language.
  • iPadOS also prioritizes 5G when the WiFi connectivity is low.

macOS Monterey (12)


  • Virtualization.framework now lets you run macOS 12 as a guest in addition to Linux guests on Apple Silicon devices. Source.
  • The redesigned Sidebar in Safari now features Tab Groups and Shared With You links.
  • You can set up Universal Control to work continuously within preferences.
  • Pro users can now enable AppleScript and shell script compatibility in the Shortcuts app on Mac.
  • If an app is accessing your Mac’s mic, it will be indicated in the Control Center using a dot, just like iOS.
  • VoiceOver now supports descriptions for PDF signatures.
  • Full Keyboard Access has been improved.
  • You can now customize the pointer on macOS 12.
  • New Voice Control languages have been added.
  • New Hello desktop picture and screen saver.
  • Launchpad now has a dedicated Games folder.
  • You can now choose to erase all contents and settings while retaining the operating system.
  • macOS 12 brings Low Power Mode to Mac.
  • You can now add Memoji to your Mac’s login screen.
  • You can now look and manage saved passwords in the Passwords section in Preferences.
  • You can now import and export passwords too.
  • macOS now has a built-in two-factor authenticator.
  • The iCloud Passwords extension is available for the Edge browser.
  • You can now swap out windows while in Split View.
  • You can now change a Split View window to full screen.
  • You can now choose to display the menu bar at all times, even while in full-screen mode.
  • Markup options include a new option to add an image description within the Preview app.


  • Finder lets you use the Touch Bar to run Shrotcuts.
  • There’s a new iCloud Collaboratiion folder situated in the Sidebar in Finder. It contains all shared documents and displays information such as invitation status, the person who last modified the file, and other sharing-related metadata to help you manage your shared files.
  • The copying indicator has been improved.
  • An enhanced “go to folder” window features a new look and improved autocompletion engine to help you get to the files or folder you’re looking for more quickly.
  • Windows now automatically resize when moved from one display to another.

watchOS 8

  • You can now set multiple timers at once.
  • The Always on display now works with more apps including Alarms, Maps, Stopwatch, and some third-party apps.
  • There’s a new contacts app within watchOS 8.
  • Apple Watch’s Weather app can now push severe weather notifications.