What makes you (still) excited about a new OS version?

Let me try to phrase this in a positive way. :wink:

I “pay for my shoes” working in IT. I like (love?) technology and spend way too much time at my computer, with my phone and iPad. However, I can’t see what makes people (still) excited about OS upgrades. Be it macOS,iOS, iPadOS, Android, Windows, Linux or what have you. They rarely fix bugs. More likely, they introduce new issues. And even though I consider myself a “power user” I can’t think of anything that I’m eagerly awaiting. Let alone “need”. All devices do what I expect them to do. And for everything that I can think of, there’s an app.

Sure, I appreciated it when Apple said goodbye to skeuomorphic design. But even that was not something I was really looking forward to. If it hadn’t happened, we probably wouldn’t have noticed.

And 99% of the “new” functionality I’ll rarely use. If ever.

So what makes you really looking forward to, or excited about, a new major OS version?


I like to daydream about living in the future, what it could bring, how new technologies and practices might change my life for the better. I think that’s what got me into the Apple world to begin with. Every year Apple gives us a little glimpse into the future, and the best part of OS upgrades is that I don’t even have to buy anything to get it. Just run the update and my machine can now do more than it used to.

For me, being a technologist is about optimism. More solarpunk, less cyberpunk. We can build a future we’d all love to live in, we just have to believe that we can. Technology, done right, is like a light post illuminating the path. Look close and you can start to make out where we could go from here.

So, yea. I’ll install the update, probably straight away. I can’t wait to see what the future will hold.


For me, even tiny improvements to accessibility are huge. Live Text is starting to be used by in beta screen readers etc. That will help, a lot.

Also interested in Freeform, and in enhanced sharing for collaboration, like sharing tab groups. Anything that reduces typing for me is good.

Looking forward to trying WorkSpaces again, never really worked for me.

in iOS/ipadOS, interested in Stage Manager, not sure what I think yet. Also interested in lock screen/focus enhancements, and being able to decide what’s on my lock screen.

Shortcuts, which have been of less use to me currently, are looking interesting in terms of what I can do with smart devices to help my elderly mom.

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Speaking about macOS, which is my major concern, I no longer get excited, because:

  • They seem to take away as many features as they add

  • New features seem to be to make macOS look and work more like iOS rather than improve the macOS experience.

I think Lion was the last release that was really different than the one before. And that was 11 years ago.


Nothing really. I just hope the bugs don’t stop my productivity and that I don’t find any of my needed apps in a deprecated folder. :grin:

I only update when the release gets to x.3 or x.5. I’ve only just upgraded to Monterey.


Boy, this really rings true for me over the last two years. I used to hop on the beta train as soon as I could get them. Now I wait at least a week after the Gold Master is delivered and a couple dot updates have passed. I want stuff that works and is established as working, too much of my current work involves having glitch-free compatibility.


Bang on @svsmailus! Nothing excites me about new macOS releases. I wish Apple would (1) poll their users as to the desirability to them of potential new features and prioritise accordingly, and (2) just spend a year or to fixing the stuff they’ve broken or not fully completed — UX changes that aren’t needed, UI that just doesn’t work (notifications…!), API that are either undocumented or don’t behave as documented.

I don’t need Stage Manager, there are numerous 3P apps. I don’t need a broken replacement for system preferences. I’m utterly unconcerned about running iPad apps on my Mac.

Rant over.


Over time the improvements to the OS build up and make the computers and devices more useful. With Apple I especially love the way they think about how all their devices can work together. For example, the introduction of focus modes across iOS, macOS etc now allows me to turn on my Work focus mode and all of my devices (Watch, phone and Mac) are in sync and limiting the number of notifications I receive while I’m focused on work.

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BTW, this reminds me of some advice I was given back in 1981 by a person who worked at Bell labs. I was just getting into computers and wanted to learn how to program. Someone in my family thought it would be useful to talk to this guy at Bell labs. He told me that all the software that we need has already been written. If you become a computer programmer now, you would just be maintaining someone elses code. You’d never get to write anything new.

Imagine if I listened to this guy? In 1981??!! This was before the Mac was invented!

So anytime someone tells me that we don’t need any new software, I think of this guy giving me bad advice in 1981.


That’s right up there with Thomas Watson saying

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers …

and Bill Gates saying (he denies it)

Nobody will ever need more than 640k of RAM


Apple software seems to have plateaued. Until there’s something, say, AR- or VR-related in the OS, it seems releases are just going to be incremental.

I just skimmed over what’s coming in (hopefully not Jesse) Ventura again, and don’t see anything that I didn’t know I couldn’t live without. Continuity camera? All my devices have cameras. Desk view? Maybe useful every couple of years unless remote teaching, and iffy then. Stage manager? Giving up desktop space for something to distract you from what you’re doing now, to things you could also be doing.

I’m more excited about what’s going on in the Linux world at the moment, especially Manjaro, which runs on laptops, desktops, and even a phone for $149.

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I’d be happy if they updated alternate years (iOS/iPdos alternating with macOS) or every two years. Fix bugs and problems then add features.


I’d like to see continuous deployment. As features are ready to ship, ship them.


That was not my point. What I said was that for me there is very little to get excited about in major new OS versions. They hardly contain anything particularly useful to me. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for innovation left. Only that my machines are already doing 99.9% of what I want them to do.

Back in July John Gruber posted a Twitter poll about the Safari tab group feature. This poll inspired Tidbits to launch a survey, which of the “new” iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 actually are used (Survey: Which iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey Features Do You Actually Use? - TidBITS). 1,319 people filled out the survey. On August 8th, TidBITS followed up with the results. SharePlay, FaceTime Links, Voice search in Safari and Tags in Notes are never being used by more than 80% to 93% of the participants. Memories in Photos, Shortcuts and Live Texts seem to be more popular: “only” 40% to 50% of the participants “never” used those features. Almost all shiny keynote features are being hardly used or not used at all. To me, this survey was like a confirmation of my reception of those features: is it only me not using and caring about much of this stuff or is there a broader group of people out there with the same lack of interest? Apparently the latter.

When it comes to macOS, I am in @tomalmy’s camp: I am at least as concerned about what we might lose as I am “excited” about what is new.

Regarding iPadOS, I am in the “finally” camp: I see the OS as something that is restraining the potential those fantastic iPads could unleash, if only iPadOS enabled those devices doing so (they are going in the right direction, but it really has been a slow walk). Regarding iOS, I really am excited: the iOS 16 lock screen options look great. I would love to have this kind of flexibility on my “normal” home screen, too. The lock screen is something I have been ignoring most of the time so far. I definitely will try to use it more. The lock screen seems to be a hint for a “always on” feature (TomsGuide.com) and the key selling point for the iPhone 14 Pros.

What I really would be excited about: Apple allowing us users to really tinker with the OS (like MacOS has done in the past) and trusting us users more with customization options and stuff like that. Multitasking, putting stuff where we want it and changing the look to some degree is what I am excited about. The “You holding it wrong” meme does not work when telling users how to use an OS.

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I still get excited about each annual update for the promise/hope of some new game-changing feature, but if I’m honest with myself, I think it’s maybe only every two or three years that I get something that meaningfully impacts the way I do things, or some previously released feature is refined to a point where it becomes a functional part of my computing experience. Otherwise it mostly seems to be small, iterative adjustments that add up over time.

Used to be a keen i*OS beta tester. These days I just read the news about the betas while getting on with things I’m supposed to be doing. That sounds a bit more cynical than I mean it to, but it comes down to the fact that I’ve got a system that largely works now; always happy to see improvements and innovations, but I could stand to see more investment in refining things we already have…


I understand this thread entirely, it is inevitable that as the mobile and laptop matures, we will see less amazing stuff and more just keep the business running. I would historically install the betas on all of my devices on the first day of WWDC, however this isn’t the case anymore. I only installed the iPhone Beta last night, and am completely underwhelmed, the iPad release is quite good as i’ve been wanting more from my 12.9" M1 Pro, especially with external monitor support.

What strikes me on this release is the amount of functionality that won’t be released until far later in 2022 or even 2023. Given Apples focus on annual releases for big new features, this is a problem, they need to continue to push and delight.

Last year we had the same issue with features like Universal Control (a key feature for me), this year iPadOS will be delayed, as is the new collaboration / whiteboard solution along with carplay.

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Automation has improved notably in recent versions of macOS and iOS (particularly macOS). That can make a notable difference in capability of the devices.


Oh, come on. The Mac is back in a big way and folks are still unhappy with Apple. And expressing contradictory wishes for what Apple ought to be doing. And sounding jaded and disappointed with the current pace of innovation.

Every morning I am delighted to use my M1 Mac! :slightly_smiling_face:


Either you didn’t read my initial post, or you’re not replying to it. :wink: I didn’t say I’m unhappy with Apple. My point is that there isn’t much, or anything at all, that still gets me excited about new OS releases. Which means I’m perfectly happy with what I have.

Same goes for hardware by the way. My (Android) phone is a couple of years old. And it’s fine. Same goes for my iPad. And although I’m tempted to buy an M1 or M2 Mac, if I’m honest to myself, there’s not much reason for that. My 2017 MBP still does everything I want it to do. I won’t write faster or better, or code better, with a faster cpu. And Youtube videos won’t be in a better quality with extra GPU cores.

There will definitely be people that benefit from all the new features, cores and what have you. I don’t deny that. But it isn’t me.

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