iOS 15 is here, but there are still some features Apple didn't give us

Apple's iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and WatchOS 8 are now available to download, but these features won't be there.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
3 min read

We saw tons of Apple software updates at WWDC 2021, but some features have yet to be unveiled. 


The latest versions of Apple's operating systems, iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and WatchOS 8, have arrived and are available for download. The operating systems were unveiled at Apple's WWDC event earlier this year alongside MacOS Monterey, which doesn't have an official release date yet. While these updates include some much-anticipated new features -- like the ability for Android users to join FaceTime calls, enhanced privacy options and dual-screen controls for working across Macs and iPads -- some notable rumored features didn't come to fruition.

Here are some of the software features that we thought might make an appearance, but did not. 

Read more: iOS 15 review: Focus mode, FaceTime web links and live text are game-changers

Watch this: We found these amazing features in the iOS 15 beta

Extended display support for iPads with monitors


While universal control will let you work across your Mac and iPad, we were hoping for more iPad external display support.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

While Apple did introduce "universal control," allowing you to turn your Mac keyboard and trackpad or mouse into a way to also control your iPad, this isn't the same as extending your iPad to your desktop or another connected display, which would be a more impressive productivity move. But perhaps it signals that a bigger change in that direction could be on the horizon.

Watch this: MacOS Monterey: Everything we know

Improved battery life or low power innovations for Apple Watch

Though WatchOS 8 adds a bunch of new health features and app updates, still missing is any improvement to battery life or low power mode -- something the wearable sorely needs, especially if you wear it overnight for tracking your sleep. 

New iPadOS features for M1 iPad Pros

Apple's M1-powered iPad Pros dramatically improved the tablet's performance and battery life. But the iPad is still running the same OS -- and largely the same apps -- as every other iPad. We thought we might see some interesting new upgrades in iPadOS 15 for iPad Pros taking advantage of the M1 chip, but that was not the case.

Watch this: iPadOS 15: How it changes the iPad and what it still doesn't do

CarKey updates

At last year's WWDC, Apple unveiled CarKey, the ability to add virtual car keys to your Apple Wallet that allow you to open and unlock your car just by using your iPhone's NFC chip. While iOS 15 adds the ability to store your driver's license and ID in your Apple Wallet, there was no mention of any CarKey updates. 

Game-changing FaceTime features to help it compete with Zoom


During a FaceTime video call, you can now play a song or a video, and everyone on the call can listen or watch it together. 


iOS 15 includes some major updates for Apple's FaceTime video chat service, including spatial audio, a grid view, portrait mode, and the ability to schedule calls in advance and invite those with Android and Windows devices to join FaceTime calls from their browsers. A new feature called SharePlay also lets you watch shows and listen to music with others through FaceTime. While these are great upgrades, they come more than a year after they would have been most useful during the pandemic, and fail to add anything game-changing that will make FaceTime a true competitor for industry mammoth Zoom, like better cross-platform options (and, of course, backgrounds). 

More tapback options in iMessage

While iMessage did get several upgrades in iOS 15, including better sharing features, we didn't see any new tapback options, leaving us with the same message reactions we already have (heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, ha ha, exclamation point or question mark). 

Revamped iPhone widgets


Apple added iPhone widgets in iOS 14 last year.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

While the iPhone's widgets finally made their way to the iPad as well in iPadOS 15, iOS 15 didn't get any new widget options, like more customization and interactivity. 

More exercises in the Breathe app

The popular Breathe app is getting an update, with a new animation to help you focus and a "reflect" mode that prompts you to think about something specific and improve mindfulness. But it will not include different kinds of breathing exercises. 

For more, check out how to use Apple's new Hide My Email feature to keep spammers out of your inbox, and how to download iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Watch this: WWDC 2021 in 11 minutes
Watch this: iOS 15: How to manually update your iPhone right now