A lot of newsworthy events that dominated our social feeds this year included Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, the collapse of cryptocurrencies, and significant job losses in the technology sector. These were well-liked stories that received a lot of attention. But 2022 was about more than simply Twitter or Meta’s difficulties. We witnessed the introduction of numerous new technological innovations during the year from the largest corporations, most of which received little attention.
Here are four underutilised tech functions that typical users have never heard of or have entirely forgotten, ranging from iOS 16’s medication tracking to Fitbit Sense 2’s 24/7 stress management tool.
For many users, a widget that reminds you when to take your medications—not the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro—was the game-changer. The Health app’s Medications feature, introduced with iOS 16 and accessible on both the iPhone and Apple Watch, was not just remarkable but also useful. In fact, keeping track of medications without relying on their memory or external apps was advantageous for patients who take a variety of prescriptions as well as their carers, at least in the case of the elderly.
You could add a medication by typing in its name, kind (capsules, pills, etc.), frequency of administration, shape, and colour. In order to import information, create timetables, and get reminders to take their meds on time, users can also use the camera to scan a pill bottle. Despite being a straightforward feature, it is past time Apple’s medication tracking feature received the attention it merits.
The cEDA sensor in the Fitbit Sense 2
Despite the Fitbit Sense 2’s reputation as a mediocre smartwatch, one of its functions is deserving of a standing ovation. The smartwatch’s ability to control your stress using a new body response sensor, not the sleep tracking feature, is what makes this claim. When it came to recognising when I was anxious, Sense 2 was quite good. When I was experiencing heightened anxiety during the day, Fitbit noticed bodily responses and alerted me to the stress. The Sense 2’s new Body Response sensor, which adds continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) tracking using your heart rate, skin temperature, and sweat levels, is entirely to blame for this.
Your mental health may be impacted by a number of factors, including stress and worry, but we avoid referring to these issues as “mental illnesses.” The Sense 2 leads you along the road of conversing with your mind by detecting indicators of stress with its cEDA sensor. Although I found Sense 2’s 24-hour stress monitoring to be helpful, there is certainly space for development. When I was under stress, for instance, the smartwatch would notify me to my body’s response until after I had mentally recovered a little.
A special mention should also go to iOS 16’s Door Detection. Regrettably, the accessibility element was disregarded, undervalued, and unfairly ignored. Using a combination of LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) and the user’s camera, Door Detection employs a combination of LiDar and the user’s camera to detect and characterise doors. It is intended to assist blind and low-vision users in locating the door.
The technology might provide the user with information such as how near they are to the door, whether it is open or closed, how to open it, and more. Door Detection was an inventive innovation, but since it was introduced as an accessibility function, no one really noticed it. It’s a general issue with technology. Even if major computer companies like Apple push these accessibility improvements, they frequently go ignored or even forgotten altogether. It’s time to take accessibility features seriously because technology would be lacking without diversity.
In Google Docs, choose “Pageless”
The new Pageless format option in Google Docs almost seems like it should have received more attention when it was first introduced and has been mostly ignored in year-end discussions. The inability to easily switch from page-based formatting to a pageless flow has been Google Docs’ most annoying feature for years.
Because Google added the pageless search this year, that has altered. Google brought the Pageless layout, which offers a continuous page without page breaks like in the standard Pages view, to Docs. A lot of individuals will benefit substantially from the new layout, even though the new Pageless functionality may not be ideal for all use cases.