iOS 15 • watchOS 8 features missing in Japan

Now that iPhone • Apple Watch event day 2021 is over with iOS 15 • watchOS 8 ready for official launch on September 21 JST, let’s look at what features are missing for Japanese users by comparing the iOS 15 JP feature page with the USA one. The overview pages are more helpful than the detailed list page because the former gives you an idea what features are no-go and which ones Apple hopes to market later on.

MIJ: Missing in Japan

  • LiveText: Japanese language not supported, LiveText off by default but can be turned on in Language • Regions settings.
  • Visual Lookup
  • Wallet: home-hotel-office keys, ID. Japan might get some key action when Suica Smart-Lock service launches this December. ID might happen in 2022 after the digital My Number card launches.
  • Maps: all-new city experience, new driving features, immersive walking instructions
  • Fitness+: this is a pain because it means that the Apple One family premium tier with 2TB of iCloud storage is unavailable too.
    Weather Maps: precipitation and air quality are working but without local hourly precipitation support, in a country where it rains a lot, precipitation maps only work when zoomed out too far to be useful.

Apple Maps is the most annoying because all the new features are showing even though only the new transit stuff is supported. And transit notifications don’t work so well: forgot about reliability in the subway or in big stations like Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, etc. You’ll get the ‘Exit Soon’ notice when you’ve already left the station. To be examined in a future post.

If readers find any other missing iOS 15 • watchOS 8 features for Japan, let me know via Twitter and I’ll add them to the list.