The hidden gems of iOS 9

laelene Post in general blog, reviews,Tags: , , , , ,

I just got around to upgrading my phone to iOS 9 today and there were some surprises in store for me! First was the new font, which is a bit… cuter, I’d say. It’s hard to describe but I feel like it’s a bit thinner, more rounded, and seems slightly more spaced out. Most people probably won’t even notice it.

The biggest shock was when the keyboard popped up and *gasp* there were lowercase letters! This seemed like such a basic thing, yet it took years to finally get it. In fact, I’ve already converted to Swiftkey as my default keyboard because the Apple one just doesn’t cut it.

ios 9 new safari bookmark icons and lowercase keyboard

As you might also note from here, Safari bookmarks now show a letter when there’s no custom icon from the site. Previously, they used the Safari compass icon as a placeholder.

ios 9 app menu redesign

Switching between apps takes on a new feel as you swipe in the opposite direction now. It glides more but I find it harder to close two apps at once.

ios 9 menu box buttons

Menu box pop-ups feel rounder and more spaced out.

ios 9 new photos folders for selfies and screenshots

New default photo folders group together “Selfies” and “Screenshots”

ios 9 new photo scrubber

Photos have a scrubber at the bottom, where you can quickly navigate through.

Other nice updates allow you to zoom on videos to get a better view, quickly select a bunch of photos by swiping across them (no more individual taps!), and swipe down on a photo to go back to the thumbnail view of an album.

ios 9 new notes with checklist, sketching, and image capabilities

Notes gets a lot more functionality, with the ability to create checklists, draw sketches, and insert photos.

Notes can also be put into folders, making it easier to organize.

ios 9 add webpage to notes

Now easily add a webpage to your notes too!

ios 9 search within settings functionality

Search within settings when you can’t remember where something like battery usage would be found (don’t we all have trouble with this?)

ios 9 view event showing schedule before and after event

Viewing events in Calendar show you a glimpse of your time before and after the event.

ios 9 reminders with number of reminders and overdue items shown

Reminders have nice summaries of how many items are in each list and which of those are overdue.


ios 9 text overlap

Sometimes text runs into each other though.

And then of course there are plenty of other changes that you probably heard about as well:

-directions for public transit in select cities

-smarter prompts from Siri: swiping right from the home screen pulls up suggestions for contacts, calendar events, apps, and more

-“Back to [previous app]” option in the top left now lets you quickly return to the app you just came from

-Low power setting to conserve your phone’s power usage

-Improvements to performance so battery life is extended

-Passbook is now Wallet and you’ll be able to add loyalty cards in addition to other forms of digital cards/tickets

-A News app for aggregating news that you might want to read

-“Remind me of this” prompts Siri to set up a reminder about whatever you are looking at

-Add attachments in Mail – not just for photos anymore!

So far I’m really liking the changes and I look forward to stumbling upon others that make the experience better in subtle ways. I’m not upgrading my iPad mini just yet because a coworkers told us that the version of Reflector we use isn’t compatible with it. I need to be able to show my tablet screen for demos and webinars and I’m not keen on paying for the newer version of the software just so I can have iOS 9 on my tablet. Have you upgraded to this new operating system? What do you think so far?

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