With iOS 9 and its subsequent two updates, Apple has once again given us a bunch of new features and hidden tricks to fool around with. Here are some impressive iOS 9 features you need to be using now!
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One thing Apple doesn’t do is provide an in-depth description of all their new features. It’s like they want you to explore your phone or tablet and stumble upon these tricks yourself. I say just give me an owner’s manual on the OS. But no worries we’ve discovered a lot and luckily we’re going to share them with you.
So let’s get into the cool new features in iOS 9 and some nifty hidden tricks.
iOS 9 was released for both the iPad and the iPhone. There are some features that show up in both devices. We’ll cover those first and then single out those that are unique to the iPad.
iPhone Settings: Search Feature
Holy hell, this was a simple feature which we badly needed. There seem to be a million settings to mess around with (it’s possibly a billion, it’s been a while since I’ve counted) which makes trying to find a particular one that you need next to impossible unless you happen to know exactly where it’s located. Now all you have to do is type in the keyword in the search box and voila!
iOS 9 Battery Features
Ok, so in the settings in the same group as “General” and “Privacy” you’ll see something called “Battery.”
If you go into this setting you’ll find two useful options.
- The first is Low Power Mode. This unique new feature allows you to conserve battery life when you really need to. When you turn this on things like mail fetch, automatic downloads and some visual effects will be turned off or at least reduced. If your battery hits 20% you’ll be asked if you would like to switch on Low Power Mode.
- The other feature in Battery is Battery Percentage which lays out the battery usage per app in the last 24 hours or last 7 days. What’s really new about this is that it will actually break down the information on how long you looked at each screen in that time period. To bring up this info just touch the little clock symbol on the right which will light up blue.
Photos app has a few new features
Selecting photos is now easier than ever. Before iOS 9 you’d have to tap each photo when selecting them but now all you have to do if you want to select multiple photos is tap one and then swipe across the others. To select multiple photos at once, just make sure you are in the ‘Photos’ app.
The newly added folders to the Photos app will appeal to the selfie takers out there or those who incessantly take screenshots. The Screenshot and Selfies folders allow you to quickly find those photos instead of scanning through all your photos.
One additional hidden trick in the Photos app allows you to swipe down on any photo you’re looking at to dismiss it and return to the photo album.
A New “Back To” iOS 9 Feature
I wasn’t sure this particular feature was entirely necessary but after I found myself using it several times I’ve become a believer. Here’s how it works. If you’re in one app and by hitting a link you end up in another app, for example you go from Safari to Twitter, a little “Back to…” text will appear in the top left. Tap that and you’ll zip back to the app you were just in. It’s really useful when you’re checking your email and you hit a link that takes you out of the mail app.
This has proven to be very convenient. It literally just swipes back to the app instead of you having to double tap the home button and select the previous app again.
iOS 9 Keyboard Changes
Now when you hit the shift key on your keyboard the letters will actually change from uppercase to lowercase. Seems like this is something they would’ve added several iOS’s ago but here we are getting it with iOS 9.
Just in case you don’t like this feature you can shut it off by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Keyboard and switching off “Show Lowercase Keys.”
Request Desktop Site Using Safari
What do you do if the mobile site you’re using is acting up? We’ve all been there, you’re in Safari browsing a mobile version of a website and it just, for lack of a better word, sucks. It’s glitchy and not working properly. Sometimes the website will give you the option of looking at the desktop version of the site but more often than not you’ve been kind of stuck with it.
Well, here’s a nifty new hidden trick. Hold down the refresh arrow at the top of Safari. After a moment an option will pop up to “Request Desktop Site.” Hit it and it’ll take you to the desktop version.
iOS 9 Shortcut to Apple Pay
Some might find this annoying real quick if they accidentally keep bringing up the Wallet app while others might love this. From the lock screen just tap the home button twice and it’ll take you right to it. If you want to turn this feature off just go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay and switch off “Double-Click Home Button.”
Draw/Markup your attached email images
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If you’re in the mood for doodling on some photo or meme you’re sending to someone via e-mail you can now indulge that mood. First insert the image in the email. Once it’s placed press down on the image until options come up. Hit “Markup” and away you go!
Use Flash while recording video in iOS 9!
Jeez it took long enough! You now have the option of turning on the flash while using the camera’s video option. When tapping the flash icon it’ll turn on, illuminating the space until you turn it off. Basically it’s like using the flashlight feature while taking videos!
iOS Transit Directions are back!
If you use Apple Maps then you’ll be happy to know that you can now GPS yourself by way of subway (train) or bus. There’s a great post on iPhone Hacks and they give you step by step directions on how to use transit directions in maps using iOS 9.
Because the Gods are nice to us you can now disable the “Shake to Undo” feature
If you’re an active user of your Apple device, meaning if you are in motion at all while using your device, then you’ve probably run into the “Undo” option popping up unnecessarily. While it’s a convenient feature (is it though?) it can definitely get on your nerves.
To turn it off go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Shake to Undo and then switch it to off.
Remember this? You turn vibrations off but you still get interrupted by vibrations when notified by other apps. All you did was turn vibrations off for texts and calls. Now there’s a “general” vibrations switch to turn off all vibrations.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Vibration to switch it on or off.
iOS 9 Features Exclusive To The iPad
Check out this video by sakitech. He shows 10 features for iOS 9 running on iPad Air 2.
iOS 9 Multitasking Features
It’s been a long time coming but the iPad now has split-screen multitasking. Multitasking allows you to work with two apps at once without having to switch between them.
There are two different ways to multitask (technically three with Picture in Picture video but we’re putting that in its own section).
Slide Over allows you to pull up a small pane (about 1/3) the screen next to the already running app. To do this just slide (or swipe) left starting at the right side of the screen. Swipe down from the top of the screen to jump between apps.
The app in the background taking up 2/3 of the screen will be inactive while you’re working with the other app. To experience a true multitasking experience just slide the 1/3 app to the middle of the screen and you will activate what’s called “Split View.”
Now both of the apps are taking up half of the screen and both are active to work in. You can even copy and paste from one app to the other.
Picture in Picture
Again this took too long but at least it’s here. You can now watch any video or even be on a FaceTime call while you’re working in an app (or playing in an app because who are we kidding that’s mainly what we’re doing).
To activate PIP (Picture in Picture) just tap the home button once while watching the video or while on the call and the video will be relegated to a corner of the screen.
While you can use PIP and Slide Over in some earlier iPads (specifically iPad Mini 2 and 3 as well as iPad Air) Split View is only available for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 4 as well as the coming-soon iPad Pro.
The Hidden Track Pad
The iPad now has a hidden track pad. If you’re looking to be a little more precise with where you’re putting that cursor then you’re going to want to use this feature. Simply put two fingers side by side right on the keyboard and begin moving your fingers like they were on a trackpad. Soon the keyboard will blank out and you’ll now have your very own in-app trackpad!
So there you have it, a whole bag of tricks and hidden features for you to enjoy. These are definitely impressive iOS 9 features you need to be using now!
Let us know any others you’ve found or any trouble you may have getting them to work.