15 iOS 9 details you might have missed!

Just a few items you may not yet have come across

iOS 9 is here. I’ve been taking a look as I begin to identify some of the smaller changes you may not yet have come across.

Low Power

Low Power mode helps you get more from a single charge. It is available to you when power falls to 20 percent, (and turns itself off when you charge your phone and it reaches 70 percent). One more thing: if your device is face down incoming notifications won’t light up your display.


With iCloud, Notes becomes Evernote for Apple users. Create notes, add documents, take pictures, make sketches, add items from Safari via the Share sheet and more. Notes automatically sync across all your platforms and devices when you’re on the latest OS.'


Apple has made Settings searchable so you can more easily figure out which ones you need. Want to know how to make Apple Music only show you tracks you have downloaded? Ask Settings.


Support for external keyboard shortcuts means when you use an external keyboard with your iPad you can Press Command-tab to get a floating horizontal list of the eight most recently used app icons. Tap Tab to move between them, use Shift to change direction.

Metal’s gear solid

Apple’s graphics framework, Metal, is the future of graphics on both iOS and OS X. In iOS 9, Apple’s made further refinements meaning you should see much faster animations – but Metal promises much more in the year’s ahead…


Apple’s new app to help Android users switch to iOS will probably become the most popular app on Google Play.

iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive isn’t enabled by default. Switch it on in Settings>iCloud and you, too, will gain file access to your iCloud content.

Quick replies

Watch your favorite apps as developers adopt the new iOS 9 API to build quick reply support into their software. You’ll be able to respond to messages received by these apps from Notifications view, just as you now can with Apple software.

Add it up

Spotlight now provides quick calculations and unit conversions.


Maps provides color-coded category icons: Food & Drink are orange; Shopping is yellow and health locations red, for example. This should make it easier to find specific things.


Look out for improvements across iOS when it comes to reading displays (Safari Reader, iBooks). These include new themes (including some that are ideal for night time reading) and typefaces. This is similar to OS X El Capitan.


iOS 9 lets you save images and video to your choice of storage providers. It also offers new Share Sheet commands including Add to News and Add to Shared Links.

Audio units

I’m curious to see how this turns out. It works like this – right now you can install imaging effects and filters into apps that can be sold on the App Store and made available in Photos. Audio unit extensions will allow developers to do this for audio with implications for all kinds of music apps: Improved EQ apps, anyone?


VPN support gets a steroid injection in iOS 9. VPN Manager will create connections, connect on demand, and also configure HTTP proxies – and can be used with enterprise VPNs. Support includes most IKE iterations, as well as MOBIKE. Tunneling support is vastly improved for apps, IP and more.


Among a range of accessibility improvements, “Touch Accommodations” is my personal favorite. This lets users customize hold duration so unintended touches will be ignored, such as those that may happen if a person with motor control problems is using iOS. It’s easy to set up, highly configurable and should really help.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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