10 more iOS 9 tips you need to know

I've been kicking iOS 9 around a little longer to unearth a few more ways to get more out of the OS

First contact

When you search for a contact using Spotlight, you’ll now see buttons enabling you to quickly call or text them without needing to launch the Phone or Contacts app. (In case you’ve forgotten, access Spotlight by swiping down from the middle of any home screen or a swipe right from your first home screen). Alternatively use Siri and ask it to call or “send a message to” a contact you name.

Video star

When you’re watching a video on iOS 9 you can now zoom in and out of them while they play using pinch to zoom.

On the paste

Want to open a URL? If you copy a URL from anywhere and manually open Safari, just press and hold the browser’s address bar and the ‘Paste and Go’ tab will appear – select this to be sent directly to the URL, no further actions required.

Hey Siri

Siri gets better and more accurate the more you use it. iOS 9 lets you teach it a lesson. Open Settings>General>Siri and allow ‘Hey Siri’ and you’ll be asked to speak a few phrases into the mic. Siri will learn your voice and once it does you’ll be able to use the “Hey Siri” command to activate the app when your iOS device is plugged in and charging. (On the latest iPhone 6S models the feature also works when your phone isn’t charging.)

A bit of this, a bit of that

I like Siri’s growing sense of awareness. Take context-sensitive reminders, for example. These work like this: When you are looking at a webpage you can tell Siri to “Remind me about this when I get home”, and your assistant will do just that. Or just say “remind me about this” for a more generic reminder, or ask Siri to “show reminders” to see all the things it’s going to remind you of.

Find My Friends

Two iOS iterations later and I still find Find My Friends a little weird, but use it when I’m trying to catch up with people at large public events, or shopping in town, or trying to meet someone at a specific time. The app becomes mandatory in iOS 9, so everyone has it installed. It also supports Notification Center to alert you when close friends or family members leave from or arrive at various locations.


Notes on OS X and iOS 9 are now super-integrated and you can add things like photos, maps, doodles, checklists and URLs to notes held in common across all your Macs and iOS devices, once you upgrade Notes to iCloud (more here).


Where they are available, Apple’s public transport data in Apple Maps is incredibly useful (better than Google Maps, in fact). That’s because not only can it figure out the best way from A to B, but it also provides you with useful exit and entrance recommendations to help you get around. You also get to see information about the shape of the station, which can help you identify where you need to get and which exits to take.

Access for all

You can turn on many accessibility features just by asking Siri (“turn on VoiceOver,” for example). Not every option is voice controllable (sadly, you can’t turn the LED alert off and on with a spoken command), but those that do exist should help more people get more use from their phones.


There’s even a way to use the camera if you have sight problems, as iMore explains right here.

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story?Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon