iOS 9 is faster, more stable and includes an abundance of new features and apps. Among the ‘big players’ there are plenty of smaller, yet undeniably useful features scattered throughout the OS.
There’s nothing complicated about these tiny improvements, but many of them don’t stand out either. Even for a heavy iOS user it could some time to discover them all, so we curated the ones we found most useful for your convenience. And if you didn’t make the jump to iOS 9 yet, perhaps you’ll change your mind after you see more of what it can do for you.
Low Power Mode
The new Low Power Mode can be enabled from Settings -> Battery whenever you need to squeeze a bit more juice from your phone, until you can get to charge it. It disables visual effects, automatic downloads and background app refreshes, as well as changes push emails to fetch to lower battery usage.
Settings built-in search
Ok, this one is easy to notice, but it makes things so much more convenient, it cannot be ignored. Now you can quickly search for a specific setting in the Settings app, instead of wasting time to scroll through all of them to locate it.
Apple Pay lockscreen shortcut
Apple Pay is supposed to be more than a safe and easy way to pay for your purchases, it’s almost useless if you’re have to frantically tap and swipe on your phone to launch it with the pressure of a long queue of other customers breathing down your neck. For this reason, you can launch the service by double-clicking the home button from the lock screen.
Note: The same action opens up multitasking if performed from the home screen or an open app, but from the lockscreen it goes straight to Apple Pay.
Flip the ringer switch to silence Siri
You can now silence Siri by flipping the mute button (ringer switch), altough this feature is turned off by default. To enable it, go to Settings -> General -> Siri and tap on the Voice Feedback option. Then, select “Control with Ring Switch” instead of “Always”.
Batch hide photos
Hiding photos is the compromise between keeping and deleting them, now with batch support. Select multiple images and you’ll find a Hide option available after you tap on the share icon.
Comprehensive battery usage stats
iOS 9 lets you see battery usage stats for each of your installed apps so you can quickly spot the culprits. This certainly makes for a good way to decide which of those not-so-useful apps should be purged first.
A faster way to call and text contacts
The Universal search bar lets you search contacts among other things. You can open it by scrolling down from any place in the home panel. Each contact shown in the list of results has shortcuts for calling and texting.
Transit directions in the Maps app lets you know if a bus is running late
The Apple Maps app received an important overhaul in iOS 9 as it can now offer transit directions (you can even ask Siri for them). The feature is available for just a few cities right now, but it sure works well. It can even notify you when a bus is running late, once you’ve selected a route. At the very least you’ll have more time to panic, if you’re unable to find another means of transportation fast enough.
A new Battery widget shows the charge level of your Apple Watch
An optional iCloud Drive app
Quick Reply feature for all apps
Zoom in/out on playing videos
Attach any kind of file to an email
Draw on email attachments
Return to the album/camera from the currently open photo
As you’re browsing photos and videos in your phone’s gallery, you can go back to the album using a swipe down gesture. The same gesture takes you back to the camera if you do it on an image opened from the camera preview.
Quick suggestions in Maps
After you search for a location in the Maps app, if you type once more in the search filed you get an option to show nearby points of interest like bars, restaurants, gas stations, hospitals and others, neatly organized in categories.
Multiple narration voices
The collection of narration voices in iOS 9 is impressive. Under Settings -> General ->Accesibility -> Voice Over -> Speech you’ll find a wealth of voices and English dialects such as Irish, UK, Australian, South African and so on.
Swipe photos to select multiple items
I find this new feature very convenient as it significantly speeds up the image selection process, especially when I end up marking a large number of photos. For this to work you must first tap on select, select one photo and then you can swipe other pics you want to add to your selection.
Batch editing in the Mail app
No instructions are needed to use this particular feature – you’ll get the hang of it as soon as you select multiple entries in the Mail app!
Change the background color for Safari’s Reading mode
Safari’s Reading mode can now better accommodate your preferences. Whether you’d like a colorful background, one that goes easier on the eyes or a different font at the size of your choice, you can do all of this in iOS 9.