Apple just wrapped up their WWDC 2015 Keynote where they unveiled iOS 9, the next software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. There’s definitely some very interesting new features coming to your iPhones, iPads and iPod touches later this fall. But I went ahead and picked 9 of the best features and said, let me make a video on this. And these are my top 9 features on iOS 9:
At least from the surface, iOS 9 doesn’t look dramatically different from the iOS that preceded it but it's very much the same story when you go in depth. But there are some changes like the font for example, which now matches the Apple Watch. Let’s go ahead and dive into the first top feature found on iOS 9 which is the new Siri.
Don’t get all your hopes up for a competitor for Google Now. The new version of Siri is meant to be more proactive during your everyday life. From things like creating reminders to look back at certain text messages to remind you of things when you get to your car, it’s meant to be a more helpful tool for your everyday life. Also, Siri is able to learn your daily routine, bring up apps that you normally use in the mornings or night. It can also bring up your favorite playlist right on the lock screen before you begin a run.
My number two feature is the improvement on Maps, especially on the public transportation side of things. Maps have always lagged in basically every single place but mainly in public transportation because Google Maps has had that for about two years now. But that’s about to change with iOS 9. This feature is called Transit and it currently runs in a handful of cities here in the United States and also around the globe. But more cities will be added in the future.
When you turn on the Transit feature, you’ll be able to see things like underground metro stations and also where the rail lines will actually go, and more importantly you can see your arrival and departure times of all your trains. Also, Siri integration will work with Transit. You can basically ask Siri “Which train do I need to go on” if you get lost.
Now my number three top feature on iOS 9 is the new Spotlight Search with Siri suggestions. First off, Spotlight now lives to the left of the Home Screen but you can still activate it from basically both directions. You can either swipe down or swipe over to the right to go to the left of the Home Screen and use that. Siri’s integration puts the most contacted contacts and the most used applications front and center so you can quickly launch and contact any of those people. Beneath that is Nearby, which will show you all the closest restaurants, cafes, and even frequently visited places that you usually go to.
At number four is the redesigned App Switcher. It’s not a radical departure from iOS 8, the App Switcher on iOS 9 is definitely more pleasing to look at but I can’t help but ask for a kill all switch. We’ll probably get that in the form of Force Touch very similar to the Apple Watch on the next generation iPhone.
The number five feature is the battery saver mode. This is also a feature borrowed from the Apple Watch. So basically, Apple added a battery saving mode which promises 3 additional hours of usage when you’re on low battery. The only thing I don’t get is it’s not in control center. It’s all the way in the settings, which is just plain annoying to find and turn on.
Switching devices to the iPad Air 2, which got a whole host of great additions and the biggest one of them is number six: true multi-tasking. Split View is the name for this feature and it allows you to split the screen into 2 windows on the iPad Air 2. For example, you can browse on one side, email, tweet, take notes or do other things on the opposite side. In landscape mode, you can have a perfect 50/50 split view, which is definitely a nice thing to have.
Going to my number 7 favorite feature is also an iPad-specific feature and it’s the new Notes application. Notes is definitely one of my most used applications on iOS and now on iPad it’s more powerful than ever. First off, you can do way more things on the Notes application. You can type into Notes like before but now you can take photos or choose a photo and insert them into your Notes. And you can also insert a sketch. The keyboard has also received a nice overhaul and re-design, which is why it’s my number eight top feature.
The new quick-type feature has expanded from iOS 8. You are given more options for fonts, styles plus you have cut-copy and paste controls right on the keyboard itself. One of my favorite features is the double finger trackpad feature. Just place two fingers on the keyboard and you can track the cursor to where it needs to be. And I actually fondled the very difficult to use but it’s very, very accurate.
Picture in Picture
The last feature I want to mention is something called Picture in Picture. If you’re incredibly young, you may not know what that stands for or what that means. So let me just show you. Let’s say you’re watching your favorite episode of a canceled TV show and you accidentally hit the Home button. Instead of yelling and screaming, the video shrinks down to a corner and continues to play. That was a really cool feature back in the day, before we had HD TVs and HD video streaming. And I’m definitely glad that it’s back on iOS 9.
So those are my top 9 features on iOS 9. I definitely want to hear your thoughts on Apple’s latest software so make sure to leave some comments below.