Every year, we saw new iOS announcement during the WWDC keynote, mainly focusing on the new features that’re making the platform more flexible & more functional than ever before. Since last 3 years, the progress has been satisfactory especially when people start comparing iOS with its immediate competition, Android. Yesterday, Apple announced the new iOS 9 with new features & some important changes to make life easier for its users. As part of my every year’s commitment to list them all, here is a complete list of iOS 9 features & changes.
Apple keeps adding more features, bug fixing & making little changes to the newly announced OSes throughout the BETA cycle & you will find the most-updated list here.
Previous lists (if at all you want to have a look, hehe)
iOS 9 Features & Changes (Appox. 126+ so far)
The list will be updated as I discover more throughout the iOS 9 Beta cycles. Starting with the iOS 9 Beta 1 here. You can send in more through comments or send me a mail by contacting online.
- New default wallpaper (Download here)
- New ‘San Francisco’ font, system-wide. Works best for high-density devices.
- Setting up wallpaper has option for “Still Image” or “Perspective” movement.
- Notifications in Notification Center can be Ungrouped. No more grouping by apps. See as they came in – so we don’t miss latest notifications which needed to be scrolled.
- New Widgets / Notifications area when in landscape mode for Notification Center for iPad
- Battery widget in Notification Center when Apple Watch is connected.
- Notification banners stay until dismissed.
- Find Friends widget
- Double-tap on Home button on lock-screen opens up Apple Pay
- Contact pictures are now visible in Messages.
- ‘Enter’ key send messages
- AssistiveTouch buttons can be customized
- New UI for Siri
- BIG speed improvements
- More intelligence added into Siri with more accurate results
- Search for Photos: showing photos requested in context. Like: Last June, XYZ trip etc.
- Better reminders: Enhanced location-based reminders, Reminders about website from Safari
- New Languages: Norwegian, and new dialects for English, French, German & Dutch
- New Voiceover voices under “Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech”
- Siri can now use an accent from the same Input language.
- Siri’s voice feedback can be controlled via ‘Silence’ switch.
- Upon Siri activation & during commands, the phone vibrates. Much needed when Silence switch is activated.
- You can ask Siri to remind about the things you’re looking at in your apps such as: Safari, Mail, Notes, Messages, etc.
Proactivity (Proactive Assistant)
- Now Playing (Music): Shows “Now Playing” screen automatically when headphones are plugged-in. This is great because you don’t need to swipe Control Center nor look for the music app anymore. This easiness was missing after double –tap to open Music controls was disabled to make way for Apple Pay on that gesture.
- Automatically displays playback control for your preferred music and audio apps. It learns from your listening habbits on specific locations & time of the day.
- Now Playing (Audio-books): The proactive assistant remembers what you were listening to when connected in your car. So, if you connect your device to Car, it shows up the audio-book you were listening to or music.
- Proactive Reminders: Reminds proactively for calendar events with “Time to leave” based-on location, traffic conditions & driving directions.
- Proactive Caller ID: If you get a call from unknown number, it scans through email to find out a possible match for the phone number & shows on-screen as “Maybe”. This is awesome.
- Proactive Shortcut: Based on location, time & usage, it learns & shows a shortcut to the most-used app on the lock-screen for fast access.
- Search Suggestions: Swipe-left on Home screen & we see a list of suggestions based on Calendar events, texts, apps to use, etc.
- Video Search: Search for videos & direct “Play” button from all popular video sites like; Vimeo, YouTube & iTunes
- Search API: Search through all apps & use deep linking directly into the apps to specific screens.
- Unit conversions: The calculations are performed right into the Spotlight search.
- Contacts in results shows FaceTime & Call buttons
- Shows ‘Overdue’ items next to respective titles
- Reminder snooze options: 15 mins, 1 hour or tomorrow
- Apple Pay begins for UK from July 2015
- Reward Cards into Apple Pay: You can add your reward cards into your Apple Pay wallet. More brands will be added soon. No more missing any rewards
- Passbook is now renamed as “Wallet”
- Support for Discover cards
- Double-tap the Home button from the Lock Screen and keep your finger on Touch ID for faster checkouts
- Place cards at retail stores that support Apple Pay include, Wikipedia information for landmarks and cities. Excellent when you’re travelling
- Toolbar: Handy toolbar for formatting such as Headings, paragraphs etc
- Checklists: Now can create interactive checklist in Notes app
- Photos in Notes: Take picture or attach photos from Library to Notes
- Drawing Tools: Few handy & essential drawing tools to create perfect doodle notes & attach to existing text notes
- Add links from Safari directly to the Notes
- Sort attachments also shows embedded images for quickly finding them from the list
- Grid View shows attachments view like photos, maps, website links for easily get into them
- “Ruler” can be moved around to draw straight lines
- Note folders from within the app
- Full-screen notes on iPad
- Transit: Separate maps created focused on people using public transportation systems such as Buses, Trains, Subways or Ferry
- Shows walking directions & time required to catch the next train based on your current location
- Nearby: Search nearby location highlights with info cards & if supports Apple Pay or not.
News (Not available yet) For US, UK & Australia
- New built-in app “News”: Sourced from popular news sites from across the world & put in a new custom layout for enhanced reading experience. Seems like Apple’s own Flipboard & Pocket.
- Interactive News: Shows video links, Animated transitions, photo galleries
- Explore More: Search & follow more specific topics from People to anything.
- New Quicktype keyboard
- Shift Key fixed: Using shift key always had us confused. Now using Shift Key shows Capital Letters on keyboard & shows lowercase letters otherwise. Pretty cool after many years of trouble. Haha.
- Switch for Uppercase/Lowercase: If you don’t want keyboard to change letter case, you can turn it off from keyboard settings
- New toolbar along with suggestions for quick Cut, Copy, Paste, Format, Attachments
- Instant Trackpad: Whenever you want to select text, put your cursor & then tap two-fingers on keyboards & it becomes track pad for making easier selections & navigating pages
- Moving cursor: Simple 2-finger simultaneously moved, it will move the cursor to desired position
- Making Selection: Expand or contract distance when doing 2-finger gesture & it will make the section.
- Keyboard Shortcuts: Huge list of keyboard shortcuts for formatting when using physical keyboard with iPad.
- App Switching: Shortcuts to switch between apps when using iPad
- Spotlight Search: Shortcuts for searching in Spotlight when using physical keyboard
- Character Preview: Toggle for enlarging keys when pressed can be toggled under “Settings > General > Keyboard > Character Preview”
Multitasking – Split Screen
- New Task Switcher: Newly designed multi-tasking window. Smoother animations & view.
- Slide Over Multi-tasking: When using other app, such as Safari, swipe from right of the screen to pull another app, such as messages, photos, Notes, Calendar etc to work with it.
- Split-screen Multitasking: After pulling the app in Slide Over, just long tap on the vertical divider & now both apps will stay fixed in split-screen multitasking mode with both apps able to handle multi-touch for each separately.. Supercool.
- Stay Split: In fixed split screen mode, if you close Safari & then open Photos, the Notes app opens in same position again.
- Stay Focused: Split screen multitasking ensures links are opened staying the apps in focus. Like, if you click on map links from Notes, you open them in Maps app on another half, without losing or reopening the app. Pretty smooth.
- Resizable Split: Slide Over multi-tasking can windows can be resized to 50% or you can even make the secondary app full-screen
- “Return to previous app”: Tap on Notification Center & this new button is showed to take you to the previous app you switched from.
Multitasking – Picture-in-picture
- Picture-in-picture: While watching videos, if you tap on notifications to open app, the video is resized & floats over the app & continues playing.
- Resize & move: Picture-in-picture videos can be resized to desired size or moved, while working with another app.
- Keep PiP: We can keep the video overlay resized & positioned even when on Home Screens
- Two-factor authentication for iCloud
- Keychain Passwords are now moved to Safari’s first page of settings
- Touch ID authentication to view Keychain info
- When go to “Passcode” – now you can also use 6-digit passcode along with Alphanumeric passcode.
- Improvement in free space needed to install iOS 8 was 4+ GB, but with new enhancements, iOS 9 OTA update will need just 1.3GB free space on your iPhone. Amazing.
- Support for more devices such as Windows Sheds, All kinds of sensors
- All HomeKit devices can be controlled from iCloud. No matter where you’re.
- Support for multiple sizes & display density
- Support for car manufacturer’s app
- Wireless CarPlay: No need to take the phone out from pocket. Connect to CarPlay without cable
- Full support for car knob controls. Tilt & spin to scroll or pan around in Maps
- iCloud Drive: New in-built iCloud Drive app, disabled by default. You can enable it from Settings
- Find My Friends is a new built-in app
- Find My iPhone is a built-in app
- Weather app now shows percent chance of precipitation
- ‘Newsstand’ app has been removed & all previous newsstand apps have been moved into a separate ‘NewsStand’ folder.
- All Unicode emoji flags
- Create checklists and easily check them off as completed with a tap.
- Attachments in mail: You can choose to “Add Attachment” next to old “Insert Photo or Video” option from the formatting bubble. This bring up the ‘iCloud Drive’ to let us select the documents
- Dropbox For Attachments: You can use dropbox for email attachments as well. You will need to activate it from under “iCloud Drive > Locations”
- Back to mail: If you click on a link to open a browser, it shows small button on top that says “Back to Mail”
- Delete All: Now gives an option to delete all emails for all types of accounts. Go to “Mail > Accounts > Gmail or any other email account > Inbox > Edit > Delete All”
- Exchange accounts: Search in email subjects
- Select image size for attachment right from the ‘Compose’ screen, just above the ‘Subject’ field
- The new “Safari Extension Points” (as per Documentation for developers) could allow to bring content blocking extensions such as “Ad-blocker” for Safari on iPhone & iPads.
- Customize Reader View: You can now edit ext size, font & color of articles you read in Safari. — Thanks Nicholas for the update via comment.
- Password Auto-fill Options: Now it gives option to choose from all saved passwords for the same website
- Gesture to go Forward is now changed. Slight left & then fast right. Hell, what confusion. Who uses such gestures anyways!
- ‘Find On Page’ & ‘Request Desktop Site’ has new UI & moved under Share Sheet
Photos & Camera
- Ability to set video camera Resolutions & FPS
- Ability to set resolution & FPS for Slow-Mo videos under settings
- Faster selection of photos: Press & hold to select multiple photos without need to tap on “Select” button.
- Change in HDR selector in Camera\
- Photo Scrubber: Scrubber with list of thumbnails for quickly browsing through multiple photos
- Video Scrubber bar: Shows during playback as well as in Edit mode.
- Zoom during playback: Now we can pinch-to-zoom during video playback.
- Performance improvements for all devices
- Battery life improvements by approx. 1 hour more for iPhone
- Low Power Mode: Single switch to extend battery life by 3 hours in addition to the 1 hour, which automatically handles processing. No more toggling locations, data, brightness & what not. Cool.
- Low Power Mode indicator: Battery icon turns in Orange color
- When device is placed faced-own, display turns off immediately to save power.
- Record Game plays: User will be able to record their game play & share with friends with the new “ReplayKit” API
- Podcasts App is now redesigned
- “Use iPhone for cellular calls” is NOT available on iPad Air 2
- Alarms: Now have option for selecting new vibration pattern or disable it.
- Search for “System Settings” options. Finally . .
- Continuity also works with Cellular data. — Can anyone confirm this?
- Vvoicemails can be shared from the Phone app, using the new share sheet
- “Leave a message” if recipient not available for FaceTime call
- When WiFi signal is poor, fallback to using Cellular data using WiFi Assist
- Connect digital camera to the iPhone & directly import photos to the device. No need to use computer anymore.
iOS 9.3 Features & Changes
- Automatically shift colors to the warmer end at night, to be softer on the eyes.
- Password protect certain notes in Notes.app
- Multi-user support on a device only in context of Education
iOS 9 Supported Devices & Limitations
- iOS 9 will be supported on all the devices (including iPhone 4S), which were supported by iOS 8. No device is dropped from the list for the newest version.
- Slide Over & Picture-in-Picture: It’s available for iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3,
- Split-Screen multitasking: It’s available for iPad Air 2
- Proactivity is not available on A5 devices
- Drawing Tools in the new Notes app are not supported on iPhone 4S
Adding more in some time.
Fix For Battery Drain Issue On Beta 1
It seems, many people are facing battery drain issue despite Apple promised about improved battery life. There could be various issues which are causing the phone to warm up & also drain battery faster. Here is a quick fix to stop draining the battery that fast.
- Go to Settings -> General -> Search > uncheck everything.
You can of course, try one by one to know what caused the issue, but none the less – this should work as a quick fix.
iOS 9 – Beta 2
As of now, the Beta 1 has many issues that require immediate attention. Battery drain, calling issues, background indexing are some of the critical ones. Based on previous 3 iOS releases with 1st beta life, the next, Beta 2 should be released by Apple to developers at around Tuesday 23rd June 2015.
iOS 9.0.1 Changes & Fixes
- Apple publicly released iOS 9.0.1 update via OTA & it’s particularly filled with many critical bug fixes such as:
- Some users couldn’t complete setup assistant
- Alarms & timers not working sometimes
- Mobile data would not work for some users having a custom APN setting.
- And few others
iOS 9.0.2 Changes & Fixes
Yet another iOS 9.0.2 release with many bug fixes. The list includes, iMessage registration issues for few phones, random rotating screen after notifications are received & few others. This update has surely improved how Spotlight Search worked. Now correctly shows “Contacts” when you search for them. Do update via OTA.
iOS 9.2 Changes & Fixes
New update is now available for download with size of approx. 285mb & contains tons of fixes, tweaks & improvements.
Along with the new iPhone 5SE (essay) & iPod Pro 9.7 launch today, Apple also made public the iOS 9.3. It contains few new features & bug fixes.
I’ll be updating the list of all the new iOS 9 features over coming days. The iOS 9 public Beta will be available starting July from beta.apple.com website & final release is scheduled for Fall 2015. Stay tuned for more updates. Help me keep this active. Have a great time & enjoy the new iOS 9.