The iOS 9 beta is now open to everyone and it just shows how committed Apple is to making everyone try its brand new mobile OS. I have spent the weekend with it, its new features, bugs, and missing apps. These are some of the new features that you can expect when upgrading to iOS 9 later this year.
New Multitasking Look
Although not revolutionary, nor intuitive, Apple have redone the multitasking look for iOS 9. The new style looks very similar to the classic Windows Vista tab view, and allows you to swipe through the open apps and get a better view on what you were doing on them thanks to the larger app preview screen. There were some issues though. The easy contact feature that was present on iOS 8, which allowed you to just tap and call someone at the top of your multitask screen is gone. I used this quite often and now I have to go all the way into the phone app to make a call again.
It was also sluggish running on my iPhone 6 Plus. I know this is still in beta, but it often required me to lock my phone and re-open it before the screen would go out of landscape multitask view. Even when double tapping the home button, the multitask screen staggered while opening.
The Note app has had an overhaul. You can now add pictures into your notes, doodles, checklists, different heading fonts, and bullet forms. I use my Note App all the time and this add for some new ways to keep track of things. I know many people don’t even touch the app, but it is a great built in app.
The Music App has gone untouched from the last iOS 8.4 release. Apple Music is still there, and the sleek player still impressed me with its vibrant colour choice and background gradient change depending on what is being played.
Siri is now smarter
Although Apple boasts Siri’s intelligence with every new iOS update. We in South Africa still lack all its great functionality. I would love to use her for more than just a “call someone” Command. I want to ask her for a pizza joint in my area, or what movies are showing. Most of the time these new iOS updates to Siri leave us in the dark, and iOS 9 is no exception.
Siri looks great, she has had some added effects to her speech, and the phone now gives of a faint vibration when you activate her. She can now search for photos of locations that you visited and when you visited them
Low Power Mode
Finally, Apple made a low power mode for iOS 9, and it’s pretty neat. Unlike Android low power modes that restrict your general operations on the phone, the low power mode in iOS lowers brightness, performance, background refresh of apps and some visual effects.
It is unnoticeable, and will help users when they have 10 minutes to get a quick charge in, as low power mode also charges your device much faster.
The search functionality has been improved on iOS 9. You can now search in apps as well as it gives your recommendations on what the OS thins you are looking for before you type. If you call your best friend at around the same time every day, then it will learn your actions and have the contact detail there for easy access. the same goes for apps, if you use Whatsapp often, it will be there for you.
More to Come
There are still a few missing features in the public iOS 9 beta like the Apple News App. There are quite a few bugs too. Whatsapp calling crashes your Whatsapp, the touch ID fails to function at times, and the OS just seems sluggish all the time. I am confident that this will all be ironed out in wees to come as Apple releases more beta updates to the public.