Share your experiences on exploring iOS 9 with us..

Whether you found hidden or little-known feature of iOS 9 or can explain how a big feature makes a difference, we're looking for objective reports of how the new OS affects your workflow.

Also provide details on how to achieve that feature, and if possible, include a relevant image too (hold Home and Lock for a screenshot on your iOS device).

Please post one tip per answer. Please also check to see if your answer has already been posted - duplicate answers will be deleted in favour of the original answer on any given topic. To search answers for this question use inquestion:207004 (or inquestion:this, directly from the question page) in addition to your search terms in the search box in the upper right hand corner of this page.

  • This is the continuation of this question: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/145371/… Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 21:10
  • FYI Wikipedia has a great list already: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_version_history#iOS_9 Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 15:39
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    This question violates the guidelines. Please flag to close as "opinion based". The proper way to get all these tips into Apple Stack Exchange is to ask and then answer (even if yourself answers) a specific question like, "How do I do trick X?" then tag the question iOS 9.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 12:58
  • 7
    @Jeff there is a tradition of big, super wiki Q&As like this on Ask Different for every major iOS and OS X release. We've discussed time and again killing them but the community has spoken and they enjoy the tradition as much as the information gathering at this point.
    – Ian C.
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 18:42
  • @IanC. Ah! OK! I had no idea. "Ask Different" indeed. I won't flag these again.
    – Jeff
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 18:13

26 Answers 26


Search in Settings

This one is a total painkiller! It was always a mess trying to find that specific setting and now all you need to do is type in.

  • 1
    I think they finally alphabetized the app list in Settings, as well?
    – wtr
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 6:06
  • @wTyeRogers The list was always alphabetised, since its introduction in iPhone OS 2.
    – grg
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 19:16

A button to go back to the last app you were in

Any time you're in one app and then suddenly you're in another app, without going through the Home screen or the App Switcher (such as if you tap on a push notification, or if an app deliberately sends you to another app like Facebook opening Messenger), you'll get a Back button.

Back button

  • 1
    Saddened to discover that —apparently— this only works one layer deep. Beyond one app switch, it goes away.
    – wtr
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 6:01
  • 1
    I love this feature but have found it a pain as it is a rather small button!
    – L.B.
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 14:02

Low Power Mode

This feature is also another big deal in terms of usability. More often than you would expect, the iPhone starts to drain battery like there's no tomorrow. In those situations that you still need it alive (for an emergency call, etc), the Low Power Mode will get you to shore.

What it does is stop any background requests like Mail fetch, Push Notifications, Apps Background Refresh, etc and also visual effects (as if Reduced Motion was on).

  • Was the Battery Usage section present before iOS 9? I had been wishing for that ever since switching from Android. Super useful.
    – wtr
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 6:05
  • @wTyeRogers It was. I got quite a bit of use out of it too!
    – Dason
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 12:20
  • I guess this an iPhone only feature, as I don't have it on my iPod.
    – Spotlight
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 14:07

Spotlight quick conversions and calculations

You can now do a quick calculation on the Spotlight menu, just the basic stuff though. No square roots i.e.

  • 4
    Last time I went hiking/camping, I needed a conversion for fluids. Apparently the feature you mentioned is available offline / in airplane mode - perfect!
    – wtr
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 5:59

Siri Integrations

For me, and for everyone in general I guess, the big reason to update to iOS 9 comes in the form of a Siri request. Siri got a lot smarter from the previous iOS (she is still a bit stupid, but lets cut her some slack).

Siri now as access to almost all the information stored on our devices. For instance, if you receive an email with a phone number on its signature and later on you receive a phone call form that number, Siri will make an educated guess and suggest that the person calling you is the same from that email signature.

As for me, the major leap in terms of Siri usage for automate things and really getting things done more easily is the ability to ask her to remind you of anything, anywhere on the OS in the most natural way.

As you can see in the image, I asked her to remind me of what I was seeing on Safari when I got to work. She created a reminder with that action attached to it.


New San Francisco Font

My favorite part of iOS 9 is the new San Francisco font. It really makes iOS 9 seem a lot newer and different than iOS 8. I think it looks way better than the old font.

  • 7
    Ugh. I think the kerning is awful and it just looks...unfinished.
    – Lunatik
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 8:49
  • 2
    In case anyone is wondering, the old font is Helvetica Neue in iOS 8.
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 22:17
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    They oughta rename the iOS 8 font to Helvetica Olde ;)
    – wtr
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 6:08

When typing with the keyboard, you can convert it to a trackpad by placing two fingers on the screen anywhere inside the keyboard. The keys will turn dark gray, losing all letters and numbers. You can move the cursor by dragging both fingers across the screen, lifting your fingers when the cursor has reached its destination. enter image description here

  • 3
    Looks like this is only applicable to iPad. Nice to know, though :) Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 13:21
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    @SeanAllred According to Wikipedia, "A 'deep press' (3D touch) on the keyboard will convert the keyboard to a track pad to move the cursor and make it easier to manipulate text. (Only for 6s and 6s+)"
    – MrWhite
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 22:36
  • I had no idea this tool exists! I can only get it to work part of the time, but that may be because my iPad2 is 4 years old and doesn't like iOS 9! I definitely recommend trying it. Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 16:25

Small tweaks to the “Photos” app.

For me, the fact that the “Photos” app has some seemingly minor—but noticeable—kinks worked out has been great. Most notably, now you can swipe across a grid of images to select multiple images instead of having to select each image one by one.

enter image description here

Also, there is now a “Screenshots” album which seems to be a “smart” album that only shows up when you take a screenshot. But unlike other albums where deleting an image in an album only removes it from the album, the “Screenshots” lets you delete screenshots completely from your device.

This is a quite nice way of dividing up content that makes it easier to manage screenshots when mixed in the context of “normal” photos.

enter image description here

And past that the order of images when viewing via “Photos” or via “Albums” is now exactly the same.

Prior to iOS 9, if you viewed photos in the “Albums” view it would be oldest to newest from left to right, but in “Photos” it would oddly be newest to oldest from left to right.

Now with iOS 9, both “Photos” and “Albums” show oldest to newest from left to right.


Battery Widget in Notification Center

If you use your iDevice with a pair of bluetooth headphones or you have an Apple Watch, this widget might come in handy.

It basically lists the battery levels of every peripheral connected to the device.


Detected audio connection

In iOS 9 everytime you connect your headphones to the device, it will automatically show you a shortcut for the last used app with audio output (Music App, Spotify, Audible, etc).

If you are on the lock screen, it will show up on the low left side and if you are multitasking it will appear right at the bottom of the screen.

This is actually another great feature in terms of productivity: when you have a Handoff capable app opened on 2 devices, the handoff shortcut on the iPhone is now always visible at the bottom of the Multitask Screen (whereas on iOS 8 it was at the very left end of the opened apps slider).


Spotlight search integration with installed apps

Developers can now take advantage of Spotlight search to ease overall search on iOS 9. In this example: Citymapper showing recent searches I made in the app for Lisbon


Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is the ability to block advertisements. This is useful for many reasons:

  1. First and foremost, ads can give you malware. While this isn't as prevalent on mobile devices, incidents have occured of advertisements on websites giving the user malware, even on high-profile sites like Forbes. studies have shown that ads are 182 times more likely to give you malware than porn websites.
  2. Ads slow down the page load and cost you time, sometimes even scrolling the page in your place because an ad that's loading shifts content up or down.
  3. Downloading ads costs bandwidth. It has been estimated that ads can take up close to 40% of the bandwidth of a page you're downloading. For mobile users with a limited cap, this can be particularly impactful.
  4. Ads tend to be obnoxious, with autoplay videos, autoplay sound, wildly moving images, pop-ups, pop-unders, ads expanding to fill the page, gaming ads that are just images of big titties with a "play now" button,... People have been sent to detention because their mobile phone suddenly started playing a video ad while their phone was in sleep mode. I personally once got a 21 minute ad on a 16 minute video on Youtube.

Now, Apple didn't just add an adblocker into ios 9, but they added the option to block certain content. https://www.hackingwithswift.com/safari-content-blocking-ios9-install explains how to install the most popular one on the market.

  • Something that has been even less mentioned is that the adblock feature is not available on devices that are more than 2 years old. My iPad 4v2 doesn't get it, you need iPad Air and up (as reported by all the adblock app reqs I've looked at). Meanwhile, iOS 9 has significantly slowed it down, to very little benefit. And I suspect free mem has come down because Chrome is constantly shutting down.
    – JL Peyret
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 17:05

Double-click the home button while in sleep mode for Apple Pay

(For iPhone 6 and later)

You no longer have to wait for the NFC reader to wake up the phone, or manually navigate to the Passbook/Wallet app, to prepare the phone for an Apple Pay authorization.

Simply take the phone out of your pocket and double-click the home button. You can then authorize immediately, or select a card first if you have multiple cards loaded into Apple Pay.

  • Don't you mean double touch?
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 23:07
  • @Jonathan. Nope. Touching the home button does nothing when the phone is sleeping.
    – NReilingh
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 23:09
  • Rolled back an edit: see Apple Style Guide bottom of page 49. Double-click is the proper usage for the home button.
    – NReilingh
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 6:25

Siri No Longer Beeps

The traditional "ding ding" sound that is played when Siri is instantiated has moved to a silent and succinct vibration. This effectively does away with times where Siri would audibly start when sitting on the phone (and inadvertently pushing the home button), or during presentations.

  • 1
    This only works with devices with a rumble motor tho, i.e. not the iPad or iPod
    – Milo
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 6:45

Ability to choose video resolution and frame rate

A pretty great thing in iOS 9 is the added ability to change the resolution and frame rate in videos that one shoots.

Just go to Settings -> Photos & Camera -> Record Video. The higher the resolution and frame rate, the better the video looks, but the more space it takes up. Those with 8 and 16 GB iDevices should be especially happy about this one.

  • You could do that in iOS 8. idownloadblog.com/2014/11/05/… Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 2:52
  • 4
    @SteveMoser Sure, but only to some extent on the very latest iPhones, not every iPhone. Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 2:55
  • I couldn't choose 720p with the default camera. (iPhone 6)
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 4:49

Keyboard now displays lowercase

When pushing the shift keys the keyboard keys update their appearance according to Uppercase/Lowercase.

This is one of the things that makes the keyboard more coherent this also increase the affordance of the keyboard.

enter image description here


The podcast app actually works.

After 5 years, I recently replaced my iPod touch (I broke it) and was appalled to find that, under iOS 8, the podcast app was as useful as a chocolate teapot. How something that broken could make it out into the wild is beyond my comprehension. I use the iPod mainly for podcasts so this was a real show-stopper for me.

I was just about to send it back when I heard that version 9 was about to be released. I'll be keeping the iPod.

  • It does seem to be better but still duplicates on sync from iTunes however a new phone does seem to be OK after 3 weeks)
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 19:48

Pinch to zoom during video playback in photos.app. Even on videos not recorded originally in iOS9


I have ~500 passwords saved in the iCloud keychain and I don't have this keychain configured in non-personal devices. iOS 9 allows you to search the saved Safari passwords in the Settings App through this path: Settings app > Safari > Passwords There, in the search bar, I would just search for the webpage I'm looking for the password, it will give you both user id and password.


You can now share/download/save voicemail messages as m4a audio files:

enter image description here

via: https://twitter.com/bradleychambers/status/656095367562436608


Before I knew that iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users could 3D Swipe from the left edge of the screen to go back an app.

TIL that 3D Touch also enables iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users to press the left side of the Home screen to switch to multitasking view.


Newer iPhones on specific carriers can now place and receive calls securely through your carrier using your Wi-Fi connection instead of cellular radio.

This is particularly useful when roaming to avoid long distance charges in certain circumstances (carrier dependent) and most useful if you are in a location with no or poor cellular reception but decent Wi-Fi. A 1 hour call equals approx. 75mb of data transfer. More details here.

T-Mobile even takes it one step further allowing you to pair another Apple device to your phone and make calls from an iPad, iPod Touch, Mac or even Apple Watch. It doesn’t even require your iPhone to be nearby or even on!


When you receive a call from a number that is not in your contacts (address book), it searches through phone numbers it has parsed from received email signatures and the incoming call notification will suggest that it "maybe" is that person calling:


Image credit and further reading here: http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/16/ios-9-tells-you-who-that-unknown-caller-is/


For the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (the iPhones that support 3D touch), many of the app icons support "Quick Actions". For example, the below screenshot shows a list of quick actions available when pressing on the Camera app.

Most of the Apple apps seem to support this already, as well as several third party apps.

enter image description here


Offline diction is available on the iPhone 6s and 6s plus. Go to Settings > “General” > “Keyboard” > “Dictation” to find the setting.


In the new iOS 9.3 beta: Blue Light Reduction(Night Mode). It is incredible to not be blinded by your phone at night. You can set it to go on and off at sunset and sunrise. It is so nice to finally have this as part of the OS.

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