Once you’ve upgraded, you’ll probably want to look into these features:
- Back Buttons: whenever you enter an app due to a notification, the top-left corner of the screen will turn into a back button. Tapping there will take you back to the app you were using moments before. Very Android, and very handy.
- Split Screen and Slide-over: this will take a while to test as more apps roll out over the coming week, but if you’ve got chatty friends, this will be instantly useful. Browse in Safari, swipe from the right side to respond to iMessages, then tap right back into your browser. Or, if you’ve got an iPad Air 2, launch iMessage and Safari as split screen apps for equal parts chatting and surfing.
- Keyboard improvements: the keyboard in iOS 9 reflects the current letter case of your keys, and has a built-in shortcut bar with dynamic controls for the app you’re using. What’s more, two fingers on the keyboard will turn the whole thing into a trackpad, allowing you to move the text cursor with precision. Much, much better than that magnifying glass we’ve been using for years.
- Mini Safari: this one’s actually called Safari View Controller, but in practice it feels like mini version of Safari built into third-party apps. It’s active right now within Twitterrific, and it’s really awesome. Not only is the navigation experience more consistent across apps, but you also get the benefits of iOS 9 extras like auto-fill (for your passwords).
- Spotlight improvements: Rob wrote some Spotlight search tips earlier this year, but we’ll need to update that list. iOS 9 and Siri empower Spotlight to do more powerful searches for local files (provided that an app supports this) or for quick calculations (e.g., currency or weight conversions).
There’s a lot more to talk about in iOS 9, but these are little gems that you can test moments after you install. If you’d like in-depth overviews, iMore and MacStories have some incredible iOS 9 reviews out right now.
As for me, I’ll be delving into the medium term usability of Slideover apps, re-examining third party keyboards, and testing to see how useful local search really is. Stay tuned!