FINALLY, better battery life and a shift key that actually works.
There’s a brand spankin’ new operating system for iPhone 4S and up called iOS 9. If you haven’t upgraded yet, head to Settings > General > Software Update or upgrade via iTunes on your computer. It’s full of improvements that’ll make your iPhone life so much better, and the *best* tricks are below. Just FYI: This version requires less storage for wireless updates than ever before.
1. The first — and most important — thing you need to know is: There’s a new *back button.*
After clicking on a link or a notification, a “Back to [previous app]” button will appear in the top left corner.
You don’t need to dive into the Settings app to enable this feature — you just have to look for it. That back button most Android fans yap about? This is it, and it may be the best iOS 9 feature of all.
2. You can also open the Settings app > Battery > Low Power Mode to reduce battery consumption.
Your phone will automatically prompt you to enable Low Power Mode when the battery’s at 10%, but preemptively turning on LPM will help your device go the extra mile. It disables looking for new email, “Hey Siri” voice activation without a connection (for iPhone 6S phones), automatically downloading app updates, and some visual effects, like the 3D-esque parallax effect on the homescreen.
3. Settings > Battery will now tell you which apps use the most battery in the background.
Under the Battery Usage section, tap on any app icon or the clock icon to reveal how much time each app runs in the background. Turns out Facebook was the source of my battery drain. Sneaky Facebook.
4. Put your phone facedown to save battery life. It prevents the screen from lighting up when you get a notification.
This feature uses the phone’s light and proximity sensors to disable the screen, which sucks a ton of battery.
5. Zoom in on a video *while* it’s playing.
Previously, when you zoomed in on a video, it would pause. Now you can pinch-to-zoom during the action.
6. From the Camera Roll, get back to the Camera app by swiping down.
This same gesture also works when you’re browsing through photos from the Photos app. Swiping down will take you back to your Albums.
7. Select multiple photos at once by tapping “Select,” then pressing and dragging your finger across the images.
8. Enable a setting that ACTUALLY changes the capitalization of letters when you press the shift key.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Keyboard, then switch Show Lowercase Keys to ON.
9. Disable keyboard character pop-ups in Settings > General > Keyboard.
Annoying. Bye Felicia.
10. Type “weather” in search and you’ll automatically get the day’s forecast in your location.
Pull down from the middle of the homescreen to use Spotlight search.
11. You can also perform quick calculations.
Tap the result to open the Calculator app. So nifty for calculating tip at a restaurant or converting U.S.–metric measurements while baking!
12. Prevent Siri from speaking when your phone is on silent.
Go to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Feedback > select Control with Ring Switch.
13. Enable Wi-Fi Assist to automatically connect to a cell network when you’re on spotty Wi-Fi.
BEWARE of this setting. While helpful, it may sneakily increase your cell phone bill, so be sure to check your usage often if you’re not #blessed with an unlimited data plan.
14. Go to Settings > Cellular > SIM PIN to give your SIM card a PIN code so it can’t be used in another device.
The setting isn’t new, but now it’s in a new place (Cellular, instead of Phone). It adds yet another layer of protection against unauthorized access to your phone. There is already a default PIN on your SIM card. For T-Mobile and Sprint, the pin is 1234, and for AT&T and Verizon, it’s 1111. Tap Change PIN to create a hard-to-guess PIN that will actually protect you.
15. You can now download ad-blocking apps from the App Store.
iOS 9 allows downloading apps that block tracking data, banner ads, and pop-ups in mobile Safari so that pages load faster. You have to pay for these apps (buying an app to remove an advertisement is truly baffling, I know), but if you want a better browsing experience, it’s worth it. Some notable apps are Purify ($2) and Crystal ($1).
Go to Settings > Safari > Content Blockers to enable them.
16. In Safari, after you’ve copied text you want to look up, tap and hold the address bar to “Paste and Search.”
The key is to tap and hold the address bar. Don’t let go, Jack!
17. To view the desktop version of a website in Safari, press and hold the refresh button.
18. To search for a specific word or phrase on a website, tap the share icon > Find On Page.
It’s the mobile equivalent of command + F, one of the greatest keyboard shortcuts of all time, and in iOS 9 it’s super easy to get to.
In iOS 8, you had to start randomly typing in the search/address bar and scroll all the way down to On This Page.
19. You can now get public transit directions in Apple Maps.
20. Tap the search bar in Apple Maps if you need to find a place to eat, drink, or shop nearby.
21. After plugging in headphones, the last audio app you used will appear on the lock screen.
Swipe up on the icon to open the app.
The crazy thing about this feature is that it’s location specific. So if you listen to Spotify at work and Podcasts at home, the lock screen will reflect that!
22. You can now immediately erase all of your mail in the Mail app. Do it. It will feel so good.
If you’re using Gmail, do this first: Change the Archive setting to Delete by going toSettings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > select your account > select Account >Advanced > under Move Discarded Messages Into select Deleted Mailbox.
Next, open the Mail app, select Edit at the top, then TRASH ALL at the bottom. Bask in the glory of Inbox Zero.
23. Alarms can be deleted by SWIPING left now.
In previous versions of iOS, you had to tap on Edit before selecting the delete switch (ugh) to remove each individual alarm. Now you can just swipe to the left, to the left, and that alarm can go ‘head and get gone.
24. Double-click the home button to access Apple Pay (and your Wallet).
Enable this feature in Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Double-Click Home Button. You need to have Touch ID set up for this to work.
25. Share voicemail via text or email, or save it to Voice Memos.
Why couldn’t we do this before? Dumb.