Finally we are able to upgrade our iDevices to the official release of iOS 9. Despite having to lose the jailbreak on my daily driver which is the iPhone 6, I still feel good as my device started fresh again with great speed and fewer apps. In addition to the love of WatchOS 2, certainly, there are some features that I really enjoy when using iOS 9 on my iPhone. Here are the top 5 that I want to share with you:
1. Redesigned Multitasking App Switcher
Maybe it’s due to boredness of the iOS 7/8 App Switcher and the wasted real estate for Recent or favorite contact and much empty spaces (if you are not jailbroken), I found it much useful as an app switcher that I can see a bigger picture of the apps that I may want to switch to.
Although some users especially those who are using the iPhone 6 Plus reported lag when using the new multitasking interface, I have not noticed any lag issue on my iPhone 6 and it works very well and is definitely an eye-candy feature.
2. Customizing Top Level Menu of AssitiveTouch
Without jailbreak tweaks such as Tage and Auxo installed on the device, the customizable AssistiveTouch is definitely one of the most wanted features so far for iOS. Many of you may be using it every minute as you may not want to press the physical Home Button so frequently and shorten its lifetime. But the limited customization and features really frustrated users that they have to change their habit and get used to what is provided there, for instance, double press on the “Home” icon to invoke app switcher, which is kind of annoying.
But with iOS 9, not only can you get a lot more functionalities of the top-level AssistiveTouch buttons such as Lock Screen, Pinch, Double Tap, and even invoking the multitasking card switcher, but also able to choose how many icons to be displayed. I basically need three of them: Screenshot, Multitasking and Home. But just in case I need something else, I put Device as the 4th icon to use. Super handy feature.
3. Safari Content Blockers
Now users are able to block any contents they don’t want to see in Safari with this new Content Blockers feature. You can install third-party apps that filter out unwanted contents with specific rule sets. However, this is a super controversial feature as it threatens and potentially hurts numerous sites that depend on incomes from ads. That being said, it is shameless to blame Apple or the app developers for this and try to kill them right at launch.It is because you are free to install or not to install the ad blocker apps if you don’t want to miss something you may be interested in or deals that you don’t want to miss. And it’s been said that ads providers are working on workarounds for such.
Peace is the first one to be pulled due to its “immensely unpopular move and the developer was subjected to pressure of “a torrent of unpleasantness”, which indeed made me not feeling good as well. As a loyal customer of AdBlocker, I really hate irrelevant or overwhelming ads on particular sites and this Content Blocker feature cleans and speeds everything up. I really hope developers can carry one and bring leverage best on this Content Blocker feature opened up by Apple.
4. The “Back” Button
This is by far the most wanted feature that should have been implemented from iOS 1. You can now go back to previous app by tapping on the little back button appearing on the top left hand corner that appear as “Back to…(certain app)”.
For instance, some in-app browsers are malfunctioning and with no ability to block ads that forces me to open in Safari. But it is always painful to switch between Safari and other apps due to limited amount of RAM that may require reloading in most cases (again, if you are not jailbroken and not able to use tweaks like ReachApp, Multifly, etc). Now I can tap on the “Back to…” and it will take me back to the previous with no clutter. You can also browse other webpages from Safari there without having to leave the apps and go back to the previous app at anytime.
Another example can be when you see certain app that is recommended on specific blog and that you are interested in, clicking the link will bring you to App Store. Now you can click the back button and go back to the site without bringing up app switcher. You can also always go back to your email apps after tapping on links opened in Safari.
But note that, when you lock the device or quit the app, this magic will no longer work.
5. Batteries Widget
As there are limited watch apps that support Complication on WatchOS 2, I am sticking with the Timelapse watch face that only tells date and time, which is actually sufficient for me and I can easily pull up glances for other apps. The new Batteries widget in the Today’s view comes in handy as I don’t have to activate my watch, flip-up the glances to see my Apple Watch battery life when using the iPhone.
Another good thing is that when the Apple Watch is disconnected, the widget will be automatically gone. So you don’t have to disable it manually with much finger work.
So these are my 5 favorite features of iOS 9. What about yours? Let me know in the comments.