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iOS 9 Review: Should You Upgrade?



iOS 9 Siri Upgrades

Siri is not perfect in iOS 9, but if you’ve been waiting to see a more powerful Siri this is the update you need to give the service another chance on.

Siri sports a new look, similar to that of the Apple Watch and my favorite small change is that when I hold the home button down to use Siri there is no noise, just a small vibration to let me know Siri is ready. This cuts down on accidental interruptions and waking my wife up with an accidental Siri activation at midnight.

Siri is smarter and can do more in iOS 9.

Siri is smarter and can do more in iOS 9.

There are many new iOS 9 Siri features that will change how you use Siri. One of my favorite upgrades is the ability to ask Siri to show you photos from a location, date or album. In seconds Siri can pull up vacation photos, or find a moment in the history of your photos so that you don’t need to scroll all day.

Another outstanding new feature is the option to tell Siri to perform an action about “this” on your iPhone or iPad. “This” can be something in Safari, Notes or Mail. Simply tell Siri, “Remind me about this at 1PM” and whatever was on your screen in one of those apps will be added to reminders.

If you use the Hey Siri feature on the iPhone to activate with your voice when plugged in to power you can now train the assistant to only respond to your voice. This is very useful and with the addition of Hey Siri anytime on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, a welcome upgrade.

iOS 9 Notifications & Back to App

The iOS 9 Notification Center now includes a very handy batter life widget that shows you the battery life of your iPhone, Apple Watch and Bluetooth devices like headphones or a speaker.

Apple still doesn’t make it easy to clear all notifications, but the notifications are finally sorted by date and time instead of by group. This makes the Notifications tab more useful than on iOS 8, but it is still not an area I can used often. You can clear notifications for a time period, but not all at once.

App switching gets a new look in iOS 9.

App switching gets a new look in iOS 9.

On the new app switching menu, accessed with a double press of the home button, there is a redesigned cover-flow like interface that works well and makes finding a recent app easy, even though some of the app is covered by the rest of the apps you have open.

Recent contacts are no longer on this screen, which is a welcome change, and instead you will see shortcuts to apps on the bottom of the screen for those that you recently used on your Mac or iPad. Apple introduced Continuity on iOS 8, but with this update it is easier to get to these apps after you unlock your iPhone.

Quickly go back to the app you came from.

Quickly go back to the app you came from.

Another new way to switch apps shows up when you follow a link or shortcut that takes you from one app to another. In the upper left corner there is now a shortcut to go back to the app that you came from, so you don’t need to use the app switcher to go back one app.

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  1. Guy

    09/15/2015 at 12:50 am

    Josh, the new IPad Mini 4 also can do split screen multitasking. This is in reference to your article saying only the Air 2 and Pro can do this. Otherwise, nice article.

    • Joakim

      09/20/2015 at 12:07 am

      Also worth to note that the multitask gesture conflicts with the forward gesture in Safari so that doesn’t work anymore.

  2. Exappleuser

    09/17/2015 at 11:28 pm

    iOS 9 sucks to the core it’s ugly and no concept at all and Apple makes it to something big?? WHAT?????? I did the update on iPhone 6 Plus I see no difference but now phone works like crap, and freezes up apps crash and all them passwords pop ups etc, never did this till now, the iOS 9 wallpapers are stupidly ugly, glad I’m getting my iPhone switched out at Apple and be back on iOS 8.4.1 where things were fine!! I knew this apple scam was to come, thanks god my Samsung Galaxy not 5 is on its way and good riddance Apple!! Apple sucks!!! Gets worst by the year!! Die Apple DIE!!!!!!!!!! And than sell iPhone on eBay cheap just to get rid of it fast!!!

    • Bert

      10/01/2015 at 11:22 am

      Wow, thanks for taking the time to actually be coherent with your comment. Yikes.

  3. Joakim

    09/20/2015 at 12:04 am

    Works ok on iPad Air 2 but sluggish and laggy on iPhone 6 plus, impressive how short time apple used to destroy it.
    iOS 9 didn’t add shit to my iPhone except for lag and a very depressed Norwegian Siri.
    So stick to iOS 8 if you have 6 plus.

  4. David

    09/22/2015 at 12:18 am

    The new IOS is so ugly. Siri screen is offensively so. Lost is the simplicity in apple design. Lost is the vision that kept it leading instead of chasing flashy gaudy novelty design.

    Most apple people would pay more to get less and they did. By less I mean elegance.

  5. Jude

    09/24/2015 at 2:34 am

    iPhone 5s is not compatible, my torch doesn’t work, freezes, crashes, slow, battery life sucks pages flick up and down in safari; when you haven’t moved you finger. The email search now brings up all my contacts instead of simply searching through my emails for the one I want??? I usually do a word search in association with the email I want.

  6. Wilda

    09/29/2015 at 7:29 am

    What was this update??? I can’t even see my business emails, the contact screen is a mess, I can’t hear Siri among other issues. It is a real mess!!!

  7. Jack Black

    10/05/2015 at 10:13 pm

    Propaganda, b.s. IOS 9.0.2 on ipad 3 sucks. Thanks a lot, I’ll never trust this site again for advice.

  8. Jansen

    10/06/2015 at 4:48 am

    My 5C freezes on sign in, search assumes I want contacts not word association, Maps refuses to talk, battery life is 75% of previous and am getting multiple peoples’ texts! At this point I do not see one redeeming feature. My company made me upgrade for security against the team’s better judgement. An unmitigated flop.My paranoid self believes they want to force everyone to a hardware upgrade

  9. helen axtman

    08/12/2016 at 7:25 pm

    is it really neccesary to upgrade to IOS 9.02

  10. helen axtman

    08/12/2016 at 7:26 pm

    it’s taking forever to finish

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