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iOS 9 Review: Should You Upgrade?



iOS 9 Notes App

Apple completely changes the Notes app for iOS 9 with new features that change how I use this free, built-in app. While it is not as good at Evernote for tracking everything I need to keep track of, it is a very good upgrade that allows me to do more with the Notes app.

My favorite new feature is the ability to quickly add photos and links to notes, which makes it easier to keep track of related items that I am researching. The notes sync between all of my devices so I can create a detailed note on the iPad while using split-screen and then see that note on my iPhone in a store.

The iOS 9 Notes app offers more options for power users.

The iOS 9 Notes app offers more options for power users.

The support for checklists is helpful, but this still feels like a feature better suited for Reminders.

Sketching out things in Notes is now possible and there is a ruler that you can use for more accurate drawings if needed.

Apple News App

Apple now includes a News app with iOS 9. This allows users to subscribe to news organizations and topics and read them in a dedicated app that offers a nicer look than many webpages.

You can find many publishers inside Apple News, including Gotta Be Mobile. The app is useful and delivers news based on your preferences. There is an option for email notifications, but I only use the app to check in for interesting news.

One downside is that there is no way to uninstall this new app. While this is not a big deal personally, there are many users who don’t like Apple adding new apps they cannot remove.

Apple Maps Upgrades

Apple Maps is better in iOS 9 with support for Transit directions in several large cities and better overall support for finding local businesses and knowing when they are open.

Get transit directions in Apple Maps for iOS 9.

Get transit directions in Apple Maps for iOS 9.

In large cities you can now include Transit directions that supports subways, buses, trains and ferries — and this will even link up walking and multiple transit options to get you from one location to the next. I am not able to test this out yet as my city is too small for support and the closest city is still a long haul.

After many years Apple finally lists my street in iOS 9, which is a very handy upgrade. So far Apple Maps on iOS 9 has not directed me to drive off a long closed bridge, which is also promising — but Google Maps is still my primary way to get directions.

Apple Wallet

You can access Apple Wallet with a double click of the home button when the iPhone is locked.

You can access Apple Wallet with a double click of the home button when the iPhone is locked.

Passbook is gone in iOS 9, but the features still exist in Apple Wallet. The new Apple Wallet app supports loyalty cards and there is new support for store credit cards and Discover Apple Pay support.

By far my favorite new Apple Wallet feature is the ability to double-click the home button to launch Apple Pay. This makes it possible to get the right card ready before I need to pay.

iOS 9 Arrow 4

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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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