Apple on Tuesday introduced the second iOS 9 beta, and we went hands-on to see what’s new. Compared to our first taste of iOS 9, there isn’t too much to explore in this update; the main purpose of the newest beta is to squash bugs and further optimize the experience. But we did discover a few new features worth talking about, which we’ve highlighted in the video above.
- Podcasts: Podcasts app has a newly updated icon that’s bolder. The layout of the app has also been updated slightly, changing the position of some of the download buttons.
- Handoff: Handoff is again being displayed in the App Switcher screen, whereas in Beta 1, Handoff was not available in the App Switcher at all.
- Search: Search appears to be much improved in iOS 9 beta 2, bringing up both more results and a wider range of results for each search query.
- Apple Watch app: The Apple Watch app has a new, simpler name, having been renamed to just “Watch.”
- Mute/Lock Rotation Switch: The newly added lock/mute rotation switch inside the settings app in Beta 1 has now disappeared in Beta 2. Hopefully it’s not gone forever, this is a feature I use on a daily basis since I watch a lot of videos on my iPhone, I can quickly lock/unlock my screen orientation without accessing control center.
- Search settings: In the Settings app under General –> Search, there’s now a list of all installed apps with the option to toggle them on or off in search results. In iOS 9 Beta 1, this menu showed only Apple search results and options like Bing Web Results, Documents, Found in Mail, Safari Suggestions, and more. (will show beta 1 and beta 2 comparison)
- iPad keyboard tweaks: The edit functions on the iPad keyboard have been tweaked slightly. There’s now an undo/redo option that shows up as the default edit function in place of the cut/paste tool. The cutting and pasting edit tools will still pop up once you highlight text, replacing the undo buttons.
- Auto app delete/reinstall: This is actually a beta 1 feature, but it was discovered as users installed beta 2. If, for example, you’re trying to install the update but don’t have enough storage, there’s an option to temporarily delete apps to make room, with the OS automatically reinstalling deleted content after the update is completed.
That’s it. Performance of iOS 9 beta 1 wasn’t the greatest, so we’re hoping things have been tidied up this time around. If we do find anything else that’s new we’ll be sure to let you know. But, for now, these are the big changes we found in iOS 9 beta 2.
Once iOS 9 does roll out later this fall, it’ll include a lot of new features, such as a smarter Siri, better iPad multi-tasking, a News app, Notes improvements, and more.