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iOS 9 hidden features: Here’s what Apple didn’t talk about

by Brandon Russell | June 14, 2015June 14, 2015 9:00 am PST

Earlier this week, Apple unveiled the big features coming to iOS 9 when it becomes available this fall. Among them is a more intelligent Siri, some handy multitasking features for the iPad, and a few new app upgrades. And while most people will be raving over the software’s exciting new proactive capabilities, there were plenty of other additions Apple didn’t discuss.

We made a video highlighting the ones we found in the first beta.

  1. Ring/vibrate switch: This isn’t necessarily a new thing to iOS, though it has only been available on the iPad. However, in iOS 9, iPhone owners will be able to go between lock rotation and mute when toggling the ring/vibrate switch. That might not seem like a huge deal, especially with the lock rotation toggle easily accessible in Control Center. But it’s still a much faster way to toggle the setting. For me, i’ll be able to unlock screen rotation when I play a video so it plays in landscape, rather than having to watch it in portrait.
  2. iCloud Drive: iCloud Drive has been around since iOS 8, but in iOS 9 you’ll have greater access to its features. Going forward, you’ll be able to toggle a setting that enables you to access an iCloud Drive app, which lets you see all the files you have stored through the service. Here you can delete files, move files around, and more, and they’ll all automatically sync across your different gadgets.
  3. Podcast: Apple’s Podcast app is receiving a redesign of its own in iOS 9. Like the Music app, Podcast includes some fresh paint along with the same Mini Player, which is a nice touch. There’s also the addition of an unplayed button, which shows all of the podcasts you haven’t listened to yet, along with a slightly revamped My Podcast section. Small stuff, but welcomed indeed.
  4. Toggle flash: When recording a video, you can now toggle the flash on and off. Before, you could only do so before you started to record a video. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it gives people more flexibility, letting them change on the fly rather than having to decide whether it’s on or not beforehand.
  5. Notification Center: A small but welcome change: In Notification Center, iOS 9 will show users how much battery is remaining. And if you have an Apple Watch, you’ll see a battery notification for that, too.
  6. Siri: You already know what Siri will be capable of in iOS 9. But you wouldn’t know about this feature until you try her out. Now when you activate the personal assistant, your phone will quickly vibrate to indicate that she’s ready to hear your query.
  7. Photos: In iOS 9, you’ll be able to toggle different shooting modes for video. So if you want to shoot 720p at 30fps, just toggle the option; there are also options for 1080p at 30fps and 1080 at 60fps as well.
  8. Settings: In the settings app, there’s a new search bar that will let you more quickly find the setting you’re looking for.
  9. Messages: For the iPhone 6, Messages will display contact pictures in addition to a name. This feature is available right now to the iPhone 6 Plus, but Apple apparently thought it would be a good idea to switch it on for iPhone 6 owners. Only a year later.
  10. San Francisco: Not the city, the font. The font Apple designed for the Apple Watch is the default for iOS 9, showing that Apple is finally taking type seriously.

That’s all we could find in the first iOS 9 beta, but it’s very possible we didn’t discover everything. If you have found anything cool, be sure to let us know. We’ll continue to dig through, and update once newer betas are released.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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