Apple have started rolling out its iOS9 software with the promise of faster response times, better battery life and an updated keyboard. I have already downloaded it. Question is, should you too?
The download itself was incredibly easy, although it did take about three hours (although the bandwidth at my hotel is more likely to blame for that).
Once installed, at first glance nothing much seems to have changed. Cosmetically pretty much everything is the same as iOS8 apart from the slightly revised font (called San Francisco) on the keyboard and the open tabs now appearing as interleaved pages rather than flat screenshots. There is also a nifty new ‘News’ app and a revised ‘favourites’ tab that can be accessed with a quick left flick from your home screen.
Most of the modifications seem to have been done ‘under the hood’. The new operating system claims to be faster although I’ve found that difficult to assess (let’s be honest, it was pretty quick before). Battery life has apparently been improved to the point where it can add up to an average of an hour a day – early signs on my 6 look good as it does seem to be packing a bit more power than previously. There is also a new ‘Low Power Mode’ when you really need to conserve battery life. It kicks in as an option when you get your 20 per cent power remaining warning. If selected, it turns your battery indicator colour to yellow instead of red and limits functionality to the basics to preserve the juice you have left.
One new feature is the addition of an app called ‘Move to iOS’ which helps Android users to switch easily to iOS. Basically it will transfer contacts, messages, photos, videos, bookmarks, email accounts, calendars and free social accounts (such as Facebook) all at the touch of a button (well, screen).
Multi-tasking also becomes a lot easier now with the introduction of the ‘Slide Over’ feature – this essentially allows users to quickly open a second app (e.g. to answer a quick text) whilst keeping your existing content open.
I was also hoping that the new dedicated Watch iOS2 would be released simultaneously but there is still no firm date given for that. It promises ‘native’ Watch apps that don’t rely upon tethering to your iPhone, a slew of new Watch face options plus improved speed, graphics and battery life. Can’t wait.
So is it worth updating to iOS9? Of course it is. Unless you want to get left behind…