Apple's iOS 9 update has been released to the public after months of testing. 

Having started a global rollout on Wednesday it should be available to you now. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad, then Software Update, and look to see if the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system has arrived over the air for your device. If it has, feel free to grab it and get it up and running. Like, now.

While that installation process goes down, Pocket-lint figured it would go ahead and provide you with an overview of what's new. We've picked out 10 of the coolest things as well as detailed new features in iOS 9.

Here's everything noteworthy about this update, but let us know if we missed something...


When your phone is awake and past the lock screen, and you double tap on the home button, iOS will kick up an app-switching interface so that you can toggle between apps, exit apps, etc.

Apple majorly redesigned the app switcher with iOS 7, but now, two years later, it's changing the app switcher again with iOS 9. Your apps will now appear as apps in a card stack that you can scroll through from left to right.

You can identify each card in the stack based on the app icon and name above it. To close an app, you still swipe up on the card. Now, however, you can also swipe multiple cards at the same time, using multiple fingers.

Handoff options appear at the the bottom of the app switcher, allowing you to quickly open an email, message, Safari page, etc, on another Apple device. The Handoff bar will show up when iOS detects your content is open on another Handoff-compatible device. From there, tap or slide the bar to the top of the screen to open the app.

Oh, here's a bonus tip: When you open a link or notification when using an app, you'll be brought to a new app to view that information in full. Now however you'll also see a new "Back to..." button at the top left of the just-opened app, giving you the opportunity to go back the app you were using.


Spotlight has returned to the left of the main home screen, though it is still accessible as a pull down from any home screen. You'll immediately notice that Spotlight now works with a Siri-powered Proactive assistant, enabling you tap the mic symbol to audibly search and get suggestions based on how you use your phone.

Apple has added your recent contacts, app and location-based suggestions, and Apple News feed to Spotlight. Better still, Apple has opened Spotlight to third-party developers, meaning you'll soon be able to get Spotlight search results from, for instance, Netflix, Facebook, Google Calendar, etc.


Siri has a more colourful interface now - and the personal assistant feature has been updated so it can do way more.

You can say, for instance, "Show me photos from Utah from last August", and Siri will know which photos to serve up. You can also ask Siri to remind you to grab your coffee off the roof of your car, because the personal assistant can look at your location information as well as determine when you're in a car.

Siri is "Proactive" now too. It can auto-play music when you plug in headphones, for instance - because the feature learns your habits and what you prefer over time. Siri can also retrieve an invite from Mail and auto-add it to your calendar, without needing you to open another app.

In other words: Siri has been given deeper integration with Apple's own apps. She can even predict which app you'll use next and provides app suggestions via the new Spotlight area on the left side of the home screen.


There are several power-saving benefits in iOS 9. First of all, Apple has said you'll get an extra hour of battery life after the update due to tweaks. When your iPhone is face down or in your pocket, for instance, the screen will no longer glow when notifications arrive all working to save your battery life.

Also, under Settings, there is a new Battery section that gives you a detailed look at which apps are hogging up all your juice. There's a Low Power Mode as well, which you can use to reduce power consumption. The feature disables or reduces background app refresh, auto-downloads, mail fetch, and more (when enabled). You can turn it on at any point and are prompted to turn it on at the 20 and 10 per cent markers. 


The Notes app has been overhauled. It now lets you add checklists, photos, maps, web links, and even sketches that you can draw with your finger. And of course, thanks to iCloud, changes to your notes will be updated across all your devices and on But that's not all: the Share button has added support for Notes.

So, when in Safari, for instance, tap the Share button to save attachments, such as a link or document, to a new or existing note. There's also an Attachments browser that organises note attachments in a single view.


It may seem like a small change, but the keyboard in iOS 9 has been updated to reflect capitalisation. Until now, whether you touched the shift key or not, all the letters on the keyboard were capitalised. Now, it shows the letters in lowercase when shift is off. It also has the new system-wide font change.

It seems like just yesterday Apple added diversified emojis with the ability to change skin tones, but it's actually been a long time, and so the company has been working on introducing new emoji. Apple has seeded the first beta of iOS 9.1 to testers, and it includes support for Unicode 8. That means all-new emojis are coming.

The burrito (:burrito:), for instance, is included in Unicode 8 within iOS 9.1. There's even a symbol for the middle finger (:middle finger:). Other new ones include a taco, unicorn face, hot dog, turkey, popcorn, cheese, and more.


Panoramas and Bursts were automatically sorted into smart folders in iOS 8. And Apple is continuing this trend with iOS 9. It added separate folders for Selfies and Screenshots. The Screenshots folder tends to always get it right, while the Selfies folder seems to be hit or miss.


In select cities, Apple now offers a new Transit view. It has lines and stations for subways, buses, trains, and ferries. So, when you plan a route, you'll see the whole trip laid out with transit information. You can ask Siri for transit directions too. And with the Nearby feature, you can get ideas for places to shop, eat, etc. 


Apple's News app has arrived (in the US at least). It's basically a reading experience that combines the visual look of a magazine with the immediacy of digital media. You can follow news from over a million topics, fetch news based on your interest, and pull articles from your favourite sites and sources - including Pocket-lint.

When you open News for the first time, you'll be asked to select your topics and news sources. From there, the app will load, and you'll see a stationary menu bar running along the bottom of every screen within the app. It houses tabs for the following screens: For You, Favourties, Explore, Search, and Saved.

For You is where News collects all your news in one place. You can see channels and topics you're interested in under Favourites, while Explore suggests more stuff to read based on what you've previously read. Search lets you add more news sources, sites, and topics. And finally, Saved is a read-it-later feature.

Apple actually made a digital publishing format that allows publishers to create layouts so they can control how their content appears in Apple News. It reminds us a lot of how the Discover feature works in Snapchat.

Apple News is US-only at launch, though we figured out a workaround, so you can get it up and running on your device. Read all about that here.


With iOS 9, Newsstand became News, and Passbook has become Wallet. You can add cards using the same method still, such as boarding passes, tickets and gift cards, but it's also a home now for your Apple Pay credit, debit, and store cards, as well as upcoming rewards cards from stores like Walgreens.

Also, when paying with Apple Pay, you can now quickly choose which card you want to use just by double-clicking the home button while on the lock screen. It'll bring up all your cards on your iPhone.

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The iPad has its own set of iOS 9 upgrades that'll work on the latest hardware. A new split-screen feature, for instance, allows you to run two apps side-by-side for multitasking. You can even drag the border to show more of one app. Another feature called Slide Over lets you swipe from the side to access a shortcut bar of apps.

A third multi-tasking feature is picture-in-picture video. Apps that support this feature will allow pop-up video playback in a small window that you can drag around, pinch to adjust its size, and or tap to close. And finally, a fourth feature is that you can now use the keyboard as a trackpad. Just swipe with two fingers to move your cursor.