Update: Almost the moment I pushed the post button Apple released beta 3 of iOS9 so I have added some things to reflect that.
So a few weeks ago I took the plunge and installed iOS9 on my iPhone, despite the dire warnings that accompanied the beta and I wanted to put down my thoughts.
Firstly iOS9 isn’t a radical departure from iOS8, in fact it feels more like a point update rather than a full update. That’s not to say that there aren’t some nice features that are included, which I will briefly cover below.
The first thing that you notice is just how sluggish, nay, slow the device can be with iOS9. I suspect that is more to do with this being a beta release and there is likely a whole host of debug logging going on in the background. At least I hope that is the case because if it isn’t that there is going to be real trouble when it is finally released.
Also some apps no longer work as their developers intended. To begin with the Twitter app wouldn’t switch between tabs and my banking app no longer allows me to transfer money between my accounts. Things that will no doubt be fixed when apps are updated to take advantage of the new OS.
Swiping past the first page now gives a combined search and information view. As you can see from the image below there are two issues I have with the information as presented. Firstly what is a “Gas Station”? In the UK that would be my cooker! Secondly the first two news stories displayed are in languages I don’t speak, this despite my phone being set to UK English. So things like this will need to be resolved before it is truly useful.
There are somethings that I really like about iOS9, in particular the Low Power Mode which kicks in when the battery level drops below 20%. This features turns off some aspects that drain the battery and I have to day, in my unscientific tests, having this enabled makes a huge difference. So much so that I have wondered about running it full time.
Other things that I like include the ability to search for an option within the system settings which is such a no-brainer that you wonder why it has taken nine iterations to include it.
There are a couple of other changes which are car related. For some reason iOS8 and my car never played nicely together and the car refused to recognise my iPhone. Now, miraculously, it has started working again and once more I can listen to music on the move.
The second change seems to be that when I now get into the car my iPhone (sometimes) tells me how long to get home. I am not sure if this has always been there or is new in Maps or is part of iOS9 but it is interesting but seems unreliable. It also isn’t much interest to me as I never use the Maps app.
So all in all a positive if not earth shattering update. I am hoping that the final release will have a few of the more obvious bugs ironed out and a bit of speed added back.