One of the best things about owning an Apple product is that you get free upgrades to the latest operating system for years to come. So, with iOS 9.2, which is available now, you can get it for products as old as the iPhone 4S and iPad 2; of course, it’s available for the newer handsets, too. But not all features are available on all phones.
Apple has been consistently working hard on improving iOS 9 right since it released the firmware last month for the public. As is always the problem with new firmware, iOS 9 was buggy and a lot of fixes and improvements were needed. Nevertheless, Apple has always been dedicated towards giving the best to its users, which is why Apple continued working around iOS 9 and released iOS 9.0.1 and iOS 9.0.2 in a very short span of time. The major update came with iOS 9.1, which was released a few days ago. And in what seems like an expected move, Apple has just seeded iOS 9.2 with new features and bug fixes.
Here’s the complete list of bug fixes and improvements:
- You can now create a new playlist when adding a song to a playlist.
- Your most recently changed playlist is now listed at the top when adding songs to playlists.
- Download albums or playlists from your iCloud Music Library by tapping the iCloud download button See which songs have been downloaded with the new download indicator next to each song in My Music and Playlists.
- See works, composers, and performers while browsing Classical music in the Apple Music catalog.
News and Mail
- A new Top Stories section in News so you can stay up to date with the most important news of the day (available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia).
- Mail Drop in Mail for sending large attachments. Apple had introduced the feature with OS X Yosemite last year. It allows users to send large attachments up to 5GB in size via iCloud.
- iBooks now supports 3D Touch to peek and pop pages from the table of contents, your notes and bookmarks, or from search results inside a book.
- iBooks now supports listening to an audiobook while you browse your library, read other books, or explore the iBooks Store.
Security is a big issue and Apple seems serious about improving it. For starters, passcode are now set to six-digits as the default, although your old four-digit code will stay if you just perform an upgrade. With Touch ID, this change doesn’t make a big difference in terms of everyday use, but it’ll be a minor inconvenience for people without. If you’re wondering how much more secure this makes your phone, your passcode goes from being one in 10,000 to one in 1,000,000. Two factor authentication is coming, so new devices have to be authenticated via existing devices or through a text sent to your phone. I’m a big fan of two-factor, as it dramatically increases security.
Better battery life.
Better Battery Life
- Apple is promising up to one-hour of additional battery life thanks to extra efficiencies throughout the OS. If you’ve got an iPhone there are a few additional options to save power. First, if your phone is face down on a table, the screen is never turned on, even when you get a notification. Secondly, there’s a Low Power mode, which turns off some features and even throttles wireless and processor speeds in order to save power. You’ll be prompted to turn the mode on when your phone reaches 20% and 10% of battery, although you can switch it on manually in settings if you just want the maximum power.
- Turning the mode on does reduce performance and made my iPhone 6 Plus feel a little slower. This is borne out by the scores in GeekBench 3, which scored 2456 in normal mode and 1397 in Low Power Mode. The upside is that turning the mode on from a full charge should give you around an extra four or five hours of battery use; when you hit 20% power, Low Power Mode should give you an additional hour of power.
- What will be useful to most people is the new Battery app, which shows you which apps have been using the most power. As well as viewing by percentage of use, you can also find out how many minutes an application has used. It should make it easy to see which apps are power hogs, draining more of the battery in less time.
Back to button
One of the smallest, but most useful, new features is the ‘Back to’ button. When you launch one app from inside another, such as opening Safari from a link you click in an email, you now get a small button at the top of the screen to take you back to the original app. While you could always do this in the past using the Task Switcher, the direct link is a lot more useful.
New task switcher
Double-tap the Home button and the new task switcher pops into life. Rather than the flat two-dimensional switcher of iOS 8, you now get a 3D carousel. Confusingly, the first app is to the right and you scroll to the left, which is the opposite of how it has been. It works well enough, although the flatter task switcher in iOS 8 was a little clearer to view and this doesn’t feel like much of an upgrade.
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