Toggle Dark Mode
When reading an article in Apple’s Safari web browser on iOS 9, you can now adjust different elements of how the page appears — such as background color and text size, by simply selecting the ‘Reader View’ icon, located in the farthest-most left-hand corner of the web address bar, and then selecting the ‘AA’ icon located on the opposite side of the bar to make your desired changes.
Simply double press the home button on your iPhone and, at the bottom of the screen, you should see a small menu bar that shows your recently viewed web pages on Safari — allowing you to pick right up, on your iPhone, exactly where you left off on your Mac or iPad.
So say, for instance, you’re reading an online article, right? Scrolling and scrolling and scrolling on down the page. But, once you get to the bottom, maybe you’re feeling like you want to just jump back up to the top and read it once again or navigate to the web address bar. Well, good news, you don’t have to scroll all the way back up! Simply tap the clock display at the top of the screen — (just above the web address bar) — to jump back to the top of the page instantly.
Tired of mobile friendly sites? Fortunately, you now have the choice to re-load the page in full-on, desktop-quality glory — by selecting the share button at the bottom of the page (you know, that little box with the arrow pointing upwards out of it), and then selecting “Request Desktop Site,” which is one of the many options available to choose from.
Thanks to iOS 9, you can now save a web page in Safari as a PDF file, too — so it can be opened in another app, like iBooks, and referenced at a later time. Apple makes this super easy; you can save the page you’re on by tapping the share button, and then tapping the iBooks icon from the apps slider bar menu. Your iPhone will then save a full HTML copy of the page in your iBooks PDF folder.
Simply open Safari, and then select the Tab View icon in the lower right-hand corner. Then select “Private,” which will launch a new tab that won’t remember what website you visit. **Keep in mind, though: if you’re on a monitored Wi-Fi network — such as at work or school — the company or organization can still keep close tabs on what you’re looking at.**
Every time you open a new tab in Apple’s Safari browser on iOS, a grid-style display of your most frequently visited websites will appear. This happens by default, unfortunately; however, the good news is — if you’d rather not have that information displayed for all to see, you can always turn the feature off. To do so, simply go to Settings > Safari > Frequently Visited Websites, and then switch the toggle to the Off position.
iOS 9 now lets you hand write your notes, or basically draw anything else you want, that may be too difficult to convey as a standard text note. If the option isn’t automatically visible, you can select the “+” icon to add a new note, and then tap the little yellow squiggly line icon — located in the lower right-hand corner of the screen — to bring up a new, blank canvas. You can even use various options to customize your writing, including a ruler to stabilize lines, or simply draw freehand with a number of pen and marker styles and colors to choose from.
To create your own to do list, simply open a new note in the Notes app, and then select the (+) icon right above the keyboard. You’ll then see the same menu of little yellow icons, from which you should select the first option — which essentially looks like a small circle with a check mark running through the center of it. Type your first task, and then hit enter on the keyboard to add additional, checkable tasks. And then, to mark a task as complete, simply tap the bubble icon before each task to mark it off the list.
Another cool new feature of the Notes app on iOS 9 is the ability to add photos and web links to your notes — allowing you to keep all your information pertinent to that specific note in one place. So, for instance, if you’re browsing in Safari, or viewing a photo in the Photos app, you can select the share options menu icon (that little box and arrow) to initiate the menu of choices — one of which will be the Notes app icon. Then, simply tap the Notes app icon to add each link or photo to your current Note. **Alternatively, you can also select the camera icon within the notes app itself to open Photos, and then select a photo from your library to add to the Note.
iPhone users like to use the Notes app for a variety of reasons — sometimes to type deeply personal poems or lyrics, or simply to take notes while in class or jot down important information while on-the-go. And now, with the fresh release of iOS 9.3, you can password protect your notes with a 6-digit code or Touch ID for an added layer of security. To enable password or Touch ID protected notes, simply go to Settings > Notes > and then select Password. From that sub-menu, you can create your custom, 6-digit passcode, which can be used to access your notes. Alternatively, if your device features Touch ID functionality, you can also use that to protect them as well.
Camera, Photos, and Editing
Trying to send multiple photos to your friends or family members via email or iMessage? Of course, as an iOS user, you might already know that doing so can be a bit of a pain in the butt.. So why not expedite the process, if you can, right? Well, fortunately, there’s now a way to do just that. Instead of sending each photo individually, or adding them as an email attachment one-at-a-time, you can simply open the Photos app, tap on Select in the upper right-hand corner, and then, tap each of the photos you’d like to share. The blue check mark will indicate that a photo has been selected, and, once you’ve picked the lucky few to be chosen, you can then tap on the same boxy arrow pull-down menu icon that we’ve mentioned before, and send/share the selected photos via a number of ways — including Mail, iMessage, Notes, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or essentially any other of your internet-based applications that you’re given to choose from.
You can also hide any photos that you’d rather not have appear in your image gallery. And fortunately, iOS 9 makes hiding multiple photos in one clean sweep as easy as it’s ever going to get. You can do so by tapping on the same Select button in the upper menu bar of the Photos app, scroll through your library and select one or as many photos as you’d like, tap the good old boxy arrow Share icon when you’re finished, and then select Hide from the menu options. Keep in mind: hiding any photos will neither delete them, nor save you any of those precious gigabytes at your disposal; but rather, they’ll simply be hidden from Moments, Collections, and Years, in a special ‘Hidden’ album — though you’ll still be able to see them within that folder.
Thanks to iOS 9’s new camera software optimizations, and fueled by dramatically improved camera hardware, you can now record in a number of speeds and formats — including, among other options, slow-motion (720p HD @ 240 fps), standard 720p HD @ 30 fps, 1080p HD @ 30 fps, and even 4K (2160p HD @ 30 fps) on Apple’s iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and the all-new SE. Even better, you can now select which mode you’d like to record in by default. This is a great option for those who prefer a certain type of video speed without having to manually update the camera settings each time. To set a default video speed, simply go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Record Video, and then select the option you want to use from the list.
You can now ask Siri to find photos for you — based on the location or at the time they were taken at, or by the name of the specific album it’s located in. This is an easy task, thanks in part to iPhone’s location-based, photo-mapping intelligence that knows when and where each of your photos were taken. To search for photos with Siri, simply ask her to “Show me photos from (insert location name here),” or even “Show me photos from last month.” You can also specify a certain date, in particular, if you remember it by heart, of course. And, if you’ve created a custom album, you can also specify that particular album by name as well.
Although you need an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus to actually RECORD a Live Photo, fortunately for the rest of us — thanks to software advancements employed within the iOS 9.1 update, you can still VIEW a Live Photo on older iPhones and iPads. “But what is a ‘Live Photo’?” you might be wondering, and that’s a very good question, indeed. To answer it, we’ve provided the video above for your enlightenment. As you’ll see, Live Photos are actually pretty cool. And if you’ve yet to upgrade to Apple’s latest and greatest hardware, then fret you not, friends, because Live Photos will more than likely be around for a while, and you’ll probably want to upgrade eventually, right? If you do have an iPhone 6s and you’d like to record a Live Photo, make sure the cam-era is turned on and the photo format is set to the standard “Photo” option. Then turn on the Live Photo option by pressing the icon showing three rings. The icon will turn yellow when successfully activated!
In iOS 9, you can now toggle the camera flash on and off, as needed, while you’re shooting a video. No, just to set the record straight, flash isn’t a new feature of iOS 9 — however, the ability to switch the feature on and off, at your leisure, without having to stop recording your video is new in iOS 9. To do this is pretty straightforward, too: simply tap on the flash icon that now appears on the screen whenever you’re recording a video to toggle between off and on.
Built into iOS 9 is a pretty cool new feature called Smart Albums. Essentially, by creating certain “Smart Albums,” your photos will automatically be saved in the correct place — based on the type of photo your iPhone determines it is. For example, when you go to the Photos app, simply tap on Albums and then scroll up or down to see the new options you can choose from. You can either create your own, or simply select from the many options available by default — which include Screenshots, Selfies, Panoramas, Bursts, Videos, Recently Deleted, or Hidden (when applicable).
This tool is just one of many editing options employed within Apple’s custom camera software on iOS, and is designed to help you manually improve the balance of your image. To straighten your photo, you can go to the Photos app, tap on the photo you want to edit, and then select Edit (in the upper right-hand corner of the screen). Next, tap on the square-shaped, arrow encompassed Crop icon in the toolbar of editing options at the bottom of the screen, and iOS will adjust the photo accordingly. If needed, you can also drag your finger along the dial to change the crop even more, or simply leave the photo as it is. Finally, tap on Done when you’re finished, and iOS will save the updated photo to your Photos library.
The aspect ratio of an image has to do with how the photo’s height correlates to its width. Some of us would prefer our photos to be more squarish, or more rectangular, for instance — and thankfully, Apple has made doing that easy in iOS 9. To change the aspect ratio of your image, simply go to the Photos app, tap on the photo you want to edit, and then select Edit (in the upper right-hand corner of the screen). Tap on the same Crop icon mentioned above, and then tap on the Change Aspect Ratio button (the little white square at the bottom of the cropping dial). Choose whatever aspect ratio you’d like (there are several options, ranging from 2:3 to 9:16). When you’re finished, tap on Done in the bottom corner of the screen. If you’re unhappy with the changes you’ve made, you also have the option to revert back to the original photo. Simply tap Edit again, and then tap on the red Revert button in the bottom corner of the screen.
When you look at a picture after you’ve taken it, do you ever think, “gee, you know, it looked a whole lot better in person..” Well, that’s because there are often differences in how natural and artificial light in our inherent environment reflects off the camera lens, and, in turn, how our images appear to us once captured. Fortunately, however, on iOS 9, you can now change the light balance of your photos to make them appear more life-like. To do this, simply go to the Photos app, select the photo you’d like to edit, and then tap Edit in the top right corner of the screen. Next, tap on the Adjustments button in the editing options toolbar (which looks sort of like a dial with a dotted perimeter); and finally, tap on Light — ensuring that you play around with the slider a bit, which will adjust the brightness or darkness of the photo accordingly. You can also press-hold your finger on the image to view the original for comparison purposes, and when you like what you see, simply tap on the Done icon and your changes will be saved.
Similar, yet somewhat different, to adjusting the light balance of your photos, you can alternatively adjust the color balance to create a warmer, or more black/white filter. To make this change, simply go to Photos, find the photo you want to edit, and then tap Edit (in the top, right-hand corner of the screen). Next, tap on the same Adjustments icon referenced above (the little dial with the dots around it), and then select the Color option. Likewise, fool around with the slider a bit to determine a color filter that’s ideal to you. As usual, once you like what you see, simply tap on Done and your photo will be saved accordingly. To learn more about additional photo editing option in iOS 9, be sure to check out iDrop’s Ultimate Photo Editing Tips article!
If you’re like me, then you rely at least to a certain extent on public transportation of some form — whether it be a train or a bus or otherwise. And fortunately, thanks to recent advancements that have materialized within Apple’s iOS Maps app, you can now obtain those crucial directions when traveling via the public transit system. When looking up directions on Apple Maps, you’ll now be given the option of obtaining them via the public transit system in your area — including bus and train routes, numbers, schedules and more. For instance, say you’ve just woken up and could really go for a fluffy stack of blueberry pancakes.. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, thanks to Apple Map’s Nearby Search function, you can pick up you iPhone, tap on Breakfast, coffee, or any other category that Nearby Search is suggesting at that particular time of day — and, once you’ve found a place that tickles your yen, select it and Apple Maps will provide you with turn-by-turn driving directions on how to get there.
Built into iOS 9’s new arsenal of features, Apple’s home-brewed Maps app now boasts a really cool option to browse different places of interest, called Nearby Search. Best of all, though, the categories to choose from change constantly, based on the time of day you’re accessing the feature. For instance, say you’ve just woken up and could really go for a fluffy stack of blueberry pancakes.. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, thanks to Apple Map’s Nearby Search function, you can pick up you iPhone, tap on Breakfast, coffee, or any other category that Nearby Search is suggesting at that particular time of day — and, once you’ve found a place that tickles your yen, select it and Apple Maps will provide you with turn-by-turn driving directions on how to get there.
If you’re one of the many consumers who rely on Apple Maps to help you get from place to place throughout the day, then you’re bound to absolutely fall in love with this new feature — built into iOS 9 — that will identify the available routes to your specific destination. And then, while you’re driving, Maps will provide you with the quickest possible way of getting to where you’re trying to go. For example, when you’re driving along a particular route, an Apple Maps notification could pop up, informing you that the app has found a faster way to get to your destination. If this ever happens to you, simply tap Go to shave some valuable time off of your commute.
Messaging, Mail, and Keyboard
To maintain transparency with, but also have the freedom to ignore your friends, err, just not reply if you’re busy — and DON’T want them to know if you’ve read their iMessage or not, thanks to Apple’s “Read Receipts” feature, now you can hide that activity from everyone in your contact list who also uses iMessage. To toggle Read Receipts on and off, simply to go Settings > Messages, and then slide the Send Read Receipts toggle to on or off, according to your preferences. **Keep in mind: having this feature on will allow other iMessage users to see if their text to you was read, and if so, at what time.**
Perhaps, for whatever reason, you really want to emphasize what you have to say to your friends or family via iMessage. Well that’s understandable, of course. But also understandable is the fact that tapping the Shift key before every individual letter can be kind of big pain, right? So why not save yourself the trouble, if you can, by simply double-tapping the Shift Key (quickly) prior to typing out your text message? This action will enable the Caps Lock function on your iPhone’s keyboard, allowing you to write in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
To set iMessage up on your iPhone and Mac, simply sign in with your Apple ID (on both devices), then go to Settings > Messages, and then enable iMessage on your iPhone. Finally, select Send & Receive. **Keep in mind: be sure that your Apple ID is set up correctly on both your iPhone and Mac, and that, when you go to start a new conversation, you select your phone number as the sender — if that’s how you want it to appear in your recipient’s inbox.**
29.) How to Use Accents
If you want to sound cultured, or simply ensure that your text message recipient doesn’t think you made a mistype, you can always add an accented letter, or letter(s), to your message. This will allow you to be as authentic as possible when speaking in another language — like Spanish, err, español, for instance. To add an accent mark to your message, simply hold down that particular key for a few seconds — at which point, if available, a selection of accents for that letter will appear on your screen. Choose the flavor you savor, accordingly, from the available options.
Using keyboard shortcuts when texting is a great feature, mainly because it will save you some precious time, and long-term dexterity in your beloved thumbs. By default, Apple has set up “on my way,” or rather, as it’s written in shortcut form, “omw.” However, you can create your own, as well, depending on your most widely used statements. For instance, I recently set up “AYFKM,” which my iPad now recognizes as “Are you [insert expletive] kidding me?” Surprising as it may seem, I actually use that one quite often. To set up your own shortcuts, simply to go Settings > General > Keyboard, and then select Add New Shortcut. Add whatever you see fit, of course, however it would definitely make the most sense to create one that’s both easily memorable and that you would use often.
This one may be a bit more obvious to some, if you’ve ever used Siri; but for others, it might not have been so evident — you can now speak out your text messages, and, thanks to Siri’s (surprisingly accurate) dictation software, your spoken words will appear in the send box as you speak them. If Siri is already active on your iPhone, you can simply go to create a new message, tap on the little microphone icon in the bottom row of the keyboard, and then begin speaking. To activate Siri, go to Settings > General > Siri, and then toggle Siri functionality to on.
Now you can select text faster that ever before, thanks to a cool new feature in iOS 9 that allows you to place two fingers on your iPad keyboard, when a document is open, and then move them slowly, to and fro, to select a portion text. Holding two fingers down on the keyboard will turn the entire area into somewhat of a makeshift touchpad. And though the art of getting it just right might take a bit of practice to perfect, once mastered, this is actually a pretty cool trick that will save you lots of time and frustration when editing a document on iPad.
You can also format any text that’s written out in any Apple app — such as Notes, Mail, Messages, or Pages, among others. To do this, simply tap anywhere in the body of the text, at which point you should “select all” (or a portion of) the text you want to format. Once selected, you’ll see the options pop up in a subsequent menu bar — one of which will be a “BIU” key. Select that, and then choose how you want to format the text accordingly.
Mail in iOS 9 boasts a number of cool new features — including support to add hand-drawn sketches and notes to email attachments, a magnifying glass to zoom in, and even the ability to sync your signature from Preview on your Mac. To add any of the additional custom touches to your emails, open a message with an attachment, tap and hold the attachment file, and then select Markup > Reply. The options to customize the attachment will appear at the bottom of the message.
You can now save your email attachments directly to your iCloud Drive, too, which will give you easier access to them across your entire family of devices. To do this, when you’re in the Mail app, simply tap and hold on the attachment; and then, once you let go, after a second or so elapses, a new menu should appear on the screen — giving you the option to “Save Attachment” (an iCloud logo should appear right next to it.) Once you have selected Save to iCloud from the menu, iPhone will let you decide upon where to save the file.
Mail doesn’t, by default, give you the option to add media — such as photos or videos — to your messages directly from the compose window. However, fortunately there is a workaround to that in iOS. In essence, when composing a message, simply press and hold your finger on the screen for a few seconds and then let go.Once the black menu bar appears (as shown above), you’ll only have to tap the right arrow (when necessary), in order to see the full range of options. And, once you select “add photo,” for example, you’ll see the standard photo selection reel pop up — which will allow you to choose a photo (or photos) to add accordingly.
You can format any text that’s written out in any Apple app — such as Notes, Mail, Messages, or Pages, among others. To do this, simply tap anywhere in the body of the text, at which point you should “select all” (or a portion of) the text you want to format. Once selected, you’ll see the options pop up in a subsequent menu bar — one of which will be a “BIU” key. Select that, and then choose how you want to format the text accordingly.
Perhaps you’re knee-deep in an important email exchange, prior to realizing you have to step out for an appointment. Well, obviously you’d still like to know when the other person replies to you, right? And, it’s for that reason, if specified, iOS will send you a notification when someone replies to an important email thread. To enable this, simply tap the flag icon when viewing the message, and then select Notify Me from the drop-down menu.
The keyboard in iOS 9, as was the case in several previous iOS versions, allows you to insert a period automatically, enabling you to start a new sentence by simply double-tapping the space bar when you’ve reached the end of your previous sentence. This trick would come in particularly handy if you tend to type long paragraphs of text. **Keep in mind: this feature is not enabled by default, so if you want to use it, you should head over to Settings > General > Keyboard, and then flip the “.” Shortcut toggle to on.
It can get frustrating to type on iOS if you use a lot of punctuation in your writing. After all, in order to access the numbers and punctuation marks from the alphabet keyboard, one would typically have to tap the 123 key, search for the symbol they’re looking for, tap it, and then switch back to the ABC keyboard. Pain in the butt, right? Well, maybe not so much anymore. Did you know that, on iPhone, you can now simply tap and hold on the 123 key, which will present you with an overview of the alternative, numerical keyboard? With your finger still pressed against the screen, you can slide it to your desired number or punctuation mark, and then release to select it. iOS will remain in the ABC keyboard view while this is happening.
Built into the iOS keyboard when using Apple’s Safari browser is a convenient little “.com” key feature, which is primarily there so users can easily add the domain suffix extension to their web search address. Alternatively, however, you can also use this key to add other extensions — such as .org, .net, .edu, or .us. To do this, simply tap and hold the “.com” key, which will present you with a view of all the alternate extension options.
By default, the quotation mark key in iOS will type out what’s known as a “dumb” quote — referred to as such simply because they are standard, and will not render as a normal, eloquent curved quote in emails and documents. Fortunately for iPhone or iPad users, however, it is possible to type using the alternative, ‘smart quotes’, by simply pressing and holding the quotation mark key and then selecting your alternate quote style.
Sometimes iOS will fail to automatically distinguish between contractions in your text — for instance, when you want “we’re,” from your typed out “were,” or, perhaps even worse, “he’ll” when you type “hell.” Fortunately, however, if you wanted to type a contraction like “he’ll” or “we’ll” on iOS, but the system doesn’t autocorrect your “hell” or “well,” you can simply add on a third “l” character at the end. For example, if you type “helll,” iOS will automatically recommend “he’ll.” And the same goes for “welll,” which the keyboard will correct to “we’ll.”
If you’re in a situation where you’re unable to answer an incoming call — such as at the library or at work, for instance, you can pretty effortlessly dispatch a text message out to the caller by selecting the message icon on the incoming call screen. Apple provides several pre-written messages, such as “Sorry, I can’t talk right now,” or “I’m on my way!” However, if you’re feeling a bit more empathetic, you can always write your own, customized quick-reply message by going to Settings > Phone > Respond With Text.
You can also sync up your iPhone contacts with your corresponding friend’s and family member’s profile pictures on Facebook or Twitter. This is a pretty neat feature that enables you to see who’s calling before you answer. To make it happen, simply go to Settings, and then select either Facebook and/or Twitter to login to your account. Finally, select Update Contacts.
When you’re at the home screen on your iPhone or iPad, just another swipe to the right will reveal iOS 9’s new quick search page — which includes a shortcut for Apple’s Spotlight search, a selection of contacts, most frequently used apps, nearby place searchable shortcuts, and recent news (if and when available). Perhaps the coolest feature of all, though, when you’re on the new search page, you can now tap on one of your frequent contact’s photos, which will reveal several additional options — most notably among them, you can either call or message that contact with a single tap of the phone or message icon. Additionally, you can search for other contacts via Spotlight, at which point an additional tap on their image will reveal the same options.
Perhaps you’re not the biggest fan of Apple’s revamped Mail app in iOS 9 — opting instead to use a 3rd party app like Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Well, that’s all well and good, of course. Life is a choice, right? However, you might want to reconsider, because of the many new features in Apple Mail, one of them, in particular, is actually kind of neat. In essence, it’s your iPhone’s ability to link an incoming call from an unknown number to an email message, so that your iPhone can tell you who might be calling. No, just for the record, it might not be accurate every single time. But if you’re not a huge fan of answering to random numbers (as most of us are certainly not), then a best guess is definitely better than stabbing in the dark, altogether, right?
Typically, if you mess up when punching numbers on iPhone’s built-in calculator, it’s back to square one, huh? Well, maybe not so much anymore.. Because you can now backtrack in smaller steps, by erasing just one number, if it was entered incorrectly — as opposed to starting all over. To do this, simply swipe left or right on the display when using the Calculator app.
Eating out at a nice restaurant tonight? Don’t forget to tip your server! And what could be an easier way of figuring out how much to tip them, then by simply consulting Apple’s personal voice assistant, Siri, right? I mean, she can do anything, after all, you know — including determine a tip of ## % on whatever your bill ultimately comes to. Just ask her, for example, “Siri, what’s a 15% tip on $108?” And she’ll gladly tell you, “$18.20.”
By tapping on any given day in iOS’s Calendar app, you’ll be able to see a snapshot of your daily appointments for that day — color coded according to the calendar to which they were originally assigned. You can simply scroll, up and down, to see what appointments you have scheduled for the day ahead. Alternatively, from the “day” view, you can select the “list” button — which looks like a little bulleted list, as you can see from the image above. To see a simple, no-nonsense “list view” of your daily schedule, simply tap that button, scrolling up and down, to see all of your events for that day, organized in an easy-to-read, list-type of arrangement.
On Apple’s iPad, the Calendar app contains four individually marked views — Day, Week, Month, and Year. On iPhone, however, the Day, Month and Year views are also clearly marked, however, notably absent among the options is the colorful, easy-to-read “Week” view. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple issue to address; just tilt your iPhone into the landscape orientation and, regardless of what view you were previously in, the “Week” view will automatically appear. Poof!
If you want to add or edit an existing Calendar event, without actually having to touch your iPhone or iPad, why, simply ask Siri to step up to the plate for you! Yes, you can ask Siri to do a number of things in Calendar. For example, you could say “Add a meeting to my calendar” or “move my 12:00 p.m. meeting to 1:30,” and she’ll take care of the dirty work — only asking you to fill in any blanks, if necessary.
With just a few, quick taps, you can easily share one (or multiple) Calendars with Family and Friends — just so long as they also use iCloud, of course. To do this, simply open Calendar, tap on the Calendars button at the bottom of the screen (which will reveal a list of all your iCloud calendars). Next, tap the little “info” (i) button next to each calendar, then tap the Add Person link in the Shared With section of the sub-menu.
Battery Saving Tips
Unless you manually turn the screen off by pressing the power button, your iPhone or iPad will, by default, stay on — sucking away at your precious, valuable battery life even when you’re not actively using it. Fortunately, however, there’s a great way to avert this extra and unnecessary drain on your battery, by enabling iPhone’s Auto-Lock functionality. Once enabled, your iPhone’s screen will turn off automatically after a specified period of inactivity. To set this feature up, simply go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock, and then set auto-lock to the time interval of your choosing.
The number one drain on your iPhone’s battery is the screen. We all know this well enough, of course, right? So, that being understood, a great way to reduce power consumption would be to enable Auto-brightness. This will intelligently reduce or increase the brightness of your screen in accordance with the ambiance of your imminent environment. To enable auto-brightness, you can go to Settings > Display & Brightness, and then toggle auto-brightness to on. Alternatively, in control center, you can manually slide the brightness level as you see fit. But, if iPhone can do it for you, why not just let it? 🙂
Thanks to advancements in iOS 9, you can now see considerably more details about how your iPhone allocates its battery life — including which apps are using the most battery, which are using power with the screen on, and even which are guzzling juice in the background when your screen is off. As it might be evident, this new feature makes it a whole lot easier to identify a misbehaving app and stomp your foot down on it. To manage these apps, simply go to Settings > Battery, and then scroll down (tapping on the small clock icon, if necessary) to see a comprehensive breakdown of your current battery usage.
Most users take full advantage of the many, many apps available in Apple’s App store. And, while it’s highly unlikely that you’ve downloaded all of them, you probably have a lot — and, guess what? Each time you open an app, it stays on in the background, gradually sucking away at your battery even when it’s not actively being used. Fortunately, you can always do a clean sweep of your iPhone or iPad’s memory by pressing and holding down on the power button until the power-off slider appears — at which point, releasing your finger from the power button, you should press & hold the home button until your device snaps back to the home screen.
Built-into iOS 8 (and later), Apple has included a cool new battery saving feature that allows you to determine what apps can use location services — and when. Location services are another huge drain on battery, especially when the app utilizing them is running in the background, but not necessarily being actively used. You can view which apps have been actively using location services by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Once you identify any apps using location services (by the small, blue compass indicator located next to it), you can tap on an app, which will reveal the “While Using the App” option. By selecting this option, the app will only use location services while it’s in use, which, in turn, will spare you even more precious battery life in the long-run.
iOS’ Background App Refresh feature allows your apps to constantly fetch new content in the background. And while this feature inarguably improves the user experience of certain apps — like News, RSS Feeds, and Facebook, for example, having the feature on for every single app, all the time, will come at the cost of some serious battery life. Yes, Apple has employed a lot of optimizations to ensure that battery consumption is minimal, however it’s still a certainty that battery life will take a major hit because of this feature, either way. All that being said, if you’re looking to maximize your battery to the fullest extent possible, disabling background app refresh might be in your best interest. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh, and then toggling the feature to off. Or, as a sort of compromise, you can alternatively select which apps you want to disable from the list.
A cool new feature in iOS 9 is “Low Power Mode,” which, when enabled, will significantly reduce certain processes — such as the speed of your system processor, draw on RAM, and display brightness, most notably — in order to utilize the least amount of battery.Yes, once your iPhone’s battery reaches a certain lowness threshold, you’ll automatically receive a notification asking whether or not you’d like to turn on low-power mode. However, if you’re looking to save battery by any means possible, you can alternatively enable and disable it at you leisure — by going to Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode, and then switching the toggle to on.
Additionally, iPhone or iPads running iOS 8 (or later) will provide you with a number of ‘on the whole’ suggestions on how to improve your battery life — primarily based on your typical usage patterns. To find out what Apple has to say about improving your battery life, you can go to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage.
More Siri Tips
Apple’s personal voice assistant, Siri, is the inarguable “jack of all trades” — when it comes to controlling your iPhone or iPad by the sound of your voice. But did you know that she can also remind about something important, perhaps a web page you’re looking at, without you actually having to save the page, or copy & paste, or, essentially do anything but tell her when to remind you? Yep! Surprisingly enough, it’s really that simple.Thanks to new advancements in iOS 9, you can now say, “Siri, Remind me about this,” providing a location or date and time, and she will add that specific item to your reminders — popping up with an alert at the exact time and place.
Yes, certainly her intentions are from the heart, err, circuit board; and yes, rather helpful she may be but sometimes we just don’t want to hear what Siri has to say. Well, fortunately, users have a bit of leverage when it comes to when and to what extent Siri can babble on about things. To tweak these settings, you can go to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Feedback, and then, from there, select the Control with Ring Switch option. With this setting enabled, Siri will no longer speak results back to you — so long as your iPhone’s ring switch is set to the silent position. Of course, you’ll still get voice feedback whenever you use ‘Hey Siri’, or when you’re connected to a Bluetooth peripheral — such as a hands free system in the car.
Honestly, how many times have we been in the car, late at night, wondering what time a certain store we want to visit closes? Trust me, it happens to the best of us. Fortunately, to our benefit, we can now just ask Siri what time the store closes — as opposed to digging through maps or online search pages. Try it out for yourself. Just ask Siri: “How late is [insert establishment name here] open?” The good news is, if there’s only one location of the store you’re inquiring about, Siri will show you the results immediately. The ho-hum news? Well, if there happens to be MORE than one location, you’ll actually have to tap on the store you want to see the hours for. Alternatively, you can also check to see when a store opens.
This one may be a bit creepy (or helpful?) — depending, of course, on how you want to look at it. But, basically, when Apple’s “Find My Friends” feature is enabled, you can simply ask Siri, “Where is [so and so]?” Assuming you’ve added the person you’re trying to locate to your iPhone’s Find My Friends app, and that they’ve enabled the feature on theirs, you can simply ask Siri where they are and she’ll give you the low-down — by showing you, on the screen, exactly where in there world they are.
Settings & Accessibility
Thanks to Apple’s new iCloud Drive feature, you can now sync files — such as documents, photos, videos, music and more — between all of your Apple devices. That includes your iPhone, iPad, and even Mac. Upon installing iOS 9, you’re asked whether or not you’d like to add the iCloud Drive app to your home screen, which would enable faster access to these universally synced files. However, if you originally opted out of that, you can always change your mind by going to Settings > iCloud, and then toggling the Show On Home Screen option to on. You’ll now be able to move the app around freely like any other.
Although there’s been quite a bit of controversy over this new feature in iOS 9, Wi-Fi Assist is still a great option if you want to ensure your iPhone or iPad is constantly connected to the internet. Once enabled, in the event of a low or choppy Wi-Fi signal, your iPhone or iPad will automatically fall back on your LTE connection so you never miss a beat. To enable this feature, if you haven’t already, you can go to Settings > Cellular Data — scroll all the way down to the bottom of the menu — and then switch the toggle for Wi-Fi Assist to On.
The search options in iOS 9 are more systemic, deeply entwined with all your system files, apps, documents, media and more. But, for whatever reason, if you’d prefer that a particular app (or apps) not show up in search results, you can always hide them from Spotlight search. This will not delete the application from your device, but rather, it will simply exclude the app — preventing it from being discovered in search results. To tweak this feature, you can go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search, and then go down the list of apps, unchecking the ones you don’t want to appear in Spotlight.
With iOS 9, you can now use two applications simultaneously — which is certain to boost your productivity when using an iPad Air 2 or newer. Multitasking allows you to “slide-out” an additional app to use alongside the original app you had open. To see this awesome feature in action, check out the demonstration video above. And to enable it on your iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, or iPad Pro, simply go to Settings > General > Multitasking, and then toggle the Allow Multiple Apps option to On.
Using Apple Pay is a remarkably convenient way to pay at the register, and an ever-increasing number of retail and dining establishments are catching onto that. But, if you want even faster access to your Apple Pay wallet, you can set up your iPhone to, even while locked, bring up your information by double-pressing the home button. You’ll still have to use Touch ID or enter your passcode to use your card on file, of course, so not to worry about the security concerns that are likely swirling in your mind by now. Bottom line is: if you want to speed up the process of accessing your Apply Pay information, you can go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Double Click Home Button, and then toggle the option to On.
Apple has added tons of new security measures in iOS 9, just to ensure — beyond the shadow of a doubt — that your invaluable content and user data is protected at all times. For instance, now you can set up a 6-digit passcode for signing onto your iPhone or iPad (if Touch ID isn’t an option for you). To set up your new 6-digit passcode, which is up from 4-digits in previous versions of iOS, simply go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (then Enter your existing passcode, if you’ve already set one up). Select Change Passcode, enter your OLD passcode, and then enter your NEW passcode twice.
With iOS 9, now you’re able to quickly navigate back to an app that you accessed through another app. So, for instance, say you click a link to a Safari webpage in an email. Well, now you can view the web page, and then expediently get back to the Mail app — by simply tapping on the Back to App option in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This is a super convenient way to navigate iOS without having to double-press the home button and filter through all your open apps every time you want to switch between them.
By default, notifications in iOS 9 will appear on your lock screen and under the pull-down notifications panel according to the date on which they were received. Alternatively, however, you can also tweak this setting so that they appear according to the respective application. To make this change, simply go to Settings > Notifications > Group By App, and then switch the toggle to On — which will rearrange the way your notifications appear, similar to how they did prior to iOS 9.
To scroll and rummage through the entire menu of options when you’re looking to tweak just one setting, in particular, can be somewhat daunting — to say the least. And so, it’s for that reason, Apple has made it easier than ever before to isolate and change any setting, quickly and easily — by simply searching for what you want to change within the Settings app. When you open Settings, just pull down on the menu until the search bar appears at the top of the page. Then, simply type in the app, category, or system setting you’re looking to make changes to.
By default, iOS 9 has enabled a “Shake to Undo” feature. What exactly is that? you ask.. Well, say you’re typing and realize you’ve made a couple mistakes and you want to quickly undo the damage, by physically shaking your iPhone or iPad, the feature will display a prompt asking if you’d like to undo (or delete) your typing thus far. It can be both a blessing and a curse, honestly, especially if you have somewhat shaky hands. You could potentially receive several prompts a day if that’s the case — even if you had no intention to undo your typing. Fortunately, however, Shake to Undo can be turned off relatively easily. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Shake to Undo, and then toggle the switch to Off.
When watching a video captured on your iOS 9 handset, you can now pinch to zoom in on the screen — similar to how you would on a web page in Apple’s Safari browser. Unfortunately, unlike in Safari, you won’t be able to zoom in too aggressively, however this feature — as light as it is, happens to come in quite handy — by allowing you to get a closer look at a certain part of the video. To zoom back out, simply reverse pinch.
If for whatever reason you want to stop using a Bluetooth device with your iPhone — such as a wireless headset or speaker, for example, but you’re unable to get up and physically turn the device off; thanks to advanced features in iOS 9, you can now easily disconnect the device from your iPhone. This will not un-pair the device from you iPhone, but rather, simply disconnect it. In this fashion, you can stop using it now, but it will still be accessible and easy to link back up at a later time. You can go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap on the “i” character next to the device you want to disconnect from, and then select Disconnect.
While widely considered to be an Accessibility feature geared towards those afflicted by some sort of physical/motor disability, Apple’s Touch Accommodations in iOS 9 can actually be quite beneficial, just as much, for those who might be prone to butt dial or slip their finger — thereby, accidentally opening an app, sending a message, or placing a call when they didn’t intend to. Fortunately, if you’re interested, iOS 9 features a slew of new Assistive Touch Accommodations that can be tweaked to your liking. You can check them out and experiment for yourself, by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Touch Accommodations. Here, you’ll not only be able to turn this feature on, but you can even customize the settings to make your iPhone easier to use.
Hanging a picture on the wall and want to make sure it’s aligned just right? Look no further than your trusty, beloved iPhone. You can use the handset as a level, not only to ascertain whether or not an object is oriented precisely, but also to determine if a surface is flat. In other words, the iPhone level utility works in both horizontal and vertical positions. To access this function, simply open the iPhone’s Compass app, and then swipe once to the left.
With this cool new iPhone trick in iOS 9, you can now create a custom vibration pattern for any of your contacts. That means you’ll now have a unique way of telling who’s calling before you even take your iPhone out of your pocket. To set up these custom vibrations, simply open the Contacts app, open the contact you wish to make a custom vibration for, tap on Edit, scroll down to Vibration, select Create New Vibration, and then tap on the screen to make it. Repeat the process for as many contacts as you’d like. When you’re done, simply tap Stop; at which point, you’ll be able to review the vibration by tapping Play, or, to start over, tap Record. You can also just tap Save to keep it.
So say, for argument sake, you’re trying to decipher an icon or word on your iPhone’s screen; but, try as you might, you just can’t seem to make it out.. I know the feeling all too well, trust me. And that’s precisely why I enabled Zoom on my iPad. Now I can merely tap on the screen with three fingers, panning in, out, up and down, and see anything I want, unrestrictedly — better than ever before. To enable Zoom on your iPhone or iPad, simply go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom, and then toggle the switch to On. You might want to consider playing around with the settings a bit — as there are a number of ways to tweak iOS’s Zoom functionality to your liking. Also, the settings thoroughly explain exactly how to use the feature.
This is another great Accessibility feature that Apple has baked into iOS. If the standard, default font in apps — such as Mail, Notes, Messages, Safari, and any other iOS system apps — is too small, you can go in and enlarge it to a considerable extent. To increase the font size on your iPhone or iPad, simply go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Text, and switch the toggle to On. You can then fool around with the slider a bit to determine a size that’s comfortable for you. **Keep in mind: enabling Larger Text will only enlarge the text within Apple’s system apps, and not 3rd party apps downloaded from the App Store. To find out about other great ways to change how text appears on your iPhone or iPad, be sure to check iDrop’s exclusive article: “How to Make Your iPhone or iPad’s Display Easier to Read.”
When available, you can receive Closed Caption Subtitles on your iPhone or iPad. This cool feature applies to when you’re watching a web-based video on your device; and while Closed Captioning isn’t available 100% of the time, an increasing number of online media outlets have been working to update their content so they can provide live captioning to users watching videos on their iPhone or iPads. To enable Closed Captioning on your iPhone or iPad, simply go to Settings > General > Accessibility, scroll down to Media and select Subtitles & Captioning. From there, toggle the switch to On, and then play around with the settings for a bit to determine how Captions, when available, will appear on your iPhone or iPad.
At the moment, unfortunately, this trick is only available for users of Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. (Sorry, owners of older iPhones..) Nevertheless, this is a really cool feature — incorporating the iPhone 6s’ 3D Touch functionality with shortcuts for various Settings. Simply press and hold the Settings icon on your home screen, and, inso doing, you’ll reveal a list of shortcuts to access Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Battery Settings so you can manage your connectivity and track your battery usage with a few simple presses.
Apple’s Picture in Picture mode in iOS 9 places a video into the bottom corner of your iPhone or iPad’s screen — so you can carry on using another app, while still being able to watch your video in the foreground. When watching a video, all you have to do is simply press the Home button, which will tell iOS 9 to shrink the video screen down and place it in the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen. You can then open another app, as you normally would, and the video will keep playing uninterrupted. The PIP function even works for FaceTime video chats, as well as other 3rd party apps that utilize Apple’s SDK to implement PIP functionality. We hope to see this soon on more 3rd party platforms, however, like YouTube and the BBC.
With iOS 9, Apple has made it easier than ever before to migrate from Android, while preserving your most valuable data — including photos, messages, media, contacts, and more. If you want to switch from an Android handset to Apple’s iPhone, you can now use the all-new Move to iOS app — which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. **Check out the video demonstration above to see exactly how it’s done.**
Tips and Tricks For iOS 9.3
Nightshift is an awesome new feature of iOS 9.3 that enables you to transition the temperature of your display colors — from the more pungent, cool blue hues utilized by default during the daytime, to a range of warmer, yellow-tinted hues at night time. Research has shown that, by using the warmer colors at night, users can reduce stress on their eyes when reading, and keep their brains less stimulated, so we can adhere to our circadian rhythm right before bed. To learn more about Nightshift, be sure to check out iDrop’s complete overview of the feature here.
With iOS 9.3, Apple has added a slew of new features to its dedicated News app — including swipe options to article headlines, which work very similar to how you can delete an email by swiping in the Mail app. On any given News article, you can now swipe to the left — which will reveal the all-new Like, Save, and Share options without actually having to delve into the story itself.
“Live Photos” is a cool new feature of iOS 9.3, though exclusive to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus (for now), that allows you to capture animated GIF-like photos that truly “come to life” — without actually recording a traditional video. Moreover, if you’ve taken a Live Photo, you can also create a full-resolution Still photo from it, without causing any changes to the original Live Photo. To do this, simply locate the picture you want to duplicate in Albums, tap the Share button, and then select Duplicate. On the subsequent, pop-up menu, you can then choose to either Duplicate as a Live Photo or as a Still Photo.
Not many people realize this, but there’s actually so much more you can do with your text messages than simply send and receive them. For instance, when you press-hold to highlight a text message, a pop-up menu containing the options “Copy” and “More” will appear. From there, you can either copy the text within the message to paste in another app, forward the text to someone else, or you can also tap the circle to check mark individual messages to erase them. But wait, that’s not all! Since the dawn of iOS 8, you’ve also had the option to mute text alerts from certain people. This option has more to do with the “Do Not Disturb” feature — which is hidden deeper under the “Details” of a conversation. However, enabling this option can hide certain messages that you don’t want others to see.
Introduced in iOS 8, you can now send instant snippets of audio and video to your contacts through iMessage. To do this, simply go to the message window in any conversation and press-hold the camera icon on the left-hand side — just for a second or so. A small window should then appear, allowing you to take a quick Snapchat style video. This is where you need to be extra careful, though, because once the picture or video has been taken, it will be sent expediently without allowing you to edit beforehand.
Thanks to advancements in iOS 8, in conjunction with several domestic wireless carrier’s technology, you no longer have to depend solely on the 3G/4G signals of your carrier. Yep, you read that right, folks! You can now make phone calls over Wi-Fi if you use an iPhone on the nation’s top four wireless providers — T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T. To enable this feature on your iPhone, simply go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calls, and then toggle the Allow WiFi Calls switch to On. This trick will not only save you money on minutes and data, but it’s also quite useful if you happen to have low cell reception at home or work and want to use your Wi-Fi connection to make calls instead.
Honestly, I mean, what CAN’T Siri do, right? Okay, perhaps we should back up a bit.. Yes, courtesy of this cool new trick, Siri can now search for specific apps in the App Store at your request. However, unfortunately, she still won’t be able to download them for you on command. It’s still pretty cool that she’ll do half the work, though, right? Some apps come in multiple variants anyways, so perhaps it’s a blessing that she’ll at least narrow down the results for us so we can choose the option of our liking.. Go ahead, just ask her: Siri, “download [insert app name here]”, and she’ll pull up all available options — straight from the App Store.
Thanks to enhancements in iOS 9.3, Apple’s Maps app now allows you to search for any kind of delicacy or activity to satisfy your innermost cravings, by category and location. Simply open Maps, and, once you’ve zoomed in on a particular geographical region, or entered an address into the app’s search bar, you can click on “Food” or “Drinks” or pretty much any other option, and Maps will provide additional categories to select from.
This is another great accessibility feature in iOS, which, when enabled, will allow you to have certain texts (or even whole pages) spoken to you. While technically designed with visually impaired users in mind, this feature is also great for anyone who’d rather listen to their messages, or even a whole article, rather than stare into a glaring screen. To play around with this feature and tweak the settings to your liking, simply go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech.
Another great enhancement to the camera software in iOS 9.3, is a new feature that allows you to tap anywhere on the screen, when you’re taking a photo, to adjust the light/dimness exposure for that photo. Prior to snapping a picture, simply tap anywhere on the screen, and then move your finger along the thin yellow bar with the sun-shaped icon on it to adjust the light exposure of your image — regardless of whether or not your device features a hardware LED flash.
Just as you’ve been able to do on Instagram for a while now, Apple’s iOS 9.3 camera software features an all-new “Add Filter” option — for overtones ranging anywhere from the old-school black/white, all the way up to the warmer, rich bronze hues, and almost everything in-between. To add a filter to your photo, simply go to Photos, select the photo you want to edit, and then tap Edit (in the upper right-hand corner). Finally, tap on the middle-most editing icon in the 5-option toolbar, which looks like 3 circles partially overlapping one another, and then browse through the menu to select the filter that’s most appealing to you. Once your changes are made, you can tap Done to save them, or go back and keep browsing.
Currently, only Apple’s iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and the forthcoming 9.7-inch iPad Pro are capable of capturing Live Photos. However, you can still view, and set a Live Photo as your wallpaper on most newer devices — including the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPhone 6/6 Plus. To do this, simply go to Photos, tap on the Share button (that little box with the arrow sticking out of it), and finally, tap on the Use as Wallpaper option. After that, all you have to do is press the screen to see your photo come to life.
This feature isn’t new to iOS 9.3, of course, however I’m willing to hedge my bets that the majority of users still don’t know about it. So I thought it was still worth sharing.. If ever you want to take a screenshot on your iPhone or iPad — say, for instance, of a web page, or the photo of a pretty landscape, you can do so by simply pressing the home button and the sleep/wake button at the same time. You should notice the screen quickly flash white, at which point you can view the photo in your Photos app, make edits to it, or Share, Save as Wallpaper, etc.
For all you iPhone wielding sports fans who aren’t able to catch the big game for whatever reason — fret not, because you can still get the scores almost instantly, thanks to Apple’s enhanced Spotlight search features in iOS 9.3. From the home screen, simply swipe once more to the right, which will reveal the search page. Then, just type the name of your team in the search bar to see the most up-to-date scores and statistics instantly.
Do you have a few extra gigabytes to burn through on your monthly data plan? Do you delight in the sweet, polyphonic, hi-fidelity goodness of your favorite song on Apple Music, wherever the road of life may lead you? Good, good.. Us too.. That’s why we’re thrilled that Apple has finally enabled the streaming of high-quality music over an LTE connection. To enable this function, simply go to Settings > Music, and toggle the High Quality on Cellular option to On. **Keep in mind: Enjoying Apple’s Music in high-quality over LTE will not only eat up more data, but the songs might also take longer to load than they otherwise would over Wi-Fi.**
So, there you have it, folks — 101 of the greatest iOS tips and tricks to enhance your user experience on iPhone and iPad.
Learn More: 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Your iPhone
Did you know, approximately 628 million individuals use Apple’s iPhone globally; and another 350 million people use an iPad — making iOS the second-most popular mobile ecosystem, by volume, right behind Google’s Android.
And, even though Android tops a staggering 1.9 billion active users, worldwide, Apple’s iOS is still an incredibly popular platform among its loyal fan base; many of whom remain steadfastly faithful to the mobile operating system born out of One Infinite Loop. They do so for a number of legitimate reasons, year after year — including, among other things, its ease-of-use, speed and fluidity, the Apple-only features that set iPhone and iPads apart from other devices on the market, and even iOS’ deep integration with Mac.
In all seriousness, though, iPhone and iPad fanatics have plenty of reason to rejoice, right? After all, iOS is a mobile powerhouse that can do so many incredible things — even far beyond the scope of what the average user knows their iPhone or iPad is even capable of.
Sure, iOS is powerful, it’s safe (thanks to heavy encryption), remarkably simple and easy-to-use, and iOS features by far the most robust assortment of accessibility options, health management protocols, and 3rd party software applications, galore. But did you know that — with iOS 9.3 hot off the press, Apple’s iPhone and iPad can do even more now than ever before?
It’s because of that, at least in part, that we decided to compile an exclusive iDrop News guide to the 101 greatest iOS tricks, tips, and secrets that are sure to enhance your experience using Apple’s mobile operating system. So grab your iPhone or iPad, if you haven’t already, and explore some of the most widely embraced — and not so evident — iOS tips and tricks, and even those that have just recently seen the light of day for the first time.