The Good, Bad, and Ugly – Our Review of iOS 9

Oct 26, 2015

It goes without saying that we’re geeks for technology. And so when new a new iOS arrives, we can’t wait to get our hands on it. There’s always some things we love…and some things that cause us to face-palm.

iOS 9 is out and with a new set of features, design changes, and above all…new bugs. Let’s first take a look at what we love.

The user interface has remained almost completely the same, and you would have to look very closely to see what is different. The most important design change is the switch from Helvetica typeface to a new custom font called San Francisco. Helvetica was never really intended to be used for a small and tightly packed type, as it looks best with a larger portion of free space. The new font emphasizes clean lines and gives a much better feeling of space and openness.

Apple has also introduced a new addition to the beloved Siri. It is called ‘Intelligence’, and its main function is to serve you with proactive suggestions, similar to Google Now. It predicts what application you may want to use next, gives you the latest news stories and weather information, and can even automatically remind you of your appointments or flight bookings.

The last great addition that we will mention is called Split View and Slide Over. It is essentially a big enhancement to iOS’s multitasking abilities. Users are now able to view two apps at one, side by side. Their distribution is very similar to what we are used to from Metro apps on Microsoft Windows. It is then unfortunate that you need to have iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro to be able to interact with both apps at once in a Split View mode. Slide Over sadly doesn’t offer this ability.

Despite everything good that this update brings to its users, there are many problems and bugs that are yet to be fixed.

One new feature, called Wi-Fi Assist, should be in theory able to boost your weak Wi-Fi signal with 3G and 4G cellular data. This sounds great in theory, but practical experience shows that data consumption often increases by more than 200%. Users of limited data plans should head over to settings and disable Wi-Fi Assist for good. The added benefits simply don’t outweigh potential problems.

iOS 9 also comes with some unfortunate regression. Apple uses a technology called ‘App slicing’ to distribute only those app files that are really necessary for the particular device. This makes downloads smaller and faster. You can save up to 40% when downloading new apps from App Store. App slicing is not currently available on iOS 9 and the issue has not been fixed even with iOS 9.0.1 update. This is not the only issue that still remains users even after upgrading to the latest version.

Some users report problems with their device being stuck on ‘Slide to Upgrade’. On their website, Apple instructs users to connect their device to a computer and update to iOS 9.0.1. Those who already use this version will have to delete all content on the device and restore from a backup.

Probably the most dangerous bug found in iOS 9 lets hackers bypass the lock screen. All they need to do is enter the wrong passcode multiple times and precisely time this with the launch of Siri. The good news is that this flaw is fixed in iOS 9.0.2.

A few other bugs, including one that randomly stops alarms and timers from going off and another one that causes problems with video playback in Safari and the Photos app, still remain to be fixed.

Want to read all the iOS goodness yourself? Check out Apple’s Support page on the latest iOS 9 updates.

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