Apple unveiled the latest iOS 9 operating system during its WWDC 2015 keynote. It comes with a number of major new features including split-screen multitasking for iPad, an overhauled App Switcher, Low Power mode, Proactive Siri and many more.
Apple has already made iOS 9 beta available to registered developers, however the public rollout is slated for this fall. Just as always, if you have a jailbroken iOS 8 device, you can enjoy many of iOS 9 features right on your iOS 8 device with various jailbreak tweaks available on Cydia.
One of the major new features of iOS 9 is the support for Split View mutltitasking on iPad which allows you to use two apps side-by-side. Numerous attempts have been made in the past by jailbreak developers to bring split-screen multitasking to iOS 8 such as Quasar and OS Experience but none provide the same experience as ReachApp. It takes advantage of Reachability in order to allow users to view two apps at the same time.
Although the new side-by-side multitasking offered in iOS 9 feels more sleek and native, it is limited to select iPad models such as the iPad Air. ReachApp offers a bigger advantage as it supports both iPhone and iPad.
Picture in Picture is another great new feature of iOS 9 which enhances multitasking on iPad. It enables you to detach videos into a separate floating window when you press the Home button while using Facetime or watching a video. This allows you to continues using other apps while doing FaceTime or viewing a movie.
The new feature reminds us of a very popular jailbreak tweak known as VideoPane by Ryan Petrich which offers almost the same functionality but for iOS 8 devices. The tweak supports third-party apps as well such as YouTube, unlike the iOS 9 picture in picture feature, which is restricted to the stock Video app and FaceTime. It is also limited to iPad devices only, unlike VideoPane which supports iPhone as well.
Control cursor by swiping with two fingers
One of the features which many of us have been eagerly waiting for is the ability to control the cursor by swiping on the keyboard. Luckily enough, iOS 9 comes with support for this feature as users can now swipe anywhere on the screen with two fingers in order to control the cursor more easily. Again, this functionality is limited to iPad only.
The feature seems to have been inspired by Kyle Howells’s SwipeSelection tweak that supports both iPhone and iPad and provides the ability to control the cursor with a single finger. The tweak also offers more features not available in iOS 9 such as swiping with three fingers to move the cursor to the beginning or the end of a document.
Upper or lower case keys
Another improvement made to the iOS 9 keyboard is the ability to easily determine whether the characters are upper case or lower case. The keyboard now displays upper case letters on the keys when the Shift key has been pressed and lower case when it is disabled.
To enjoy this feature on your iOS 8, you can make use of a well known jailbreak tweak known as ShowCase that has been around for quite some time.
Low Power Mode
Apple has promised that iOS 9 will offer a better battery life compared to its predecessor. It has also introduced a new feature known as Low Power mode that will be available in the latest operating system. It disables automatic Mail push and background app refresh, reduces motion effects and brightness along with the network speed to extend your iPhone’s battery life.
BattSaver is a jailbreak tweak that has been out for a long time with support for iOS 5 to iOS 8 devices. The tweak improves the battery life of your iOS device by cleverly switching off battery draining components that are not used such as WiFi, 4G, LTE etc. It also includes monitoring views to check the battery state in real-time.
Redesigned App Switcher – Rounded corners
While iOS 9 is not a major overhaul of iOS 8 in terms of design and user interface, one of the noticeable visual changes is the new look of the App Switcher cards, action menus and other elements which feature rounded corners.
Cornered and RoundedSwitcherCards are two jailbreak tweaks that will bring the same rounded edge look to your iOS 8 App Switcher cards, action menus and alert pop-ups.
This is one of the most useful feature that is getting shipped with iOS 9. It lets you switch back quickly to Spotlight or the last open app when you’re using another app. For instance, if you’re in Safari and you get a Messages notification, you can switch to Messages to reply, then use the back button that appears in the status bar to switch back to Safari.
These are some of the features of iOS 9 which you can enjoy on iOS 8 using the aforementioned jailbreak tweaks. As you can see, there are many iOS 9 features that have been inspired from popular jailbreak tweaks and this is not the first time as the trend has been going on for a long time.
Jailbreak tweaks may not offer the same level of functionality, and may not be as polished as the iOS 9 features, but in some cases like Auki’s Quick Compose, they offer lot more functionality
If you’re on iOS 8.3 – iOS 8.1.3 then the good news is that a jailbreak may be imminent. The Pangu team successfully demoed the iOS 8.3 jailbreak and are planning to release it after iOS 8.4 is released to the public on June 30th. So you should be able to enjoy these iOS 9 features on your iOS 8 device very soon.
If you’re interested to find out more about iOS 9, make sure to check out our iOS 9 page for our comprehensive coverage.