The ultimate how-to guide to use the new iOS 9 features

Apple iOS 9 - Headline

iOS 9, like all other major iOS updates has been highly anticipated for months. Now, the time is finally here and users are looking to dig into all the new features iOS 9 provides. From split-screen on iPads to embedded email annotations, iOS 9 brings a lot to the table. This is your ultimate guide on everything you need to know to become an iOS 9 expert.

‘Hey Siri’

‘Hey Siri’ on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can be activated without the phone needing to be plugged in. This is a feature that many Siri users were hoping for. Apple ensured us that this new feature would have minimal effect on battery life when it debuted at the September Apple Event. Since Siri must be able to pick up the phrase, “Hey Siri” at anytime, iOS 9 brings an all-new ‘Hey Siri’ setup process. The process is designed to give Siri a better understanding of your voice and speech patterns, in an effort to improve her overall listening.

Siri - Setup

How to set up ‘Hey Siri’ in iOS 9

Lower Case Keys

If you are a fan of your keyboard actually showing which case you’re using, then you will appreciate iOS 9’s addition of showing lower case. Previously when users hit the Shift key to change cases, the keyboard would still show upper case keys. Now, when the when you switch between cases, the keyboard will reflect those actions.

iOS 8 vs. iOS 9: Lower case Keyboard

How to disable lower case keys in iOS 9


There are a boatload of small tweaks and additions to the standard system settings for iOS 9. Options like Low Power Mode, Grouping Notifications, and a 6-digit passcode option are only some of the newcomers.

Group Notifications by App

With no way to select how notifications appear, the Notification Center can become an unruly mess in iOS 8. iOS 9 provides a new Notifications menu in Settings with the option to Group notifications by app or by manually creating an order yourself.

Notifications - Group

How to group notifications by app

Low Power Mode

Apple should have done this years ago, but we can now gain up to an additional 3 hours of battery life with Low Power Mode enabled. Who’s not going to like that when they are at 50 percent?

iOS 9 - low power mode indicator

How to use Low Power mode to preserve battery life

Disable Shake to Undo

Making a mistake on your iPhone can be undone by shaking your phone to bring up the Shake to Undo option. But for those who are accidentally engaging this feature you can now disable it completely.

iOS 9 - Settings - Shake to Undo

➤ How to disable the shake to undo feature on iOS

Disable All Vibrations

Vibrations on your phone notify you of calls, texts, and other kind of alerts. Previously you could only disable standard vibrations from the Phone section, but in iOS 9 users can disable all vibrations via Accessibility.

iOS 9 - Disable Vibrations

➤ How to disable all vibrations on your iPhone or iPad

Flight Tracking

iOS 9 provides detailed flight information for flight numbers added to applications including, Reminders, Notes, and Messages. Tapping on a flight’s number will immediately open a live-tracking preview of the flight’s current path and all corresponding information.

iOS 9 - Flightplan

How to use the flight tracking feature in iOS 9

Added Security

Apple has beefed up its security efforts when it comes to your passcode. In iOS 9 the default passcode is now six digits, up from the usual four.
Six Digit - Passcode - AppleThe addition of those two digits brings the possible passcode combinations to 1 million, up from 10,000 with only four digits. Yay math… and security! You can also enter in an alphanumeric passcode by tapping on Passcode Options.

Passcode - 6 Digit

There is also two-factor verification when signing into your iCloud or Apple ID from new devices.

Two-factor authentication

Yes, they are behind in this regard, but it is appreciated nonetheless.

Easier App Navigation

iOS always seems to be a few steps behind when it comes to multitasking, only recently embracing split screen for iPads. But there is now an easier way to go between apps. Instead of double-tapping the home button to bring up the app switcher, you can now tap to go back to previously opened apps in the top-left corner of your screen. A small addition, but one that is proving to be extremely useful.

Back to app

Revamped Notes App

The Notes App has undergone some very serious changes. Making it more than just an app for quickly jotting down items in class or at work. Now, the application has become a much more powerful tool for any iPhone user. With the ability to add attach maps, create checklist, and illustrate sketches, Notes for iOS 9 is a game changer.

iOS 9 Notes app

New additions include:

Folder Structure

  • Organize notes in neatly filed folders

Easier Images and Photos

  • Quickly attached images from your library or taken with your camera directly into a note

Viewing Attachments

  • View and go to any attachment from all of your notes in one place

Creating Checklists

  • Now checklists can actually be checked off

Drawing Sketches

  • Indulge in your artistic side and create sketches to be shared or saved to a note

New Formatting Options

  • Bullets, Headlines, Italics, and more are all available in new formatting menu

Adding Websites and Links

  • Easily refer back to a webpage or article with quick embedding of links and websites

iCloud Synchronization

  • Start off where you left off from most Apple devices

Adding Directions and Maps

  • You liked the ceviche at that Mexican spot? Add the location along with the recipe to a note

Learn everything you need to know about the new Notes in this comprehensive how-to guide.

➤ How to use the new features in iOS 9 Notes App


One of the most used iOS apps is finally adding some much-needed features. From markup and reply to saving and adding attachments, the Mail app is putting some power back into the envelope.

Markup and Reply

With Markup and Reply in iOS 9, Mail users can add text, signatures, magnifications, and drawing on any email attachment. Besides being really cool, these features can help take annotating and collaborating to new heights.

Markup - Using Tools

How to use the new Markup feature in Mail

Adding and Saving Attachments

There are few things more basic than adding and saving attachments via email. In iOS 9 we can finally add and save attachments via iCloud Drive.

iOS 9 - Save attachments

➤ How to save or attach any type of file in the Mail app

Photos And Camera

Slide to select Multiple Photos

Instead of tapping each individual photo when selecting more than one item, we can now drag a finger across the photos we want to select or deselect.

How to select Multiple Photos in the Photos app

Hide Multiple Photos

If you are tired of nosey people peeking at your Photos you can quickly hide multiple photos. These hidden photos will be removed from the Photos tab and remain in the Hidden Photos folder until unhidden.

Hide Multiple - Photos

How to hide multiple photos at once in the Photos app

Photo Library Preview

When looking at your photos, there is a newly added preview bar at the bottom. This preview bar shows thumbnails of other photos before and after the selected image. Tapping on a thumbnail will bring up that image, and sliding to the left or right will preview the images located in either direction.

Photo Preview

New Selfies Folder

We are in the “Golden Age of the selfie” and Apple wanted to make sure to recognize that. Photos taken with the front-facing camera will automatically added to a new Selfie folder for quick access to all your latest beauty shots.

Selfie - Album

Apple Music

Shuffle All

It was a pretty huge mess when users discovered that the Shuffle All button was one too many taps away in iOS 8.4. In iOS 9, Shuffle All is once again, quickly accessible.

Shuffle All - Options

➤ How to shuffle all songs in the Music app in iOS 9

Apple Maps

Set Maps Favorites, Home and Work

Mark your Home and Work address for quick access on Apple Maps. Plus, make sure to save your Favorite locations so finding your way back there will be super easy.

Saved Favorites - Maps

How to set Favorites, Home and Work in Maps

Public Transit and Walking Directions

Even though public transit in Los Angeles is a joke, there are cities all over the world that have a thriving public transit network. iOS 9 finally brings Transit directions to Apple Maps. With Transit you can view all the public options (ferry, bus, subway, tram, train) all in one location. With times and locations right there, it removes the need to check multiple sites or travel brochures to find out where you need to go.

Apple Maps - Transit

➤ How to use Transit Directions in Maps in iOS 9


A map gets you from point A to point B. But what if you don’t really know where you want to go? With Nearby for Maps, you can find the best spots around your location with the tap of your finger. Find bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, theme parks, and more by using the Nearby feature.

Nearby - Results

➤ How to use the Nearby feature in the Maps app in iOS 9

All-New iCloud Drive app

iCloud Drive allows you to store documents in the cloud and access them on multiple Apple devices. Now, we can access those same files through a dedicated iCloud Drive app.

iCloud Drive iOS 9 app

How to enable and use iCloud Drive app

So there you have it. A comprehensive list of everything iOS 9 has to offer. iOS 9 is looking to be one of the most robust iOS updates in a while and we hope that you have a better grasp on all the new features.

What iOS 9 additions are you most excited about? Let us know in the comment section.

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