Is iOS 9 a Sea Change for Apple and iOS Users?


This is a sea change moment for me.  I will either remain an iOS user or go Android.  I cannot keep going through what I have endured with iOS 7 and iOS 8.

ios9betaI downloaded the iOS 9 beta software last night.  It was a whole lot smoother than the iOS 8 beta I downloaded when iOS 8 was offered.  At least it was not a shock to my system as the last beta I uploaded from Apple.

The reason I am looking forward to seeing this iOS 9 in action is that there are many improvements to the OS that pertain directly to iPad users.  I am one of those people that does a mixture of things with the iPad, from reading news, web surfing, streaming video from YouTube to Netflix, to creating PowerPoints with Keynote, and use the iPad to do the presentations with my LCD projector.  I have also used it to blog and create websites.

My ditched apps folder.

I am excited for iOS 9, as it is Apple’s long awaited promises to iPad users for improving and maximizing the iPad as a computer device.  So I have issues with some of Apple’s iOS software and Apple apps which I want to see if there are significant improvements in this update or if my biases and personal tastes will just be reinforced.  I am wondering if I will be adding any of the new apps in that “ditched apps folder” I created on my iPad for apps I don’t want to see or use, like Apple Maps, Apple Mail, Safari and others.  I will have to give them all a try and find out what I think about it all after.

The one thing I can tell you though,  is that I don’t like using iCloud and having everything coordinated with the cloud.  When I was setting up iOS 9 on my iPad I was prompted to save my passwords in the cloud, particularly, iCloud, which I loathe.  Of course I said no.  I would prefer users having the option of another cloud service instead of iCloud. Here you go, check out iOS 9, and take the challenge and download the beta.  There is info and the link for the beta at the bottom of the page.

YouTube has some great video to assist you with iOS 9.

Here are some iOS features I look to explore in iOS 9 on the iPad.

The user interface and navigation.

split-screen-multitaskingThis is about as close at it will be for Apple to regain ground from Android and Microsoft and their tablet OS’s and functionality.  Apple needs to make the iPad that mobile computing device that enterprise companies and individuals can actually use as a work device.  So, I anticipate the features, such as multi-screen support, and the increased ways of typing to come in handy and be quite useful in work related tasks.

The support feature for the various apps and double tapping the home button brings these up.  The “slide over” feature brings in a slimmed down version of the app for quick and easy access by the user, if you are wanting to do one of those quick texts or emails. The “split view” feature puts two fully functioning apps side-by-each.  Do you know how long we iPad users have been waiting for that??? I can’t wait to see it and use it.  I will be doing this a lot, and that I can guarantee you.

One thing that Apple advised when they announced the new iOS, is that all the new features will not be available for all the various models and generations of the iPad.  Only the iPad Air 2 gets access to them all.

This is a head scratcher for me.  Why?  Really.  Why?  Is this another one of Apple’s ploys to get people to upgrade to a new piece of hardware?  Is the hardware on the various iPads that much different?  I know they changed processors a few times, but really, you are telling me that only the iPad Air 2, has access to the whole set of new features of iOS 9?  To me that is a rip off. But hey, who am I but a paying consumer.  It irritates me to no end that there is never enough information as to why there are limits to features.  At least make an attempt to explain it to the buying public, especially your user base.  It is actions like this that make loyal users consider other OS alternatives. And Apple doesn’t want to go there.

The thing many of us have been waiting for is the multi-tasking that iOS 9 will allow us to finally experience.  There is a window for flipping between the apps you have open at the same time, and all you have to do is double tap the home button, and iOS lays them all out on top of each other like cards, and all you have to do is swipe the other way to move between the apps. That should make like sweeter, easier and a more user friendly experience.

Some will notice that a great deal of the “improvements” are not readily discernable. They are so to speak, under-the-hood.  But the look and feel of iOS 9 will be noticeable in that the system font is now San Francisco to match the Apple Watch.  Also noticeable are the new animations when flipping windows.

Changes with Siri.

Siri-in-iOS-9I don’t know how many people use Siri.  I rarely do. I don’t like machines that talk back to me. That aside, Siri continues to be upgraded and continues to be able to assist the user who needs assistance. Perhaps the best feature for all of us, is to simply ask Siri what the new features are, and Siri will show you a full list of the new features.

Apple News.

applenewsWhen Apple announced iOS 9 it announced the arrival of Apple News.  When I heard it as it was being presented, I rolled my eyes. I went, “Wow…. Would you look at that!  I wonder what Google News thinks?” I guess the best kind of flattery is to copy and create imitations of a competitor’s product,  that they have already essentially perfected.  There is no “wow” factor with this app.  It is just Apple’s attempt to have a “news reader” in iOS.  There are already a ton of news readers in the iTunes Store, and why would you switch from the one you are using?  Newsify is one of them, and it is in the iTunes Store.  There are a lot more apps of this kind if you are interested.  Two of the best are Flipboard and Feedly.  Flipboard gathers all the best news from the web from a variety of choices that you make, and best of all it is FREE.   Feedly has a traditional interface and keeps things fresh with its navigation elements.  Feedly will sync with your RSS feeds so that you can get all your news in the one app.

If you are looking for news feeds, this link will show you a lot that is available. I like the Reuters news feed.   Most RSS readers will take the link of the website you are wanting news from and pool news from there, especially your local and regional newspapers and magazines.

So enough on this Apple News app.  Try it out.  If you already have an app that does the job, you have to make the decision if you want to change.  I know there are arguments to be made about the iOS software and integration and its benefits.  Whatever you choose, you will make the choice that is best for you, and that is exactly the point of some of my comments.  I like choice.  I like have the option to make a choice and not have it made for me.

 By the way, here is a heads up.  The News App is not showing up for everyone!

The Notes app.
notesappApple has also made some improvement on the Notes app.  I use Notes all the time.  It is a handy little app and it is so good for just writing down that quick note in a fraction of time and you retain easy access to it.  The changes to Notes will surprise you.  It used to simply keep text as I mentioned, but it is now loaded with new features and it looks promising.  You can sketch in the app, get checklists, add photos, maps and URLs, as well as a notes extension to the share menu, which enables you to grab any content from the web or anywhere else, and put it straight into the app, and the big plus for all those “same ecosystem” disciples, it will sync across all your different devices.  Now for me, that currently means it will sync with my MacBook Pro and my iPad.  That works for me. J

I will keep you informed as I use my renewed iPad and iOS 9.

To download iOS 9 Beta, you will need to register with your iOS device with your Apple ID.  You will then have to download your iOS profile to your device, and install the beta update on it and then it will reboot with the new iOS 9 interface and then you will simply navigate the screens and you will be good to go.

Here is YouTube video on installing iOS 9 Beta.

~ Sam

Link to Apple for iOS 9 Beta: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/welcome

Link to iOS 9 Tidbits: http://www.macrumors.com/2015/07/08/ios-9-beta-3-tidbits/

Link to iOS 9  Walkthrough: http://www.redmondpie.com/ios-9-beta-features-hands-on-video-walkthrough/

Link to iOS 9 Everything you Need to Know: http://wccftech.com/ios-9/

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About Sam Buick

A lover and disciple of Jesus Christ. Married to my best friend, Lori-Anne. Father to 3 incredible daughters, Carragh, Caitlin and Erinn, and sons-in-law Alex, and Stephen Davis. An avid reader, a Droid user, a Mac addict, a lover of footy ball and football (there is a difference), and hockey. Once a soldier. Once a youth worker. Once an ordained minister. Once a claims adjuster. Once a charismatic, now a cessationist. Once a just war advocate, now a pacifist. A disciple of Christ, 5 point classical Calvinist. There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ alone.
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