iOS 9: What’s new?

Last updated: 21 December 2015


iOS 9: What’s new?

With the new iPhone comes the hotly-anticipated updated operating system, iOS 9. The latest Apple operating system is available on all iPhones, iPads and iPods that currently run iOS 8; so if you haven’t got your hands on an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus yet, or you haven’t upgraded your current software, here - in bite-size chunks - is what you’re missing:

  • Multi-tasking made easy.

    If you love your apps, you can wave goodbye to the frustrations of the past. With iOS 9, switching between your favourite apps is a breeze.

    In iOS 8 the large app previews make it tricky to see how many apps you’ve got running, but in iOS 9 the smaller previews are stacked like a deck of cards, so you can flick through your open apps more easily, and quickly get the gist of how many you’ve got open at one time.
  • A new, improved Siri.

    Siri looks more colourful in iOS 9 and the content is displayed better - but there’s a lot more going on under the surface that makes this tool one step ahead of the iOS 8 version.

    Siri understands a wider range of requests and she’s much more proactive. Instead of being the type of personal assistant that reacts to your prompts, she’ll now recognise your location, along with the time and the date, so she can present you with much more relevant information.

    It’s like having your very own Miss Moneypenny.
  • Apple Maps brings you Transit.

    The Apple Maps app is better than ever in iOS 9, thanks to Transit.

    This nifty feature is currently available in London (among other international destinations) and gives you all the public transport info you could possibly need when you’re planning a journey.

    You’ll be able to see train, tube, ferry, subway or bus options and each route is customised for the city you’re in.
  • Spotlight Search.

    Spotlight Search gives you a more relevant search functionality that’s tailored to you and takes into account your location, time and date.

    You'll see videos in your search results, and you can play them without leaving the search screen.
  • News app.

    With iOS 9 you’ll get a brand new app on your homescreen: News. News gives you breaking stories that are taken from various sources, and puts them in one place for you to digest.

    The more you use this app, the more it recognises the kind of stuff you’re interested in, and it starts to customise the type of stories you receive to make sure you never miss an update on anything.
  • Battery life.

    When it comes to saving power on your iPhone, it’s a something we all need some pointers with. We don’t always remember to turn off WiFi and Bluetooth, or shut down the apps running in the background.

    With iOS 9 there’s an easier way to conserve some of that battery juice though. Apple has introduced a ‘low power mode’, which should give you approximately three hours of extra use.

    And according to Apple, iOS 9 actually makes your iPhone more efficient and gives you an extra hour of use compared to devices on iOS 8 anyway. Winning.
  • Experience 3D Touch.

    According to Apple, 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is ‘the next generation of multi-touch’, taking touchscreens to a whole new level.

    3D Touch on iOS 9 allows you to interact with your iPhone in different ways according to how much pressure you apply. And you can use Quick Actions to navigate more quickly and easily around app menus.

    You can even turn your keyboard into a trackpad, so you get the precision of a cursor. Simply press your keyboard when you’re in apps like Notes, Messenger and Mail, and the keys disappear and it starts to behave like a trackpad.


And this is just the start; there’s so much more to explore with iOS 9.

If you want to experience all the benefits for yourself, why not pop into your nearest Three store and have a play with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, where you can play with iOS 9 on live devices.

If you’re not ready to upgrade your current iPhone, make sure you upgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 9 on your current device. It’s easy to do, just go to Settings and select ‘Software Update’. We’ve got some more info on updating your software, just in case you get stuck.