iOS 9 Beta

Last night, I updated all of my devices to iOS 9 Beta and OS X El Capitan Beta. Here are my initial reactions to iOS 9 Beta. I will update this post as I continue to use it, and as more updates are released.

News

I like the News app on my iPhone, but I like it even more on my iPad. This is an app that I am going to use a lot. It is far better than having my email cluttered with newsletters from my favorite news sources, while still getting to read the articles that I want.

It is still in beta however, so some news sources haven’t optimized their content for the app. I can’t even find CNET and some sources, like MacRumors, I could find on my iPhone but not on my iPad. Which leads me to another thing; even though I said I wanted to sync the News app with iCloud, I had to set it up on both of my devices.

I would also like to be able to customize the mix. A simple “See more from” and “See less from” would suffice, but a settings interface with sliders would be awesome.

iPhone6_3-Up_iOS9-WEBSiri, Search, and App Switching

Siri is more colorful and search is more helpful. However, I do not get the “head start” as expected, with relevant people, suggested apps, places nearby, and in the news. In fact, I get nothing, just a blank screen with the search bar. This is disappointing, especially since I have lost the recent contacts in the new app switcher.

I like the new app switcher, although not any more or less than the previous one. The home screen is always the farthest right instead of the most left “app,” which will take some getting used to. In addition to the home screen, I think Spotlight Search deserves an “app” screen of its own—especially now that it is even more powerful than before—but alas, it still doesn’t.

Miscellaneous

Siri now provides feedback through vibration instead of sounds. For example, on iOS 8, Siri gives a “ding” telling you start talking, and another “ding” when it is done listening. In iOS 9, the phone vibrates when it is done listening.

The new San Francisco font is beautiful. The keyboard now is uppercase only with shift which Android (and other) users will say is a long-awaited bug fix. However, it will take some getting used to and I prefer the old way.

One major flaw with iOS 9 Beta is that everything, except phone calls and text messages, doesn’t work unless connected to WiFi. I didn’t realize how big this is, until I tried to use Siri to send a text message while I was driving this morning. She just said that there was a problem connecting. When I was stopped, I looked and saw full bars. So I opened the Feedback app to send this information to Apple, and Feedback told me it couldn’t connect to the network. This better get fixed quick, or I will have to switch back to iOS 8.

Family Guy crashes upon launch. This is no surprise as it is an app poorly designed and prone to errors. However, it is my number one game so I hope it gets fixed soon.

What would you like to see improved in iOS 9? Leave a comment below.

 

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