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iOS 9: A Take Control Crash Course
Sep 16, 2015

iOS 9: A Take Control Crash Course

Come up to speed on iOS 9’s new features!

Guided by TidBITS Managing Editor Josh Centers, you’ll get a close look at iOS 9’s new (and old) capabilities on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, along with directions for putting them to use right away.

A What’s New chapter gives you an overview of iOS 9’s many changes — including those in Siri, Spotlight, and Safari. The rest of the book describes the details, such as how those with recent iPads can use the new Split Screen, Slide Over, and Picture in Picture multitasking views, plus how to use Mail’s new features, how iOS 9 helps you save battery power, the trick to finding the hidden iCloud Drive app, the iPad’s new Trackpad mode, and much more. Special topics cover Family Sharing, accessibility, privacy, and managing data usage.

More Info

Josh helps you use iOS more effectively than ever with advice on:

  • What to check after installing iOS 9
  • Which iPads support the new multitasking views
  • What to expect from the iPhone’s new Low Power mode
  • What the new Batteries widget does and how to display it
  • How to use a 4-digit passcode on a Touch ID device
  • Which cities have transit directions in Maps
  • Interpreting the icons in the Camera app’s viewfinder
  • Adding a person to a Messages group chat
  • Letting people through an iPhone’s Do Not Disturb cone of silence
  • Storing credit card details in Safari
  • Setting up Apple Pay in the new Wallet app
  • Entering and accessing emergency medical information
  • Customizing Spotlight’s search results so they work for you
  • Making Siri talk like a guy (or gal)
  • Telling Siri who you mean when you say “Call Mom”
  • Putting an outline around text “buttons” so they look like buttons

What’s a Crash Course? As part of our Crash Course series, this book splits the first-rate content you expect from Take Control into short chunks so you can dip in and read quickly. Because so many Take Control readers provide tech support to others, each concise chapter has sharing buttons and practical tweet-tips, making it easy to freely share a chapter with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others who really need the information. Take Control Crash Courses have a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF and a reflowable design in the EPUB and Mobipocket.


What devices will iOS 9 run on?

The minimum hardware requirements for running iOS 9 are the iPad 2, iPhone 4S, and fifth-generation iPod touch.

  1. Using Apple Pencil with Keynote for iOS

    In case you were wondering, the Apple Pencil, which is compatible with the iPad Pro (both 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models), works with Keynote on iOS. When you construct slides, however, the Pencil merely works much as your finger would if your finger had a precise point — because Keynote offers no freeform drawing option, you can’t sketch items on slides. Nonetheless you can use the Pencil, as you would your finger, to manipulate objects.

    Where the Pencil does comes in handy is when you use your iPad to present slides: with the Pencil you can use the markup tools to draw on a slide that is being presented. To reveal and choose the markup tools when you give a Keynote presentation from your iPad, press and hold briefly on the current slide.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  2. About Night Shift in iOS 9.3

    In iOS 9.3, Apple has added a new feature, called Night Shift, which reduces the amount of blue light emitted by your device’s screen. Many studies have indicated that exposure to blue light tricks your brain into thinking that it’s daytime, possibly both causing a variety of health problems and making it harder to fall asleep—see this Harvard Health Letter for more.

    A new button in Control Center lets you manually enable Night Shift, but if you visit Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift, you can automate when Night Shift turns on and off, and adjust the intensity of the effect. You can enter a set time, or, if you have Location Services enabled, you can set Night Shift to turn on at sunset and back off again at sunrise.

    For more coverage, see the TidBITS article iOS 9.3 Works the Night Shift, Protects Notes, and More.

    Note that Night Shift isn’t available on all devices that can run iOS 9.3. It requires an iPhone 5s or better, an iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, an iPad mini 2 or later, or a sixth-generation iPod touch.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  3. iOS 9.3 Adds Mid-cycle Features to iOS 9

    Apple has added several features to its mid-cycle iOS update in iOS 9.3. The update adds Wi-Fi calling for Verizon Wireless customers, a new Night Shift mode to prevent your screen from keeping you up at night, Touch ID and password protection for notes, PDF syncing in iBooks, and more. you can read all about it in the TidBITS article iOS 9.3 Works the Night Shift, Protects Notes, and More.

    Most users will want to install iOS 9.3 right away, because it also addresses a critical iMessage vulnerability that could let bad actors steal images sent over iMessage. Note, however, that a few users of older iOS devices, such as the iPad 2, have reported problems with installing the update, so if your device is long in the tooth, you may want to wait a week or so until Apple has a chance to investigate and resolve the issue.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  4. About Wi-Fi Assist in iOS 9

    In iOS 9, Apple introduced a new feature called Wi-Fi Assist, which is available on any cellular-capable device and is enabled by default. The idea behind it is that if the device’s Wi-Fi signal is unreliable, then it automatically switches to a cellular data connection, instead of trying to work with the wonky Wi-Fi connection. There are some limits on Wi-Fi Assist in order to prevent it from using too much data: audio and video won’t stream, background downloads are paused, and email attachments will not download.

    Despite those limits, many users have experienced high cellular data usage with Wi-Fi Assist enabled. If you have a problem with chewing through too much cellular data—or worry that you might—unless you have a specific need for Wi-Fi Assist, I highly recommend disabling it in Settings > Cellular. You’ll find the Wi-Fi Assist switch way at the bottom of the Cellular screen.

    Posted by Josh Centers (Permalink)

The Author

Josh Centers is the managing editor of TidBITS and a freelance writer who has written for Macworld, the Magazine, Boing Boing, and the Sweethome. He has been featured on Daring Fireball, the Loop, TUAW, and Scientific American, and is a frequent guest on MacVoices and the Tech Night Owl. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and children.