iOS 9 is an incremental update to iOS 8 which focuses on improving performance and stablizing the user experience rather than revamping the user interface. A week after iOS 9 was released, Apple started rolling out two swift mini-updates, iOS 9.0.1 and iOS 9.0.2, in order to fix bugs and issues that users had been having with the new OS. We’ve done a bug summary for iOS 9 already so if you’re having bug issues, you can check that out to see if there’s any way you cani mprove your iOS 9 user experience. This time around, we’ll be taking a look at all the features that Apple seemingly forgot to include in iOS 9, and did so without thinking too much.
iOS 9 features a lot of new tools and functions, but Apple still didn’t implement a few things that should have been a given for any mobile operating system, some a long time ago even. Apple haters have always had a point when saying that Android is ahead of iOS when it comes to features, and that is still evident with iOS 9 and the iPhone 6S family of devices. A few of the issues that iOS 9 has are minor and have workarounds, but the fact that the company did not give enough attention to them, even though they’re small features proves that iOS 9 still has a long way to go before it’s perfect.
One of the most annoying missing iOS 9 features is the lack of customization when it comes to the home screen. One outrageous missing feature is icon placement. Unless your entire home screen is filled with icons and apps, you cannot move and arrange your icons according to your preferences, and that’s a big no-no for any user interface on any smart device. The choice of a static home screen can be explained away by Apple’s desire to make iOS 9 easy to use, but such a minor feature should have been part of the system anyway. Users like to have their home screens looking like their own, regardless of what software they’re using. Many fans of the company see the constant ignoring of such a menial, small request as an affront to sensible users and sensible requests on the part of Apple, and I agree. Moving icons around on your own home screen is not such a big deal and the next iOS 9 update, most likely iOS 9.1 (coming in a few weeks, apparently) should add the functionality, otherwise opinions of iOS 9 will remain below average – at least from a customization standpoint.
Still within the UI aspect of iOS 9, we can find yet another omission: changing wallpapers. While Android users can easily change their wallpapers with a few taps, iOS 9 users are going to have to dedicate quite a few minutes to choosing a new wallpaper. That’s because Apple still hasn’t come up with a way to simplify customizing the home screen, like Google did. Instead of long-pressing the screen and going into wallpaper settings like on Android, iOS 9 users have to go to Settings, then General, then Wallpapers and then go through a few additional menus until they can change their wallpaper. This process is tedious, cumbersome, and overall – a hassle. Apple should change that swiftly if it wants people not to hate on iOS 9.
Another surprisingly counter-productive “feature” in iOS 9 is switching between video recording modes. The new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus finally have support for 4K recording, which is tremendous news for all iPhone fans. While handsets like the LG G3 had 4K recording almost two years ago, the iPhone family had been left behind when it comes to video recording features. By adding in 4K recording to the iPhone 6S camera, Apple stepped up the game. It also took a step backward, though, seeing as switching between 1080p recording and 4K recording is nearly impossible. Ok, it’s not impossible, but it’s cumbersome as hell and there’s no reason why it should be this way.
Instead of adding a switching button or slider to the camera app in iOS 9, Apple decided to tuck the settings that control video resolution away in the Settings menu. Many see this as a rookie move and believe iOS 9 suffered a blow in user experience with this choice. In order to enable or disable 4K recording on the iPhone 6S, users have to go to Settings, then proceed to scroll until they find the camera app and its settings and modify recording resolution there. Wouldn’t it have been a hundred times simpler to put a toggle for 4K recording in the camera app like every other manufacturer does? This one UI choice that Apple made in iOS 9 is laughable, and should be fixed in iOS 9.1.
Speaking of the camera app (about which you can read up on in our iPhone 6S vs Galaxy S6 camera comparison), it has another minor flaw in iOS 9. With the new version of the OS and the improved camera on the iPhone 6S family, Apple added a new mode to the camera app: Live Photo. Live Photo is essentially a 3 second animation that your smartphone will create if you tell it to. It’s got sound and everything and occupies about 4 MB of space for each Live Photo. Other devices that have similar Live Photo features in Android have a way of showing users a preview of these photos – or at least identify them somehow. iOS 9 doesn’t have such a feature.
Live Photos show up in galleries just like normal photos, so unless you tap a picture to actually see it full-size, you won’t know which of the photos in your reel are Live Photos and which are normal ones. That’s not such a big thing, but when trying to do bulk actions in your library, it might prove to be a cumbersome task. Since Live Photos occupy more space than regular ones, one would try and remove them from their physical storage and leave them in their iCloud libraries instead. That could be easily done with a bulk removal process, but unfortunately, that would take a long time because one can’t identify live photos in iOS 9 based on thumbnails or previews. iOS 9. should include a small upgrade in order to fix this feature – a small watermark to differentiate between photo types would be enough.
The last annoying iOS 9 issue involves notifications. When one thinks of notifications on any platform, they expect these to be easily dismissable. That’s because many of us have apps that send notifications that we dismiss immediately – such as an app being updated, a message being sent, a connection being made, a reminder, a temperature alert and the list goes on. In iOS 9, in order to dismiss a notification, first you have to tap on the X button next to the notification. Then, that action will turn the X into a Clear button which you then have to tap once more to get rid of notifications. If you have 10 notifications sitting there and none of them interest you and you want to get rid of everything because reasons, then you’re in once again for a couple of minutes of hassle. That’s because there’s no clear all notifications button included in the pull-down menu of iOS 9. Why??
Although iOS 9 brought on a slew of optimized and new features and improved the overall user experience by quite a lot, catching up with Android in the meantime in certain areas, the user interface of the new mobile operating system still needs improvement. What’s truly annoying is that all the things mentioned above are minor, small, almost insignificant tweaks that could be implemented in a matter of hours. Apple choosing not to do it seems spiteful and uncalled for. Hopefully, iOS 9.1 willmake the entire experience a bit easier to get used to. Do you have any pet peeve “features” in iOS 9? Tell us about them in the comments below!