17 secret iOS 9 tricks everyone should know


iOS 9 has tons of little tweaks waiting for you.
iOS 9 has tons of little tweaks waiting for you.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Once you get your iPhone upgraded to iOS 9, you might be overwhelmed. While Apple’s new mobile OS doesn’t pack a lot of grand new visual features, the update does include tons of little tricks that make using your iPhone and iPad even more ridiculously easy to use.

Here are all the secret iOS 9 tricks every user should know:

Turn off Siri suggestions

Siri’s suggestions are kind of hit-and-miss. If you’d rather not see them at all, you can disable them by going to Settings >> General >> Spotlight Search >> Siri Suggestions, toggle off.

Turn on Low Power Mode manually

Don’t wait until your battery hits 20 percent to start conserving battery power. Flip on Power Reserve Mode manually by going to Settings >> General >> Battery >> Low Power Mode.

Find Apple Pay vendors in Maps


When searching for restaurants and other vendors in Apple Maps, there’s now an indicator that shows whether they accept Apple Pay.

Stream hi-fi Apple Music when using LTE

If you want to hear high-quality tunes 24/7 on Apple Music, no matter whether you’re on Wi-Fi or LTE, you can now toggle the 256-Kbps setting under Settings >> Music >> Playback & Downloads.

Put iCloud drive on your home screen


iCloud Drive isn’t installed as a stock iOS 9 app, but you can still put it on your home screen. Head over to Settings >> iCloud >> iCloud Drive and flip the Show on Home Screen toggle.

Tell Siri to remind you about what you’re looking at

If there’s something on your screen you’d like to be reminded about, like a website, doctor’s appointment or email, you can now ask Siri to “remind me about this” and she’ll automatically create a reminder by scanning the page for all the info.

Select multiple photos at once


You don’t have to tap individual photos to select them for deletion anymore. Just tap Select in the upper right-hand corner of the Photos app, then tap any photo and drag your finger over the other photos you want to select.

Zoom in on videos

In iOS 9 you can zoom in on a video the same way you would a photo.

Hide unsavory pics


If you have some photos you don’t want your friend to see when they’re borrowing your iPhone, you can hide them now. Just tap the Share button, then the Hide button at the bottom of your screen. Your naughty pics will be hidden from view.

Use Wi-Fi Assist to fix slow speeds


If your Wi-Fi network is super-slow, you can have your iPhone automatically switch to faster LTE speeds by going to Settings >> Cellular >> Wi-Fi Assist.

Change your HD video speeds

To increase your video quality, simply switch from 30 FPS to 60 FPS HD video capture. Go to Settings >> Photos & Camera >> Record Video >> 1080p HD 60 FPS to turn it on.

Search Photos with Siri

Don’t want to dig through your Camera Roll to find the pics you took in Hawaii? Ask Siri to do it by telling her to show you pictures of a certain place or date.

Shut Siri p


Sometimes you just wish Siri would stay quiet (like during the movies). You can now turn off Siri’s voice feedback when your mute switch is turned to silent. Just go to Settings >> General >> Siri >> Voice Feedback, then select Control with Ring Switch.

Get transit directions

If you live in Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Toronto or Washington, you can now get public transit directions in Apple Maps.

Un-animate the keyboard


Jony Ive finally fixed the iOS keyboard’s odd shift key by adding a lowercase letter animation. If you find that distracting, you can shut it off by going to Settings >> Accessibility >> Keyboard >> Show Lowercase Keys >> toggle off.

Choose which apps you want in Spotlight Search

Not all apps really need to be searched by the universal Spotlight. To avoid searching certain apps, go to Settings >> General >> Spotlight Search, and toggle off the apps you don’t want to show up in queries.

Draw sketches in Notes app


One of the best new upgrades to the Notes app is that you can draw sketches directly on your notes. To do this, just hit the squiggly line icon in the bottom right of an open note.

  • dcj001

    “If you got some photos you don’t want your friend to see when they’re borrowing your found you can now hide them.”

    “borrowing your found”


    • Storm

      “If you find that distracting, you can turn it off But if the case-changing letters are too distracting, you can shut it off”

      I think CoM sacked all their proofreaders some time ago…

      • RyanTV

        CoM has NEVER had proofreaders. You’d be hard pressed to find a single post that doesn’t need some serious editing.

      • Nathan

        They do not. I’ve actually emailed them about one specific “writer” and they said they write so many articles and push them out at such a speed, they can’t have proofreaders… lol

      • Tee-Jay

        “Just tap Select in the upper right hand corner of the photos app, then app and photo and drag your finger over the other photos you want to select.”

        Sorry what? Lol

    • Daniel Krause

      Damn auto-correct!

  • dminorsound

    HD video 60fps is only on iPhone 6 models…my 5s doesn’t have the option.

  • Twinkiebunnie

    What do I do I can’t seem to find the news app on my phone?

    • Robert Thomson

      Only available in the US I believe. If you change your country settings to US it will show up.

    • Jon Millwood

      It’s USA only for the News app.

  • you can dismiss photos you’re viewing in messages by swiping down now

  • Jesse Hayges

    Don’t ask me why, ’cause I really don’t know, but the first two times I saw the photo associated with this post I thought that they were showing some new feature that Apple had snuck into Multitasking that wasn’t present in the beta. Turns out, upon further examination, that the thing at the far right was actually his homescreen… ooops.

  • Chris

    One other “trick” that is one of my personal favorites is the recorded steps data in the health app are organized by each day instead of by random moments. Now you can see how many steps you take each day and compare them to previous days without a third party app.

  • Michelle Knight

    I believe the glitch on the iphone that allowed you to hide apps on your home screen has been fixed. Damn you Apple!!

  • Paige Brownlie

    Ditto there

  • julieswhimsies

    I can’t remove the keyboard screen from my Facebook page when scrolling. Gah!

  • Help

    My apps keep turning the data off I can’t use them at all. How do I fix it? Restored factory settings already

    • Mariah Andrews

      I have the same issue.

    • Cat

      I’m having the same problem. When I updated all apps whose cellular data was toggled to the on position work fine. All those that were toggled off when I updated can no longer be used. I can toggle them on, but the instant I leave settings they reset and turn off rendering them unusable. It isn’t just third party apps doing it either, it includes things like the app store and facetime.

      • kopaka7

        I’ve had the same problem and reinstalling the apps didn’t fix it. I thought I was having network problems.

  • Jon Millwood

    Wi-Fi assist isn’t showing for me? Is it network specific?

    • Danielle Borrelli

      Mine either.. There is a few “new features I am unable to get?

      • Jon Millwood

        I found it, you need to scroll all the way down below the app toggles for mobile data.

        Also the News app is USA only.

  • Jon Millwood

    The message about using the new notes mentioned upgrading on iPad and OS X, could try getting latest versions on everything and seeing if it works?

  • Open your Notes app, press the back button so you go all the way back to the Folders page and select either iCloud or On My iPhone :)

    • kyle

      i have mine on icloud now but it doesnt seem to work either.. it only seems to work when its localized to my iphone. which does me no good if i want to have my notes upload to icloud and have them accessible on my mac.

    • richard blakemore

      After this you must hit “upgrade” and go through the “Welcome to Notes”

  • MyNameIsURL

    The only one I didn’t know on the list was “tell Siri to remind you about what you’re looking at”, thanks for that. Handy.

  • Chris Cheedie

    Hoping someone may have an answer to this … after the update I understand while in messages we should now be able to see either the circle with initials or our contacts picture .. that is not working for me. Any suggestions?

    • Michelle Tan

      What iPhone are you using? I am using a 5c. Not working also. They said all iPhones must be able to have this after iOS upgrade.

      • Chris Cheedie

        iphone 6

  • Don’t have the battery icons or percentages in the notification area. Wonder why??

  • Faith Love

    There is no “squiggly line” in my Notes to hit.

    • Zack

      Upgrade your notes..

      • Irene Porter

        I have upgraded to IO9.
        I also have no squiggly line although other new features are there.

      • Clarence Yu

        Try creating a new folder, then it will appear. If you see a keyboard, swipe it down

    • Ant

      Are you on 4S? If so, then it won’t have it. :(

  • Adler Weber

    DONT MESS AROUND WITH YOUR SIM CARD SETTINGS IN IOS 9!!! I accidentally locked my SIM card and now I need to contact Verizon.

  • Laus

    How do you remove the recent contacts from app switcher? I can’t find the option that was available in iOS 8

  • Rombout

    Any else missing the swipe right on 4s?

    • Ant

      4S doesn’t have it anymore. :(

  • Rombout

    also select with 2 fingers doesnt work on iphone

  • Can anyone confirm if draw sketch on Notes app is missing in 4S ?

    • agree, here’s 4S and there’s no drawing :(
      Apple as always…

      • Ant

        4S’ Notes app doesn’t have sketch. Apple said that somewhere. :(

    • Ant

      4S’ Notes app doesn’t have sketch. Apple said that somewhere. :-(

  • Apple always finds a way to make things easier and usefull. But one problem remain, what about all the bugs caused by all those new iOS versions that are still not solved?

    • Ant

      And we have more bugs from v9. ;)

  • arbus

    Turn on Low Power Mode manually:
    Don’t wait until your battery hits 20% to start conserving battery power. Flip Power Reserve Mode on manually by going to Settings >> General >> Battery >> Low Power Mode.

    I don’t see this setting under General >> Battery >> – I’m using iOS9 on a iPod Touch 6

    • Lorena Bravo

      it’s in Settings > fifth icon below General

      • arbus

        There is no setting there either for Low Power Mode.

  • JP

    All these “upgrades” and you still cant move your Springboard icons where you want them. Guess I stay Jail Broken…

  • Christie Locke

    I can’t find the wifi assist or the low power setting you suggested. They do not exist in the places you mentioned (on my ipad anyway!)

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    On the headline picture there is a sidebar with apps. HOWWWWW