Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

15 hidden features in iOS 9

Updated Dec 27th, 2019 12:15AM EST
iOS 9 Features

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

After months of waiting and watching as sites like BGR showed you all the great new iOS 9 features you didn’t have access to yet, the time has finally arrived: iOS 9 has been released. The new OS is better, faster, more efficient and more capable than its predecessors, and you need to install it right away. Trust me — it’s so good it has me wondering why I still use Android.

We’ve already told you about the best new features in iOS 9, but there are plenty of nifty new additions that aren’t quite as obvious. So, in this post, we’ll cover 15 great hidden features in Apple’s new iOS 9 software, and you’ll definitely want to try them all.

Battery widget: There’s a new widget available for the Notification Center’s Today view that will show you the remaining charge of your iPhone and any connected Apple Watch. Just scroll to the bottom of the Today pane and tap edit to add it.

Battery usage details: iOS 9 gives you access to a whole new dimension of information when it comes to determining which apps are hogging your battery life. Go to Settings > Battery and you’ll see some great details under Battery Usage. Apps that use background refresh will be highlighted, and you can also tap the clock button at the top of the list to see exactly how long each app was sucking up your precious battery charge.

Quick calling and messaging: This is a great one — when you search for a contact using Spotlight (swipe down from the middle of any home screen or swipe right from your first home screen), you’ll now see buttons to quickly call or message contacts without having to open the Phone or Contacts apps.

Disable lowercase keys: Do you want to disable one of the best new features on Apple’s new iOS 9 keyboard? Head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Keyboard and slide the toggle next to Show Lowercase Keys to off. Now you’ll be back to the way things were in iOS 8, and you’ll have no idea when your shift key is on.

Mail Markup: In iOS 9’s new Mail app, you can draw on images that you attach to emails. Simply tap and hold on a photo after you’ve added it as an attachment, and select Markup.

Hide multiple naked selfies at once: iOS 8 lets you hide photos from prying eyes, but you have to do it one at a time. In iOS 9, you can finally hide all of your risque photos at once. In your camera roll, tap Select and choose all of the images you want to hide. Then tap the button in the bottom-left corner to open up the share sheet, and choose Hide.

Search in Settings: Just like Android, iOS is getting overwhelmed with dozens upon dozens of different settings. Beginning in iOS 9, however, there’s now a search bar at the top of the screen that let’s you quickly find what you’re looking for instead of having to dig through all of the subsections within Settings.

Stop Wallet from opening on your lock screen: By default, iOS 9 enables a new feature that lets you double-tap the home button on your lock screen to open Wallet. Of course, Apple Pay and other Wallet features appear on their own when you need them to, so this feature will be little more than an annoyance for many users. To disable it, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and slide the toggle next to Wallet to off.

New view in Health: Open the Health app and tilt your phone to landscape. Trust us, it’s awesome.

Shut down the shake: Shake to undo is a crucial feature for many users, but others do really make use of it. As a result, it’s little more than an annoyance that pops up by accident from time to time. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Shake to Undo and slide the toggle to off to disable the feature.

iCloud Drive app: You could use iOS 9 forever and never realize that there’s a brand new app in there that’s hidden from sight by default. Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive and slide the toggle next to “Show on Home Screen” to on for access to Apple’s new iCloud Drive app.

Change the function of the mute switch: In Settings > General you’ll now see an option to configure your iPhone’s hardware switch so that it controls either muting or screen rotation. This option was previously only available on the iPad.

New voices: Apple’s “Speak Selection” feature is a great one that many users take advantage of, and now there are new voice options available. Head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Voices and select your language to check out the new voice options.

Reader Mode enhancements: You can now customize the look and feel of Apple’s nifty Reader Mode feature in Safari. Just open a webpage in Reader Mode and tap the “Aa” button in the address bar to change the background color, font and more.

Quick Reply enhancements: That’s right — all apps now have access to the Quick Reply feature that allows users to send replies to messages by pulling down on a notification when it appears at the top of the screen. Finally!

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.