The Best Secret Features Of iOS 9

The Best Secret Features Of iOS 9

iOS 9 is here, and like most releases of iOS, sometimes the best features are those that are tucked away. So, while the new Notes app, News app, and other obvious improvements are great, let’s take a look at some of the lesser known stuff.

Art by Tara Jacoby.

Easily Disconnect from Bluetooth Devices

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

You can now disconnect from a Bluetooth device without totally forgetting the device or turning Bluetooth off. Just head to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the i icon next to the device, and tap “Disconnect.”

Customise the Colour and Font in Safari’s Reader View

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

Reader, the stripped-down article viewer built into Safari, is a great way to read an article without ads, buttons, or whatever junk a mobile site throws at you. In iOS 9, you can customise the look of it. Load an article in Safari, tap the Reader icon, and then tap the font icon in the address bar to get options for changing the colour, font size, font, and more.

Add an iCloud Drive App to the Home Screen

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

iOS 9 has finally brought a straightforward way to view your iCloud files in a directory format. Weirdly, it’s hidden by default. To enable an app for iCloud Drive, head to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive and check the “Show on Home Screen” button.

Select Multiple Photos Quickly

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

Want to quickly delete (or hide, or undelete, or move) photos from your library? Open up Photos, tap Select, then tap and hold while moving your your finger across multiple photos to select a bunch at once.

Plugging In Headphones Gives You Quick Access to Your Most Used Music App from the Lock Screen

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

Apple showed this off on stage during their keynote, but it’s one of those features that doesn’t make sense until you use it. When you plug in a set of headphones or plug your phone into a stereo, iOS automatically loads up the last thing you were listening to. This seems to work for any and all audio apps, not just Apple’s default apps. It also seems to know which headphones you use for what, as plugging my iPhone into my car pulled up Overcast even though Spotify was playing music last.

Wi-Fi Assist Automatically Switches Between Wi-Fi and Cellular Data

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

Live in a house or work in an office with unreliable Wi-Fi? You can now enable a setting where your iPhone will automatically switch over to cellular when the Wi-Fi connection sucks. Head to Settings > Cellular and scroll all the way down the “Wi-Fi Assist” and make sure it’s turned on.

Quickly Access Flight Info

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

You can now get a quick look at flight info you receive in Messages, an email, in your Notes app, or just about anywhere else. When you get a flight number, iOS will detect it and underline it. Tap the underlined link, tap Preview Flight, and you’ll see up to date info on the flight.

Apple Maps Will Redirect You When Traffic Changes

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

Apple Maps has had plenty of problems over the years, and one of the biggest is the fact it doesn’t reroute you when traffic conditions change. Now, it finally does. When you’re driving, you’ll get an alert that a faster route is available. Tap the Go button to take it.

Unknown Numbers Are Cross-Referenced with Your emails

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

iOS 9 now pokes around in your email to find phone numbers. When you get a call from an unknown number, the software will search through your email to see if anyone’s included that in their signature. If they have, it will show up when they try to call you.

Install Updates Later

The Best Secret Features of iOS 9

If you don’t have time to install an iOS update right away, you can tell your phone to do it later. After you download it, you’ll be asked if you want to install it later. The update will attempt to install between 2am-4am.


  • Here’s a tip: iMessages now sends when you hit enter on a Bluetooth keyboard!

    Used to have to either tap screen send, or jailbreak hack command-enter to send …


  • Maybe I’m missing something but on the Wi-Fi Assist you say to go to “Settings > Cellular”
    My phone doesn’t have a “cellular” section?

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!