Most days, it’s probably pretty damn good to be Apple.
Today, however, isn’t one of them.
The release of Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 9, did occur today as planned; though, not without fairly significant hiccups. Following the noon CDT availability of iOS 9, the operating system became a top trending topic on Twitter — unfortunately, not because people were impressed with the latest improvements by Apple.
Rather, thousands of users were experiencing “Software Update Failed” notifications for several hours after initial attempts. While I held off about 5 hours before initiating the software upgrade — and didn’t have any real issues — iOS 9 took a good hour-plus to fully download and install; showing just how many must have been attempting upgrades simultaneously.
Once installed, though, I have found the updates to iOS mostly positive. Apple has changed the default font on iOS 9 over to it’s “San Francisco”, created for the limited screen size on the Apple Watch. Passbook has been renamed “Wallet”, and Apple Pay is now available by double-tapping the Home button when the iPhone is locked. Wallet also now reportedly supports store rewards & credit cards (though, I’ve had my Walgreens card in there for quite some time, so I’m not sure how “new” these feature will seem to some).
Public transit information has returned to the native iPhone maps app in iOS 9 as well. One of the most impressive iPhone iOS 9 capabilities, in my opinion, is a “Low Power Mode” toggle for when your juice is running out. Low Power Mode allows for extended battery life by cutting certain background tasks, such as mail fetch, background app refresh, and automatic downloads.
iOS 9 users will also notice a new “back” button in-app (for those times that apps kick you out to others), an updated “multi-tasking” view to close unused apps, and a keyboard update that changes letters from lowercase to capital when hitting Shift.
iPad owners will receive some of the biggest benefits from iOS 9, as the company’s tablet will now allow for better multi-tasking through side-by-side screen capability, picture-in-picture video, and even a rudimentary Trackpad on the iPad’s keyboard.
The only downside to iOS 9 that I can see at the moment is the addition of even more (un-deletable) Apple bloatware. While the new, customizable News app is nice (and, bonus, free content), Find Friends and Find My iPhone are neither necessary nor useful (especially in the case of the latter app).
In other disappointing news, the long awaited WatchOS 2 for the Apple Watch was so buggy at the time of the iOS 9 release that it has been delayed indefinitely. Beta users were experiencing severe battery drain — to the tune of 70% in just a few hours of use — and Apple decided to pull the plug on the software upgrade before launch. No word at this time when WatchOS 2 will finally see the light of day.