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The Pros and Cons of Apple’s Latest iOS 9 for iPhones and iPads

As an Apple fanboy, Mihir Fadnavis lists down the pros and cons of iOS 9.

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Last year’s iOS 8 was a disaster. My primary phone was an Android and the Lollipop OS elevated the handset to another level in terms of functionality, while the update on my secondary iPhone almost killed it.

The battery life tanked, the UI became laggy and the storage space was reduced to half. Not exactly an ‘update’ in any way.

I wasn’t the only one upset. There was a public outcry, and it looks like Apple fixed its ways with iOS 9.

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No Lag

As an Apple fanboy, Mihir Fadnavis lists down the pros and cons of iOS 9.
Apple iPhone 6 and the New iPad. (Photo: Apple)

On an iPhone 6 Plus, there is not a shred of lag with the iOS 9 update. Swiping through screens is buttery smooth.

The boot time has also been reduced by about 20 percent, and overall, the phone does feel newer and lighter in your hand. Thankfully the camera opens as fast and takes pictures at the same speed and quality as before.

Some users report that older phones like the iPhone 5 are experiencing a bit of lag, but is still less intrusive compared to the hell they went through with iOS 8.

Ad Blocking Enabled

Apple is like a mean kid – they’ve now enabled Ad Blocking, but only on the Safari browser. If you’re using Safari as your primary browser you’re in luck, but those who depend on Chrome for their activities are still stuck.

Also, most of the ad blocking apps cost money, which is hilariously ironic. Just yesterday an ad blocking app ‘Pure’ shut down because the guy who built the app apparently could not take the guilt of charging money for an ad blocker.

There is also still no sign of making Chrome the default browser – we’ll just have to wait for iOS 25 for that to happen.

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Enhanced Notes

As an Apple fanboy, Mihir Fadnavis lists down the pros and cons of iOS 9.
Apple iPhone 6 and the New iPad. (Photo: Apple)

Those who shifted from Android to Apple can breathe easy now. The default Notes app is now quite like Google Keep, and since the latter is not available on the app store, the former is a welcome change.

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Improved Battery Life

While users are reporting better battery life on older models, I did not notice any significant improvement in the 6 and 6 Plus in day-to-day normal usage. If you benchmark stuff, you’ll surely find some numbers, but the end user doesn’t benchmark his phone – he uses his phone – and having an extra 20 minutes on daily usage is hardly any ‘significant’ improvement.

What is actually great is the new Low Power mode, which shuts down some animations, throttles CPU usage and saves battery when the juice is low. It’s not as great a feature as Samsung’s Power Save mode where things go black and white but is still a nice feature to have when both you and your phone are crying at 1 percent battery.

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Multi-tasking Disaster

As an Apple fanboy, Mihir Fadnavis lists down the pros and cons of iOS 9.
Multitasking on iPhone 6 on iOS 9. (Photo: Mihir Fadnavis)

Did Apple blow it with multi-tasking? For a company that talks so much about great user experience, Apple really messed things up with app switching.

Earlier when one pressed the home button twice you got a plain view of the apps in use, and you could shift through them as you pleased. With iOS 9, you now get some sort of a card-like view, which you can browse through to open the app of your choice. On Android you have a similar functionality where you look at your apps by scrolling from top to bottom; here you scroll from side to side.

As an Apple fanboy, Mihir Fadnavis lists down the pros and cons of iOS 9.
Apple iPhone 6 and the New iPad. (Photo: Apple)

However, on Android it feels like you’re peering into a drawer from the top, so looking through things becomes easier. Also, with one-handed use moving one’s thumb to flick apps vertically is intuitively easier. On iOS 9 it’s a weird sideways drawer that makes your thumb do a weird sideways movement.

Moreover, you no longer get a clear picture of what apps are actually open. Earlier in iOS 8 you could get a plain view of three apps open and you could straightaway jump to whichever you liked.

Now these recent app cards are placed so close to each other that you have to tap and scroll to find out which is which, before you go to the app of your choice. Precious 2-3 seconds and extra clicks are wasted.

As a ham-handed attempt Apple now has a ‘back’ button for smoother multi-tasking. If you’re in a particular app, and you click the link which takes you to another app, you get a ‘back’ button that can take you back to the previous app without hitting the multi-tasking button. It’s lame, to say the least.

(Mihir Fadnavis is a film critic and columnist at The Quint and various other publications. He is perpetually nostalgic about the 90s, hates 3D and is an Apple Fanboy.)

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