I'll admit it: I didn't update my iPhone's operating system until today. But you know what? There are so many cool ways to use iOS9, I'm kind of kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Maybe your phone is still on iOS8 (or earlier!), too. I get it — updating your phone takes a while (it took me a half hour!) (and you can't read your text messages during that time! Egad!), plus new phone updates can be a little difficult to get used to. But I will say, a bunch of the new features made me really glad I made the change.
We've covered some of the iOS9 updates before — for instance, there are are huge changes to the Notes section, which is now more like Apple's version of Evernote; Spotlight Search has gotten a major upgrade; and Siri will now respond to queries like "Show me photos of Juan in Guatemala in 2006" or "Remind me of Juan's new address when I get to La Aurora International Airport." (In this specific example you had a passionate fling with a man named Juan in Guatemala in 2006 and you're feeling wistful.) But while those features are undoubtedly snazzy, there are plenty of others that are just as cool. Here are seven features I guarantee you're going to be grateful for right away, and exactly how you can get the most mileage out of them:
1. Turn Your Phone Into an Actually Convincing Magazine Reader
Look at how nice that looks! The new News app is basically Apple making a nicer-looking Feedly — but just for select sites, not everything with an RSS feed. Luckily, yes, you can read Bustle on the app (if, for some reason, you don't already have Bustle's very own app installed). Beautifully.
2. Search Restaurants by Category in Apple Maps
You know how you generally use Yelp for the totally basic function of seeing what businesses are nearby? Now you can do the same thing with Apple Maps. Just type in something like "Coffee" or "Movies" and Apple will show everything that fits in those categories near you, clearly laid out on a map. And speaking of Yelp...
3. Easily Find Yelp Reviews of Businesses
When you tap on a location in Apple Maps, you now get a mini version of Yelp, complete with the starred summary, photos, a check-in button, and the hours. How wonderfully useful!
4. Navigate Public Transit In a Whole Bunch of Places
Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Mexico City, London, Berlin, Toronto and 300 cities in China now have access to transit instructions through Apple Maps. Navigating from Bryant Park to Washington Heights? No problem!
5. Switch Between Apps With Ease and Speed
It's a simple thing, but the new app switcher (which, as always, you get to by double-clicking the home button) lets you see more of each screen you're switching between, which can make figuring out what app needs your attention a breeze. (Have fun reading my emails here!) Also cool: The handoff button on the bottom of the screen. If you've turned on Handoff — and you really should, along with Airdrop — you can use this to easily open the web page you have open on your computer on your phone and vice versa.
6. Call your Mom Fast
The minute you see your mom write a passive-aggressive Facebook status about how her kids don't call her enough, swipe a finger down your phone from the middle part of the screen. You'll access a search bar here that lets you dig through contacts quickly, and call, message, or FaceTime right from the search screen. You can also use the search bar to search the web and quickly see what locations are nearby.
7. Find Your Selfies Quickly
Fun fact: The new iOS automatically puts all photos taken with the front-facing camera into a folder called "Selfies." What the number of selfies in that photo says about you, however, remains to be seen.
Images: Barn Images/Flickr, Jaime Lutz/Bustle (7)