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Spotlight Finds More in iOS 9
I use Spotlight all the time. In fact, I cleared off my primary home screen and just use Spotlight to launch apps. I find it much more convenient than scanning through a grid of app icons. Now, in iOS 9, Spotlight accomplishes much more.
Sports fans will enjoy Spotlight’s ability to display sports scores. I have tried this with Siri in iOS 8 and it works, but now this functionality exists in Spotlight.
Conversions between different units, such as tablespoons, teaspoons, cups, ounces and millilitres, can be performed directly in Spotlight.
Users can search for videos across several sources, such as iTunes, Vimeo, Vevo and YouTube. Video searches display results in a clean, unified display and videos can be played directly from Spotlight.
iOS 9 also adds an API for Spotlight so that third-party developers can expose app content for searches. App search results are deep linked. Tapping on a search result takes the user to the precise location of content in the app. An available back link allows for fast and easy navigation back to Spotlight search results.
All Spotlight and Siri searches are completely anonymous and ensure privacy. Searches and other online activities are not associated with your Apple ID and employ a randomized identifier, preventing external services from identifying users. Siri can offer music or other suggestions based on how you use your iPhone, not by mining personal data.
ApplePay Comes Closer to Replacing Your Wallet in iOS 9
Apple’s new mobile payment service continues to add new credit cards, financial institutions, participating stores and features. The Discover Card is now integrated into Apple Pay.
More merchants are joining ApplePay, including Trader Joe’s and Best Buy.
Square will launch a new ApplePay reader for use by small businesses.
With all of these additions, Apple Pay will surpass 1 million payment locations in a few months. Apple’s mobile payment service will also expand to the UK, and several apps now support ApplePay.
ApplePay is moving beyond standard credit cards. Stores offering their own credit cards and rewards cards can virtualize this experience with ApplePay. Passbook has also been replaced with Wallet, which unifies purchasing, rewards cards, movie tickets, airline tickets and other transactions.
Notes is More Capable in iOS 9
I wasn’t surprised to learn how popular the Notes app is. I use it all the time. It is great for writing anything. In fact, I wrote the rough draft of this article using Notes. With iOS 9, Notes does much more.
A new toolbar provides quick access to formatting capabilities, which have been improved in iOS 9. Users can now format text with various sizes and fonts, which transforms Notes from a simple text editor to a light word processor.
Users can quickly drop a photo into Notes. There are new tools for doing quick sketches.
If Reminders leaves something to be desired, you can now quickly create checklists in Notes. This doesn’t replace or mirror the complete functionality of Reminders. Instead, it offers a way to create a more free-form checklist, for those who don’t enjoy Reminders’ rigidity.
Notes now offers deeper integration in iOS 9 using the Share Sheet. With Safari, you can quickly embed a link in Notes by tapping the Share button. This works with any app that supports iOS sharing. This is a great way to document and save web links for later viewing. You can already do this with Safari bookmarks and favorites, but Notes is useful for organizing a series of bookmarks annotated with text. For example, if you are taking a vacation, you can organize links about travel, accommodations and points of interest in Notes. As always, Notes will sync across all of your Apple devices.
It’s also much easier to find your Notes in iOS 9. The new master view screen displays thumbnails of images used in Notes.
A new attachments view makes it easy to find a Notes document based on embedded photos and application links. (continue…)