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iOS 9.2: Worth Upgrading?

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iOS 9.2 improves speed in other ways. Overall, the App Switcher is faster than ever. For the most part, the user interface is faster and more responsive. Stock apps, such as Safari, offer slightly better performance.

I do find Spotlight to be very slow on my iPad. It’s even slower than with iOS 9.1. Unfortunately, I use Spotlight to launch apps. It can sometimes take 30 seconds before search results are displayed, even though I have turned off searching within apps. I may just have to go back to using icons on the home screen. It’s a cumbersome process, if you have accumulated a lot of apps.

New Features in iOS 9.2

iOS 9.2 is chock full of new features, for a “.x” release. Apple seems to be gradually introducing new features with “.x” updates, instead of cramming them all in to “.0” releases and fixing the defects later.

Apple continues to improve their streaming music service with each release. iOS 9.2 adds the ability to easily create a new playlist when adding a song to a playlist. They made it easier to download albums or playlists from your iCloud Music Library, by simply tapping the iCloud download button. They finally added a download indicator icon, to clearly display which songs are on your device. This is something Spotify has had for years and it is very useful. Apple Music also adds improvements for browsing classical music.

The News app now offers a Top Stories section, which is an essential feature of any news reader. It’s now possible to send large attachments using the Mail Drop feature in Mail.

iOS 9.2 offers many more new features. Read Apple’s release notes for more information.

iOS 9.2 Bug Fixes

iOS 9 got off to a rocky start. In fact, it was so bad, I put off upgrading my iPhone until iOS 9.2 was released. Apple’s newest version of iOS fixes several defects and improves the stability of stock apps.

iOS 9 made Safari almost unusable, especially on older iPads. Since iPads often get desktop or tablet versions of websites, they tend to push Safari to its limits. It’s not just about processing power. Safari had some serious bugs that caused it to close unexpectedly. I often experienced several Safari crashes in less than an hour of browsing. iOS 9.2 brings much-needed stability to Safari, but it’s too little, too late.

I no longer use any WebKit browser on my iPad, but have opted for Photon instead. Photon offers a “streaming” web feature, where web pages are rendered on their servers and displayed on an iOS device. It’s remarkably stable, and one can experience full desktop websites. It even supports Flash. I highly recommend Photon to anyone who has an older iPad. iPhones can function well with Safari, as mobile sites tend to fare better with WebKit. (continue…)

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