iOS 9 beta 2 confirms that iOS 9 will be light on new features, but there's no doubt Apple's made the new update smarter than any before it.
The iOS 9 beta 2 release has come and gone, with Apple delivering the developer update yesterday. There are a few noticeable changes with iOS 9 beta 2 as opposed to iOS 8.4 beta (that will likely be released on June 30). If this developer release is any indication of Apple’s intentions, iOS 9 will be smarter than any update to date.
Icon name and design
As it suits Apple, iOS 9 brings some icon name and design changes to the company’s mobile operating system. Among these is a change in the Podcast icon, which has reversed its purple shades from its iOS 8 icon. On the main screen in iOS 8, there is a dark purple shade at the top that blends into a lighter purple shade at the bottom of the Podcast icon. iOS 9 reverses the shades: the top will have a light purple shade while the bottom will take on the dark purple shade. The icon itself will be somewhat more pronounced, with the ring around the “microphone”-looking icon having a purple shade in iOS 8 but taking on a white color in iOS 9.
The Apple Watch app in iOS 9 gets a simpler name: “Watch.” Apple drops the “Apple” label here, likely because to use the simpler name fits the remaining apps in iOS 9: “App Store,” “Newsstand,” and “Photos” are apps that don’t have “Apple” in front. Why use “Apple” labels on Apple devices, when users know the company that makes the products? It fits Apple’s keep-it-simple philosophy to drop “Apple” from the label though we do wish Apple had maintained the “iWatch” label instead of going with “Apple Watch.”
Search gets an improvement in iOS 9 beta 2, with search now allowing you to toggle apps on or off. iOS 8 provides the word “applications” and allows you to decide whether all of them are on or off, but iOS 9 beta 2 puts you in a situation where you can have some on and some off if you so choose. iOS 9 beta 1 allowed you to only toggle certain apps, namely, Apple apps. In iOS 9 beta 2, however, you can now toggle both Apple and non-Apple apps (such as Google Play Music or Google Maps, for example).
Since Apple intends to revolutionize news in iOS 9 by bringing its Flipboard-style feature, there is a news toggle now available in iCloud settings. It allows you to save your news with the 5GB of free iCloud storage available for most users within iOS. By placing News within the iCloud settings, you can now save your news preferences and content across devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone).
Safari settings have been revised, with Content Blocker settings hidden until you download a content blocker. New Tab Bar and Favorites Bar toggles have been included in iOS 9 beta 2.
The cut/paste tools are now hidden until text is highlighted, and Apple has made the undo/redo option the default in its place. This takes place in the Notes app,
Of the new changes, one merits the greatest attention: Apple has placed an auto app delete/reinstall feature within iOS 9 beta 2 that deletes apps to free up space for the iOS 9 update; after the update, users can reinstall the apps they deleted before the update. This is merely a “temporary delete” feature, so users need not be concerned that their apps have been permanently deleted.
Handoff, deleted in iOS 9 beta 1, returns in beta 2. Whenever you activate an app on one device, for example, the other opens the same app immediately. Handoff is designed to allow you to put down one device, pick up another, and continue with your task right where you left off.
iOS 9 beta 2 problems
iOS 9 beta 2, like all developer releases, has problems of its own. Creating an Apple ID in Game Center causes the Game Center app to crash; the music tab from the Music App mysteriously “disappears” from the app, and signing into iTunes after a backup restore can cause the sign-in to get stuck in the verification code stage. Activation Lock says it’s activated on the Apple Watch when it isn’t, and FaceTime calls are disabled on the iPhone 6 as a result of the developer release.
Which devices can get iOS 9 beta 2?
The devices in line for iOS 9 are those that qualified for iOS 8. Apple broke with tradition at WWDC this month when it announced that all iOS 8-compatible devices would automatically qualify for an upgrade to iOS 9. Apple also said that the new OS update will take up about 1.3GB of space as opposed to the 4.6GB it consumed with iOS 8 last year. If you paid attention then, you’ll remember that iOS 8 demanded a lot of space pre-update but consumed very little of the device storage post-update.
To be specific, iOS 9 beta 2 is available for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5s, 5c, 5, 4S, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, first-gen. iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 1, 2, and 3, and iPod Touch fifth generation.
How to get iOS 9 beta 2?
How can one get ahold of iOS 9 beta 2? Well, you have three options. First, you could sign up with your developer account if you have one. If you don’t, then you may want to observe the second option: wait until next month to sign up for the mass preview of iOS 9. There’s a third option: you can always sign up for the beta program. To do so, visit the Apple Beta Software Program sign-up page. Note that you’ll need your Apple ID and to accept the Apple Beta program terms and conditions.