Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus at an Apple launch event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California, USA, 09 September 2015. Media reports indicate a launch of updated iPhone models, updated iPads and a / EPA/MONICA DAVEY

Sex tracking, turning off shake-to-undo — some of Apple's unannounced features could also be the most useful

iOS 9 has just been released. Many of the big features have already been announced — but there are little, similarly useful ones hiding out in the operating system too.

New photo folders

The new Photos tool sorts your pictures into selfies and screenshots, for easy sharing and deletion.

Unlike Google’s similar tools, the app doesn’t decide what’s a selfie or a screenshot by actually looking at the pictures. Instead, it just sees how the images were taken, putting ones from the front camera in the selfie folder and screenshots into their relevant one.

Sex tracking

Apple announced to big fanfare at its event that it had added some new ways of tracking things about your body in its Health app. But it didn't mention the sexual intercourse option, which lets you track exactly how often you have sex and when.

Music pop-up

The new update brings a range of “proactive” features, meant to guess what you’re wanting to do before you actually do it. One of the minor ways it does that is watching to see what music app you use, and then bringing it up in the bottom left hand corner when you plug your headphones in. That way, you can just swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen and go straight into your music app.

(Apple did actually show this off in its announcement, but in passing.)

Back to app button

If you click on a link within one app, so that you’re taken through to another, a little button will appear in the top left hand corner so that you can find your way back again. You can just tap at the top to head back to wherever you came from.

This can sometimes be slightly annoying, since it gets in the way of the signal bar. But it’s worth the trade-off.

New things in “Today”

The little view that comes down if you swipe from the top — which also includes Notifications — has always been only slightly useful. But it’s got a little bit more useful with new updates in iOS 9.

Those include a new widget that can be used to show the battery on your phone and any compatible accessories that are attached, like headphones or a Watch. And it also has a Find Friends tool, which lets you see where people are by just dragging it down.


Draw on pictures

If you need to point something out in a photo that you’re sending, you can click and hold it and select the “Markup” option. That will give you a set of tools for drawing on the picture so that you can highlight anything you need to.

Similarly, the Notes app has a new tool that lets you draw straight in — allowing you to send handwritten messages and jot down doodles.

Request desktop site shortcut

This is a little used but very helpful way of making lots of websites work properly: since lots of mobile sites can be lacking functionality, you can ask the phone to instead request the version for desktop. Now it’s a lot easier — click and hold on the refresh button and then a little menu will appear at the bottom.

Turn off shake to undo

This might sometimes be useful for getting some deleted text back, for instance. But it’s far more often triggered by accident, bringing up a pop-up that gets in your way. Now you can turn it off in settings, and the alert won’t show.

iCloud Drive app

Apple hasn’t made much of iCloud Drive — its attempt (sort of) to take on Dropbox. It’s been launched so quietly that the app is actually hidden, and has to be turned on from the Settings.

Once it is, you can use it to get files from iCloud itself, as well as Dropbox and other locations, and attach them to emails — even if the phone itself can’t do anything with them.

Settings search

Apple’s added a little search bar at the top of the Settings app, meaning that you can just type in whatever you’re looking for. It can sometimes be difficult to find specific things in the app (which tend to be grouped under very general settings like “Sounds”, and are in a big list) and this avoids searching through.

Your iPad keyboard is also a trackpad

Putting two fingers anywhere on the keyboard and then dragging around makes it work something like a laptop’s trackpad — just drag around to move through text, so that you can easily find a specific part.