Hidden Features in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan

iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan have been available to developers for two weeks now, giving us time to discover all of the little features in both operating systems that weren't discussed during the keynote event. We've created two videos that highlight some of the small but neat additions to iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, which you can watch below.

Apple's introduced a wide range of feature additions and minor tweaks in iOS 9 that make some very useful improvements to iOS. For example, there's now a Notification Center widget that displays the battery life of connected devices like the Apple Watch, and there's a search bar in the Settings app that lets you find a specific setting very quickly.

A "Back to App" feature lets you swap between apps quickly when you click a notification or a link, and some keyboard changes on the iPad make editing documents a whole lot easier.


OS X 10.11 El Capitan has fewer small feature additions, but there are some improvements worth pointing out. The famous rainbow wheel pointer or "beachball," which spins when a program is loading has brighter, more defined colors, and the cursor is now easier to find when waking a Mac from sleep. There's also a revamped Disk Utility window and a dedicated Find My Friends widget for the Notification Center.


If you want to see an overview of all of the features in the new operating systems, make sure to check out our roundups: iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan. Our dedicated iOS 9 and El Capitan forums are also an excellent resource for learning more about the software we'll all be using in the fall.

Top Rated Comments

Goldfrapp Avatar
80 months ago
I didn't see a single hidden feature.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheIguana Avatar
80 months ago
Where is the darn F.lux (https://justgetflux.com) support... come on Apple!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
80 months ago
In iOS they need to make the letters at the right side in a contact or iTunes list bigger. They are so hard to tap and if you miss you tap the contact for the row you are on. Even if they aren't bigger, the phone should know you are trying to jump to a letter and not that contact by how far right you tap.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skika Avatar
80 months ago
Where is the darn F.lux (https://justgetflux.com) support... come on Apple!
Not this again.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macpt Avatar
80 months ago
The new OS X theme is great, for puking rainbows. Why did Apple turn OS X into the visual train wreck that was iOS 7 ?

I can't agree with shifting keyboard uppercase/lowercase characters, I'm supposed to be typing, not adjusting to a different interface at each keypress !! Bring back Scott Forstall fast, to keep the boat afloat.

Everything else seems great tho.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
80 months ago
I learned how to pronounce Helvetica Neue just in time for it to get replaced. I also wish that jitter-to-reveal feature was available on iOS, so I began working on a tweak:

Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Gurman: Face ID on the Mac Coming Within a 'Couple of Years'

Sunday July 25, 2021 7:09 am PDT by
Apple plans to bring Face ID to the Mac within the next "couple of years," respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. In the newsletter, Gurman says that he believes Apple's ultimate goal is to shift all of its products to Face ID, including the lower-end iPhones such as the iPhone SE and the iPad Air, which feature Touch ID....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...