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
76 months ago
I didn't see a single hidden feature.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheIguana Avatar
76 months ago
Where is the darn F.lux (https://justgetflux.com) support... come on Apple!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
76 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
76 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
76 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
76 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)

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