iOS 9.1 hands on impressions

iOS 9.1 beta is available for developers and public with features such as new emojis (new faces, animals, gestures and what not), performance improvements and more. Some users have been reporting that iOS 9.1 beta is faster in performance than iOS 9 GM. To verify this, I downloaded and installed the beta on my iPhone 6 Plus.

iOS 9.1 on iPhone 6 Plus
Testing betas so you don’t have to take risks

I did an upgrade over my existing iOS 8.4.1 installation through iTunes. There are no visible differences between iOS 9 and iOS 9.1 so on first boot, everything seems the same.

The first thing I tried was the new keyboard. They really add a new dimension to explaining emotion over text messages. The new facial expressions should be really helpful in communication.

Here are some of the new emojis in iOS 9.1.

iOS 9.1 performance on iPhone 6 Plus is far better than iOS 8.4.1 or iOS 9. Except for the swipe-down-from-top spotlight search and multitasking screen, everything else is just faster. Animations seem smoother and apps definitely load and launch faster than previous iOS updates.

One quick way to prove the performance difference between iOS 9 and iOS 9.1 is to use the new back button when using apps. You can slide in and out of other apps far quicker than before.

Even though Apple had announced improved performance in iOS 9, the GM release has shown that not to be the case. However, if iOS 9.1 beta is any indication, Apple is on the right track.

Battery life has been almost the same as iOS 8.4.1 although less than one day is not enough to form a proper opinion. I’ll update this post if I see any ups or downs in average battery life based compared to iOS 8.4.1

Note that my experience is only through testing on an iPhone 6 Plus 64GB variant. Your mileage may vary so beware before trying out the new beta. WhatsApp does not play well with the new beta and other bugs and issues are bound to appear.

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