iOS 9 includes new iCloud Drive app, 6-digit passcode, shift button fix and more

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
This week's launch of iOS 9 brings a slew of small but important new features for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. They include an all-new app for viewing iCloud Drive content, support for more complex six-digit passcodes, and a series of tweaks and improvements.




iCloud Drive app

Apple has broken out iCloud storage into its own app with iOS 9, complete with a folder interface and granular file browsing options.




As seen above, the iCloud Drive app serves as a quick access portal to iPhone and iPad users' cloud-based storage. From here folders, files and other data can be sorted, deleted, downloaded for viewing and sent to Share Sheets. Search is restricted to filenames.

6-digit passcode

Building on existing encryption and personal data protection protocols like Activation Lock, two-factor authentication and iCloud encryption, iOS 9 takes things a step further with six-digit passcode support.




Since the inception of iPhone, users have been able to lock their device with a four-digit PIN code or alphanumeric password. More recent advances like Touch ID and onboard secure enclave technology offered even better protection, but brute force attacks are still an outside threat.

Six-digit passcodes can still be thwarted, of course, but adding those two extra digits make cracking the code exponentially more difficult.

Low Power Mode

Seen in the screenshot below, the new low power mode lets iPhone power users conserve juice when their battery is running low. This is especially helpful as Apple tries to strike a balance between thin iPhone designs and consumer demand for powerful, more capable portables.




When in low power mode, email pushes are deactivated, background app processes and downloads disabled and UI motion and brightness reduced. In some cases, data connection speeds are also throttled.

The familiar battery icon in the top right corner turns yellow when low power mode is active.

Shift button fix




Since Apple switched to a "flat" iOS design, users have constantly complained that it's difficult to determine when the soft keyboard's shift key is active. When the shift key is depressed in iOS 9, keyboard characters switch from upper to lower case, or vice versa, meaning users no longer have to decipher the confusing white-on-gray and black-on-white visual cues.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So how exactly does Proactive work? If everything is local to the device and nothing is tied to your Apple ID is it possible for this to have cross device support? And what happens when you upgrade your device? Does all that learning have to be redone? I'm a little perplexed as to why Apple is so opposed to having this in the Cloud. Are we not supposed to trust that iCloud is private and secure?
  • Reply 2 of 95
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    So how exactly does Proactive work? If everything is local to the device and nothing is tied to your Apple ID is it possible for this to have cross device support? And what happens when you upgrade your device? Does all that learning have to be redone? I'm a little perplexed as to why Apple is so opposed to having this in the Cloud. Are we not supposed to trust that iCloud is private and secure?

     

    A few days ago you were bitching about iAds and how those compromise privacy. Now, you're bitching about the opposite. Which is it?

  • Reply 3 of 95
    rosivrosiv Posts: 2member

    If you use "Low Power Mode" animated wallpapers will be disabled?

    Are there ANY enabled???

  • Reply 4 of 95
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    rogifan wrote: »
    So how exactly does Proactive work? If everything is local to the device and nothing is tied to your Apple ID is it possible for this to have cross device support? And what happens when you upgrade your device? Does all that learning have to be redone? I'm a little perplexed as to why Apple is so opposed to having this in the Cloud. Are we not supposed to trust that iCloud is private and secure?

    I'd assume it works the same as iCloud Keychain, which IIRC only stores data on-device. Yet it still synchs: data is passed to your other devices, without being stored by Apple.

    So if you upgrade your ONLY Apple device, and get rid of the old one before synching the new one, I suppose you might have to start over. But most people won't get rid of their old phone until they have a new one.

    As to why it's better not to track you on Apple's (or anyone's) servers: that way there's nothing there to be abused, sold, stolen, hacked, cracked, or illegally collected by the government, and no future change of policy or technology can compromise that. In short, it's one more very strong level of protection, and that's always a good thing. And it's a level Google can't offer, because their income depends on having your data centrally stored and ready to mine.

    The confusion will lessen in the weeks ahead as details emerge.
  • Reply 5 of 95
    chiachia Posts: 694member
    I'm glad for the keyboard character case shifting, I've always felt that was a surprising omission by Apple.
    It was one advantage Android had over iOS.

    The introduction of the iCloud app seems to be Apple reverting to how cloud storage was handled with Mobile Me.
    It's amazing how many companies are offering storage.
  • Reply 6 of 95
    rosivrosiv Posts: 2member

    When you enable the "Low Power Mode", animated wallpapers will be disabled.

    Are there any enabled, yet? Or is this introduced by iOS9 silently?

  • Reply 7 of 95
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,912member
    I already do many of the things that Low Power Mode provides:

    Reduced brightness
    No motion or animated anything
    No background app refresh
    No automatic downloads

    So I wonder how much the reduced network speed will preserve battery life.
  • Reply 8 of 95
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    slurpy wrote: »
    A few days ago you were bitching about iAds and how those compromise privacy. Now, you're bitching about the opposite. Which is it?

    When was I bitching about iAds? Never. Just questioning how it's different than Google and Facebook advertising.
  • Reply 9 of 95
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    nagromme wrote: »
    I'd assume it works the same as iCloud Keychain, which IIRC only stores data on-device. Yet it still synchs: data is passed to your other devices, without being stored by Apple.

    So if you upgrade your ONLY Apple device, and get rid of the old one before synching the new one, I suppose you might have to start over. But most people won't get rid of their old phone until they have a new one.

    As to why it's better not to track you on Apple's (or anyone's) servers: that way there's nothing there to be abused, sold, stolen, hacked, cracked, or illegally collected by the government, and no future change of policy or technology can compromise that. In short, it's one more very strong level of protection, and that's always a good thing. And it's a level Google can't offer, because their income depends on having your data centrally stored and ready to mine.

    The confusion will lessen in the weeks ahead as details emerge.

    Microsoft's business model isn't advertising and as far as I know they do a lot of machine learning in the cloud. I'm going to take a wild guess that IBM does as well. In fact I'd bet Apple is the odd man out here. On Twitter Benedict Evans wondered how Apple will be able to continuously improve Proactive with all the AI being local to the device and none of it going to Apple. The cynic in me wonders if Apple knows it's weaker than the competition when it comes to cloud and online services so they're trying to spin that as a benefit and knock Google in the process. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time.
  • Reply 10 of 95
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    nagromme wrote: »
    I'd assume it works the same as iCloud Keychain, which IIRC only stores data on-device. Yet it still synchs: data is passed to your other devices, without being stored by Apple.

    So if you upgrade your ONLY Apple device, and get rid of the old one before synching the new one, I suppose you might have to start over. But most people won't get rid of their old phone until they have a new one.

    As to why it's better not to track you on Apple's (or anyone's) servers: that way there's nothing there to be abused, sold, stolen, hacked, cracked, or illegally collected by the government, and no future change of policy or technology can compromise that. In short, it's one more very strong level of protection, and that's always a good thing. And it's a level Google can't offer, because their income depends on having your data centrally stored and ready to mine.

    The confusion will lessen in the weeks ahead as details emerge.

    Exactly!
  • Reply 11 of 95
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    I already do many of the things that Low Power Mode provides:

    Reduced brightness
    No motion or animated anything
    No background app refresh
    No automatic downloads

    So I wonder how much the reduced network speed will preserve battery life.

    For the majority of us that want our devices working at top levels, it will be very useful, as we can set Apple's feature to work at any battery level. But if you're miserly with your battery to begin with, as you seem to be, then it will help, but not as much. Notice that it will slow network and download speeds as well, which is something you can't do manually.
  • Reply 12 of 95
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    rogifan wrote: »
    When was I bitching about iAds? Never. Just questioning how it's different than Google and Facebook advertising.

    It's very different. In fact, it hasn't taken off as swiftly as would be expected because asvertisers complain that Apple doesn't share much data with them as Google, Microsoft and yahoo do.
  • Reply 13 of 95
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Microsoft's business model isn't advertising and as far as I know they do a lot of machine learning in the cloud. I'm going to take a wild guess that IBM does as well. In fact I'd bet Apple is the odd man out here. On Twitter Benedict Evans wondered how Apple will be able to continuously improve Proactive with all the AI being local to the device and none of it going to Apple. The cynic in me wonders if Apple knows it's weaker than the competition when it comes to cloud and online services so they're trying to spin that as a benefit and knock Google in the process. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over time.

    You really need to check what Microsoft does. Bing is supported by advertising just as Google is. In addition, with Win 10, there will be advertising in the OS itself, embedded in many functions, and you can't get rid of it. When you do any search with Cortina, Microsoft keeps all of that search info for advertising, though they pitch it as being helpful to you. It's a complex system to opt out of Cortina search results being kept by Microsoft. There are other areas in which Microsoft is, or will be, using ads. How do you think they will make money out of a free OS?

    It's clear that Apple is going a different way than Google and Microsoft are going. Google is 97% advertising in sales and profits. That's according to their own financial reports. Microsoft has Bing, which is also ad supported. They're adding ads in their OS, and software. Both companies have extensive facilities to look for, and keep all of your data for advertising purposes. Remember that other than the aborted smartphone and tablet sales, they are still 80% a software company, and now, with the need to give the OS away to tablet manufacturers and smartphone manufacturers, with the additional burden of giving Win 10 away fro free for at least one year, to consumers and businesses, with the suspicion by writers in the Microsoft press believing that it will extend that free offer past the current date of one year, they need to make money somewhere.

    That somewhere is advertising. And how do they make significant amounts of money? With targeted ads. And how do they do that? By collecting as much of your personal data as possible.

    It's also interesting to note that because Google, Microsoft yahoo and others are amassing all of this personal data from us, the NSA doesn't need to expand their own facilities. Actually, the NSA doesn't collect much of anything. The phone companies dump their monthly billing statements, you know, the one you get every month, to the NSA servers, and that's about it.

    But now, all they need to do is to go to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others that are collecting massive amounts of our personal data, and get it from them. Apple doesn't collect all of that. Apple can't even read what we do because they no longer keep the encryption keys since iOS 8 and OS X 10.9.
  • Reply 14 of 95
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member

    I've always had a 6 digit passcode, how is this new? If I swipe to login, it brings up a numeric keypad, as long as my passcode is all numbers. What's changed?

  • Reply 15 of 95
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    melgross wrote: »
    You really need to check what Microsoft does. Bing is supported by advertising just as Google is. In addition, with Win 10, there will be advertising in the OS itself, embedded in many functions, and you can't get rid of it. When you do any search with Cortina, Microsoft keeps all of that search info for advertising, though they pitch it as being helpful to you. It's a complex system to opt out of Cortina search results being kept by Microsoft. There are other areas in which Microsoft is, or will be, using ads. How do you think they will make money out of a free OS?

    It's clear that Apple is going a different way than Google and Microsoft are going. Google is 97% advertising in sales and profits. That's according to their own financial reports. Microsoft has Bing, which is also ad supported. They're adding ads in their OS, and software. Both companies have extensive facilities to look for, and keep all of your data for advertising purposes. Remember that other than the aborted smartphone and tablet sales, they are still 80% a software company, and now, with the need to give the OS away to tablet manufacturers and smartphone manufacturers, with the additional burden of giving Win 10 away fro free for at least one year, to consumers and businesses, with the suspicion by writers in the Microsoft press believing that it will extend that free offer past the current date of one year, they need to make money somewhere.

    That somewhere is advertising. And how do they make significant amounts of money? With targeted ads. And how do they do that? By collecting as much of your personal data as possible.

    It's also interesting to note that because Google, Microsoft yahoo and others are amassing all of this personal data from us, the NSA doesn't need to expand their own facilities. Actually, the NSA doesn't collect much of anything. The phone companies dump their monthly billing statements, you know, the one you get every month, to the NSA servers, and that's about it.

    But now, all they need to do is to go to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others that are collecting massive amounts of our personal data, and get it from them. Apple doesn't collect all of that. Apple can't even read what we do because they no longer keep the encryption keys since iOS 8 and OS X 10.9.

    Okay I guess I'm not as freaked out about advertising as other people are. Since when did advertising become evil? If someone is going to serve me up an ad I'd rather it be relevant and something I'm interested in than just some random ad for a product/service/content that I could care less about. Maybe I'm really naïve but I don't think Microsoft Google and Facebook are using data for nefarious purposes. And if their machine learning in the cloud can make devices smarter and services more useful I'm willing to accept that privacy trade off. I've been using Google search for years and my privacy has not been compromised once. I don't consider security and privacy necessarily the same thing. I think Apple's Proactive could be in the cloud AND be completely secure. Apparently Apple doesn't agree. Yet they're fine with us storing photos and documents in the cloud and using iCloud to do backups of our devices. Why is Apple worried about machine learning on iCloud?
  • Reply 16 of 95
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member

    Advertising is fine, though annoying, IMO. But do you really not have any issue with google or anyone else, perusing your emails and voicemails and photos and online activity and location and times you are at home and away and daily travel patterns and where and when you vacation and with whom and your health concerns and viewing habits and whom you associate with regularly and with whom you communicate regularly and what you communicate about and what concerns you have about your kids behavior and health and what schools they go to and where you bank and where you shop and what you shop for and what your politics are and you religious views, etc?

     

    Forget about ads for a second. I don't want anyone aggregating that level of information on me. Google's excuse might simply be they collect all of that to monetize it effectively, but that doesn't really make it any better. Privacy should matter more.

  • Reply 17 of 95
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post



    I already do many of the things that Low Power Mode provides:



    Reduced brightness

    No motion or animated anything

    No background app refresh

    No automatic downloads



    So I wonder how much the reduced network speed will preserve battery life.

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    For the majority of us that want our devices working at top levels, it will be very useful, as we can set Apple's feature to work at any battery level. But if you're miserly with your battery to begin with, as you seem to be, then it will help, but not as much. Notice that it will slow network and download speeds as well, which is something you can't do manually.

     

    Some of the other enhancements, outside of LPM, include smarter behavior; if you have the iPhone face down on a surface, it will detect that, so when you get notifications it won't turn the screen on. That will save a ton of battery life, the screen is one of the biggest drains.

     

    Remember, Apple's promising an hour extra systemwide, not including the use of LPM. That's probably "an hour on average", which means a good majority will see extra savings.

  • Reply 18 of 95
    benjerbenjer Posts: 88member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    cant believe they didn't increase free icloud storage.  




    That was my hope, too. Or at least allow family sharing to include iCloud storage. I'm sure iCloud storage will become more user-friendly as time goes on, but in our house of six Apple devices, I've found that I have to choose between using Continuity/Handoff on multiple devices (which requires using the same iCloud account on those devices) or having more space for iCloud backup on our mobile devices (which requires having multiple iCloud accounts to get the free storage). I'd be willing to pay the small amount for more storage (we would only need the 20GB for $1/mo plan), but my wife and I wouldn't be able to share that storage since we each have our own unique Apple IDs for our iPhones.

     

    I wish Apple would tie free iCloud storage to how many devices you've purchased. Everyone gets 5GB, then whenever you buy a new product from Apple, you get 5GB more. But I am confident that there will be a day when Apple is top of the heap with cloud storage. Their strategy is not to be first, but to be best, and that will be the case as it was with the iPhone, Watch, etc.

  • Reply 19 of 95
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    tulkas wrote: »
    Advertising is fine, though annoying, IMO. But do you really not have any issue with google or anyone else, perusing your emails and voicemails and photos and online activity and location and times you are at home and away and daily travel patterns and where and when you vacation and with whom and your health concerns and viewing habits and whom you associate with regularly and with whom you communicate regularly and what you communicate about and what concerns you have about your kids behavior and health and what schools they go to and where you bank and where you shop and what you shop for and what your politics are and you religious views, etc?

    Forget about ads for a second. I don't want anyone aggregating that level of information on me. Google's excuse might simply be they collect all of that to monetize it effectively, but that doesn't really make it any better. Privacy should matter more.

    That's not Google's "excuse". For many people all of that learning is providing them a better experience. Google Photos app launched to mostly positive reviews. Both WSJ and Walt Mossberg recommended it over Apple's app. John Gruber said it best: privacy should be icing on the cake not the main feature. And for me, because Apple's business model is not about making money via ads, I trust them even more with my data. Quite honestly I think Apple is behind in the area of machine learning/AI and I think they want to change the subject so the focus is on privacy (and that Apple respects your privacy whereas Google and Facebook want to sell everything about you to anyone and everyone) instead. I think it's bogus. As long as my data is secure on iCloud Apple can learn all they want about me.
  • Reply 20 of 95
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    That's not Google's "excuse". For many people all of that learning is providing them a better experience. Google Photos app launched to mostly positive reviews. Both WSJ and Walt Mossberg recommended it over Apple's app. John Gruber said it best: privacy should be icing on the cake not the main feature. And for me, because Apple's business model is not about making money via ads, I trust them even more with my data. Quite honestly I think Apple is behind in the area of machine learning/AI and I think they want to change the subject so the focus is on privacy (and that Apple respects your privacy whereas Google and Facebook want to sell everything about you to anyone and everyone) instead. I think it's bogus. As long as my data is secure on iCloud Apple can learn all they want about me.

    The data can be used to improve the services you use. It can also be used simply to know more about you in order to improve their advertising. Those are very different things.

     

    Using it to improve the services you choose to use can be done without retaining the information and aggregation can be anonymous. Big data driving improvements over raw algorithms.  But data used to improve marketing services, something I and I think most people don't necessarily want per se, is most useful when it is not anonymous and is retained for long periods. It works best for monetization when it is individualized and very personal and in depth. These can also help improve the machine learning/AI side of things, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing. And with Google, it's all or nothing. With Apple, it is closer to taking only what the need to improve the services and preserving privacy as much as possible. The difference is Apple is trying to balance the two instead of completely sacrificing one for the other.

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