iOS 9

Five top iOS 9 tips you can't live without

ios 9
Credit: Apple

iOS 9 may not be a big leap forward over iOS 8, but it's still got plenty of great new features. Here are five you can't live without.

Use split-screen multitasking

Finally, true multitasking on a split screen on an iPad. This has been on the top of the list of many iPad users for years, and with iOS 9 it's finally here. You'll need an iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, or an iPad Pro to take advantage of it.

To use the feature, swipe in from the right side of your screen. A multitasking sidebar appears. From it, pick an app you want to run in a split screen with whatever you've got open. Pull the bar to the middle of the screen. You can also move the bar to resize the apps.

Use picture in picture

If you've got an an iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, or an iPad Pro there's an even niftier trick for you. This one's perfect for those people who simply must watch videos when they're doing other things. It lets you play a video in a small window on your iPad while you're in another app.

First open the Videos app and play a video. Then tap the picture-in-picture button on the bottom pane, or else press the home button while the video plays. The video plays in a small window. Now run another app and the video keeps playing -- as long as the app supports the feature. You can also drag the video window around the screen and place it where you want it.

Improve your battery life

You can never have enough battery life. That's true on any mobile device, iOS 9 included. However, there's a simple way to extend your battery's charge in iOS 9. Go to Settings-->Battery and toggle on Low Power Mode. It stops background updates, stops animations, and does a few other tricks. The result? Up to an hour extra of battery life. Your battery icon will turn yellow to show the mode is on.

Improve your security

Worried about mobile security? You should. iOS 9 introduces two new security tweaks you should consider using. You can now use a six-digit passcode instead of a four-digit one. This small change can make your device a whole lot harder to break into. To use it, go to Settings-->Touch ID & Passcode-->Change Passcode. Then enter a six-digit passcode. You'll use that from now on, instead of your old four-digit one.

If you're truly paranoid, you can also turn on two-factor authentication. This requires that you have another device to which a verification code can be sent before you log into your mobile device. Head to Settings-->iCloud--> Account-->Security for details. But think long and hard before turning this one, because it means you'll need that second device on hand to log into the first one.

Make your keyboard a trackpad

Mobile devices are terrible at letting you select text or perform other tasks that are easily performed by a trackpad. iOS 9 solves the problem, because it lets you turn the keyboard into a trackpad. To do it, hold two fingers on any key on the keyboard. The keys turn a dark grey, and letters and numbers disappear. Now move the cursor by dragging both your fingers across the screen. Lift your fingers when you want to stop using it as a trackpad.

If you want to highlight text blocks, after you hold two fingers on a key, double-tap the screen and leave both fingers on the screen after the second tap. Nearby words or characters will be highlighted. Drag your fingers to highlight more text.

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.