iOS 9: First Impressions on an iPhone 5

It’s launch day, and I take a quick look at iOS 9 on an iPhone 5.


I eagerly awaited the release of iOS 9. At 5:50 pm UK time, my iPhone was connected and waiting. At a mere five minutes past launch time, my iTunes had the update and it took a mere 30 minutes to download.

It might sound a long time to download 1.5 GB, but you have to imagine Apple fans around the world all trying to get this update at the same time. When iOS 7 and iOS 8 were released, it took a long time for my Mac to download them, and both downloads failed me a few times.

iOS 9 came in quickly, worked first time, and within an hour of release my iPhone 5 was sitting with it installed.

First Look

iOS 7 brought a massive new look, and iOS 8 built on that with some great new features, but don’t get too excited by iOS 9. On first look you can barely see any difference, especially on an iPhone. (Keep in mind a lot of the new updates were directed at the iPad.)

IMG_8465 IMG_8466 IMG_8468

The lock screen, home screen, and phone dialer screen look the same.

IMG_8467 IMG_8469

There is a new lower-case keyboard, and the multi-task switcher screen has been updated. The switcher screen has lost ‘recent’ from across the top.

IMG_8472a IMG_8471

The search screen has been given a makeover, which now includes ‘recent’, and Siri has a cooler look.

Battery Life

I have been running iOS 9 for about three hours, and I haven’t noticed a change in battery life. Keeping in mind I have been playing with my phone all this time. I would even hint that the battery is a little better.

iOS 9 also has Low Power Mode option that can stretch your phone life when the battery gets low.

General Feel

I am running this on an iPhone 5, and while not the lowest iPhone to support iOS 9, it is still considered a lower-end iPhone and this usually comes at a performance cost. However, as promised, it looks as if Apple has paid attention to improving performance rather than cramming in features.

iOS 9 runs very well on the iPhone 5.

On An iPhone 4s

On a side note, LowEndMac publisher Dan Knight installed it on his 8GB iPhone 4s. Check out his initial review ‘iOS 9: First Impressions on an iPhone 4s

Big Update?

Perhaps Apple are intending on bringing in new features in future point releases, but iOS 9 doesn’t seem a radical new version, it seems more like an iOS 8.5 update.

For Newer iPhones

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are due to ship soon with iOS 9, and with it will come the new Force Touch feature – something older devices won’t get. I am sure there are some other features older devices such as my iPhone 5 miss out on too.


iOS 9 is a great update to any supported device. The new tweaks and optimisation is a welcome touch, but so far I have found nothing that makes me get excited.

If nothing else, then the extra speed should entice you to update.

Follow Simon Royal on Twitter or send him an Email.
Like what you have read? Send Simon a donation via Tip Jar.

keywords: #ios9 #iphone5 #techspectrum #simonroyal

short link:

searchwords: ios9