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How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the iOS 9 beta on my old iPad

Caitlin McGarry | July 14, 2015
Everyone knows that putting beta software on your primary device is a huge risk, especially if you haven't backed up in a long time (or ever). But I like to live dangerously, so I plan to put the iOS 9 beta on my iPhone 6--yes, the one I carry every day. To prepare, I decided to use my third-generation iPad, a sometimes temperamental but always available workhorse, as a guinea pig.

A small but refreshing change in iOS 9 is the font switch to San Francisco, which I've become accustomed to reading on my Apple Watch. Then there's the new app switcher, which is subtly gorgeous.

I'm one of those people who relies on the built-in Notes app to make lists and jot down quick thoughts, so being able to add attachments, photos, and sketches to notes, then turn to-do lists into checklists, is a long-awaited change that I'll be taking advantage of across all my iOS devices. (I'll have more thoughts on the new Notes app later this week, so stay tuned for that.)

My older iPad doesn't have the new iOS 9 functions I want to use most, so using the public beta is making it clear that I need to upgrade to new hardware soon (perhaps to the rumored iPad Pro in the fall). I'm becoming more and more interested in using an iPad as a work machine, and iOS 9 has features that would make it even more useful.

But the beta hasn't crashed my device, or even slowed it down. It's just as functional as it ever was, but now it has some new features that I plan to get accustomed to on my iPhone--as soon as I work up the nerve to install it.


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