First Click: My favorite new iOS 9 feature is just an Android afterthought

September 17th, 2015

My favorite iOS 9 feature is also its dumbest. Dumb, because it's so obvious that it should have been implemented years ago; favorite, because I no longer feel a burning sense of rage every time I try changing the case of a letter.

Maybe you’ve experienced the following frustration, iPhone users:

You’re tapping away on the keyboard when you make a typo. You back up, try to correct it, but the OS is smarter than you and automatically inserts a capital letter. So you backup again, hit the shift key but can’t remember if grey or white means caps are on, so you enter a loop of corrections until you finally get the desired case.

That’s why my favorite new iOS 9 feature is the magical and revolutionary mixed-case keyboard. A keyboard that finally switches between displaying capital and lowercase letters when hitting the shift key — something that Android keyboards and pretty much every other software keyboard has done for years. The iPhone keyboard, however, could only display all caps ever since it launched in 2007, relying instead upon a visual indicator on the shift key. But iOS 7 did away with the glowing identifier in a move to flatten the UI — something that exasperated the user experience and prompted CoDesign to ask, "Why can’t Jony Ive of all people design a goddamn usable shift key?"

Two years and two OS updates later, he finally did it.

Verge Video: iOS 9 review

Five stories to start your day



  1. Ahmed Mohamed says he's going to the White House — and then he's transferring schools

    Two days after his arrest for bringing a homemade clock to school, Ahmed Mohamed appeared at a press conference today to address his supporters. The 14-year-old student at MacArthur High School in Irving, TX, thanked his many fans on social media, who include Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, among many others. At his press conference, Ahmed said he planned to take the president up on his offer to visit him at the White House — and said he also plans to transfer to another school.

  2. Peace is a $2.99 ad-blocking app for iOS 9 from the maker of Instapaper

    Others, like Awl editor Matt Buchanan, have been quick to point out that Arment is charging money for an app that, effectively, takes away ad revenue from publishers — money required to create the free content that readers crave.

  3. A new report ties the Russian government to a seven-year malware campaign

    A new report from F Secure has found evidence that the Russian government is behind the widespread Duke malware strain, orchestrating a seven-year campaign that has targeted Chechnya, NATO and possibly as far as the State Department and White House. Titled The Dukes: Seven Years of Russian Cyberespionage, the report details the results of research dating back to 2008, connecting the dots between more than a dozen different incidents.

  4. The team behind Google Glass is now known as 'Project Aura'

    According to Business Insider and The Wall Street Journal, Google has created a new name for employees working on its Google Glass eyewear: Project Aura. The name treads very closely to Project Ara, Google's other forward-looking technology effort that aims to build a modular smartphone with easily swappable components. Ivy Ross, who joined Google's ranks in 2014 to head up the Glass initiative, is now leading the Aura group and answers directly to Tony Fadell.

  5. Listen to Kanye West's new song 'Fade'

    During his New York Fashion Week show earlier today aptly dubbed Yeezy Season 2, Kanye West debuted a new track, presumably off his upcoming album SWISH. "Fade" featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Post Malone heavily samples Hardrive's classic house anthem "Deep Inside" and follows in the footsteps of "Wolves" the dark, autotune-heavy track West debuted at his last Fashion Week appearance.

Shift of the day

The best of Verge Video