The Week in iOS Apps: These 20 apps are ready for multitasking and Spotlight search in iOS 9

App developers are starting to update their apps to take advantage of iOS 9's new features—like multitasking on the iPad, Spotlight search, and support for 3D Touch on the upcoming iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Here are some of the coolest ones.

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iOS 9 blowout!

Great news! App developers are starting to update their apps to take advantage of iOS 9’s new features—like multitasking on the iPad, Spotlight search, and support for 3D Touch on the upcoming iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Here are some of the coolest ones.



1Password launched Version 6.0 this week, and includes support for iOS 9-enabled features like Spotlight search to find 1Password items without launching the app, and split-screen views for supported iPads. Landscape mode is now available on the iPhone 6 Plus, and Force Touch is available to lock the app on your Apple Watch.



Here’s an app seemingly made for iOS 9’s new multitasking split view: Clips already lets you clip and save any content you find on your iPad for later use elsewhere; how much easier will it be to use when you can line the app side-by-side with, say, Safari?


Documents 5

Documents 5 already lets you read and annotate documents. Spotlight search now helps you find individual docs in the app, which also includes support for iOS 9’s multitasking feature.



“The first place you’ll be able to use 3D Touch with Dropbox is your iPhone’s home screen,” Dropbox makers say. “Press down on the Dropbox app icon, and a menu of quick actions will pop up. There you’ll be able view your most recent file, jump to your offline files, upload a photo, or search your Dropbox.” Can’t wait to check this out on the iPhone 6s.



Flipboard has been updated to be searched via Spotlight. “That means finding your favorite magazines, topics and stories faster,” the makers say. Another new feature? Universal links, “which allow links shared from Flipboard to launch inside the Flipboard app instead of Safari.” 


The Guardian

It looks like iOS 9’s new Spotlight search functions might be the most-powerful and most-used feature in the new operating system. The Guardian’s app is also featuring the new search capabilities as the key upgrade in its latest update. 


Genius Sign

The $1 Genius Sign bills itself as “the best app to sign, date and annotate your documents.” Docs in the app can be found in Spotlight, and users can “benefit from your large iPad screen with Split View. Genius Sign will gracefully resize as needed.” 



“Picture in Picture for iOS9 has arrived!” Hulu’s developers say. “After starting your video, get back to that email you have been meaning to write while binging on The Mindy Project!” Picture in Picture is only available for select iPads running iOS 9, and for good reason—can you imagine watching The Mindy Project and writing an email on your iPhone at the same time?



iOS 9 offers capabilities beyond search. Apple’s own iMovie app demonstrates this with a number of new improvements, including support for 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which allows users to quickly start a new movie right from the home screen. The Split View feature works with the Photos app to let you choose which still images best benefit your movie project.



Instapaper incorporates iOS 9 features like multitasking and picture-in-picture video, as well as Apple’s new San Francisco font. But most eye-catchingly, the app now uses thumbnail images with article listings. 



Maps: Apple’s version of a maps app has been so maligned for so long that we have to give it a slow clap for the version released in iOS 9: We now have public transit instructions in the app. It’s not all the way caught up with Google Maps, but it’s a giant leap forward.



The biggest fans of iOS 9’s new features might be the folks at Microsoft. (Surface has long multitasked like a laptop, so this might be unsurprising.) Go figure. OneNote—and Microsoft Office apps generally—has updated with a host of new features supported in the new OS: Multitasking, Spotlight search, and iOS handoff, which lets you continue on your iPhone a task you started on the iPad.



iOS 9 allows the Parcel - Delivery Tracking app to do some new things. Among them, you can now add new deliveries from other apps. “Select a tracking number in Safari, Mail or any other app to bring the iOS contextual menu. Select “Share” and choose Parcel in the list of share extensions to quickly add a delivery.” The app also features a Notification Center widget.



The $10 PCalc app updated this week with a number of improvements, including a split-screen multitasking view for supported iPads, but most of the updates involve support for the app’s new native Apple Watch version (coming soon, when watchOS 2 drops). There are even improvements to its calculation options, including the addition of a delta percentage button and a revamped tip calculator.


PDF Expert 5

The makers of PDF Expert say iOS 9 makes their app more useful: “Run PDF Expert 5 in Split View with other apps. For example, open your email app and PDF Expert 5 side-by-side to quickly copy and paste information between from an email into a PDF form.” The app also has new drawing tools in its latest update.



“If you have a new iPhone with 3D Touch, you can press and hold the Pinterest app icon from your iPhone’s home screen to quickly search for Pins, create a board or see what’s popular on Pinterest,” the makers of Pinterest say. And yes, multitasking and Spotlight searches are also available.



Quip is a “productivity suite” that organizes your documents and spreadsheets while letting you chat with collaborators. So a lot of multitasking takes place within the app—but yes, the latest version supports iOS 9’s multitasking and “universal links” features that let you open Quip links within the Quip app.



Twitter offers a novel iOS 9 update: “Users can reply to tweet mention notifications from anywhere in iOS via push notification quick replies!” Communication will be quicker than ever.


Whole Foods

Even Whole Foods Market is in on the action: “We’ve also optimized the app for iOS 9, allowing you to search our growing recipe collection without even opening the app. So when a craving hits, just use the search bar on your iPhone or iPad.”



Looking for someplace to eat? You don’t even have to open Yelp app anymore. Just search in Spotlight, and you’ll get the service’s recommendations.

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