Wednesday, January 17, 2018
The clandestine feature in Apple iOS 9.3.2

The clandestine feature in Apple iOS 9.3.2

Behind Apple’s iOS 9.3.2., lurks a clandestine feature and it is advised to let it go for now but for those of you who have already updated your software and installed it, you are in for a nasty surprise!

‘Great Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular columns investigating operating system updates for the best features / biggest problems hidden behind the headlines.

As with all the best secrets, you won’t find the new feature listed in the official iOS 9.3.2. changelog. But surprisingly Apple has finally fulfilled of one its users biggest requests: the ability to use both Low Power Mode and Night Shift at the same time.

Apple iOS 9.3.2 has caused some users a lot of problems, but it does have a great secret feature... Image credit: Gordon Kelly

It all started Night Shift (a Bluelight filter) was introduced with iOS 9.3 in March and it couldn’t work alongside Low Power Mode. This seemed to make little sense as users were most likely to need Night Shift at the end of the day and this is also the time your device is mostly likely to have little battery left and require the Low Power mode.

As such confused users found a hack which could enable both modes by asking for them using Siri. Yet just 10 days later Apple released iOS 9.3.1 which removed this workaround. Amusingly users then found another workaround and now with iOS 9.3.2 Apple appears to have relented in its game of cat and mouse and the dual functionality looks set to stay.

Apple Night Shift. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

My guess is either the company didn’t want to publicise a climb down or it remains keen to uphold its reputation for burying useful ‘Easter Eggs’ in its releases. Cynics and optimists will obviously know which option they’d pick.

Needless to say, this discovery doesn’t make up for the reports iOS 9.3.2 is bricking some devices and I suspect an emergency iOS 9.3.3 release will have to be issued in the near future.

That said the discovery of a much-requested feature hidden in iOS 9.3.2 does give this dark cloud a silver lining…