iPhone’s Multi-Touch display and that smooth scrolling were instrumental in me falling head over heels in love with technology. I was using a plucky Samsung Star at the time with resistive touch display and the iPhone’s screen was just so much better to use. Of course, we take it for granted now.

This is why I’m really looking forward to trying out 3D Touch and maybe owning the 6s. This is a whole new interaction model for Apple and I’m all in. If you ask me, their track record is pretty solid. And yes, the 2 GB RAM is great and so is the new camera. But dat Peek and Pop tho.

iPhone 6s header

Well, I don’t live in the US so I have at least a month or two to save up for the 6s. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing about the hot new apps.

1. Slash

Third party keyboards for iOS 8 never really caught on. But that hasn’t stopped developers from experimenting with keyboard apps. Add Slash to that list. It’s a productivity based third party keyboard.

slash

It helps you search and insert links and rich media right from the keyboard. So you don’t have to ask Siri a question or go to Safari to manually search for something (oh the horror). With Slash, you either type the forward slash followed by a command or choose one of the shortcuts on the top. This can be searching for a song on Spotify, an app on the App Store or just inserting a gif via Giphy or a sticker.

2. Crystal, Purify and 163 Other Ad Blockers

If you’re reading this, you probably know about how ad blockers for Safari are officially supported in iOS 9. Raju has made his stance of ad blockers clear on Twitter many times over the past week. As a geek who isn’t fond of web ads and a tech writer to makes money writing for sites that in turn make money for the said ads – I’m torn. Anyway, our job is to tell you about hot new apps and so we will. I’ll leave the existential and psychological burden of using an ad blocker on your capable brain cells. Cheers.

From the outside, just the process of choosing an ad blocker might seem like a momentous task. Apps like Crystal ($0.99), Purify ($0.99), Peace, BlockBear ($0.99) and more are the kinds of apps that will block all ads. 1Blocker (Free + $2.99 IAP) will give you granular control over what exactly to block – social widgets, comments and more. Shut Up just removes comments. And the list goes on.

As you might have noticed, most of the content blockers available right now are paid. If ad blocking is the gold rush, ad blockers are the mining equipment manufacturers. Yes, it’s a little bit funny but before you judge, creating an app does take time and effort, which should be compensated accordingly.

Content blockers are easy to use. Just download the app and enable them from Settings -> Safari -> Content Blockers. If you want to dive deeper, I’ve written about them here.

3. Google Keep

I was surprised just how excited everyone on the internet got when Google Keep finally arrived on iOS. Until now, Keep was primarily a basic notetaking app for Android (and web). For taking quick notes, voice notes and checklists, Keep is actually a really good app.

google keep

Also, while we’re talking about notetaking, do tap on that Notes icon in iOS 9 that you’ve long forgotten. The app received a major update this year. Along with split screen in iPad, you get formatting options, rich previews for links and a very cool doodle option.

4. Instant

When you’re trying to lose weight, the first thing you’re told is to track everything and gather data. Unless you don’t know how bad things are, you can’t improve upon them.

instant

Instant ($2.99) uses the same theory to give you data about how you use your phone. Don’t think you’re addicted to your iPhone? Well, you unlocked it 280 times today, how about that. Or that you spent 4 hours looking at that Retina display. It also displays stats like places you went, how long you walked and more.

If you’re looking for a passive journal for everything you do with your phone, Instant is worth trying out.

5. Apple News

This one you don’t need to go to the App Store to install. As long as you live in the US that is. If not, here’s how to enable Apple News. But you should know that currently, the content is very much tailored towards the US audience.

apple news

Still, if you like trying new reading apps, give Apple News a shot. So far, I’m not a big fan. Yes, it looks sophisticated but some websites like Wired don’t show the entire article in the app. As it stands right now, I think Flipboard is a much better reading app. But hopefully we’ll see it getting better in the next couple of weeks and maybe it won’t die the Newsstand death.

From The Web

3D Touch all the things: Got one of the new iPhones? App Advice lists 10 apps that are already updated to make use of the Peek and the Pop. Don’t worry, tons and tons of them will be joining the 3D Touch revolution soon.

iOS 9 review: I’m not sure you have the time to read Federico’s 48,000-word “review” of iOS 9. The “review” is in quotes because this thing, whatever it is, is clearly much more than a traditional review. Also, I’d consider skimming through Rene Ritchie’s relatively shorter and well-compartmentalized 22,000-word iOS 9 “review”.

All the great features: Just want a quick summary of the most important new features in iOS 9? Here’s a link for you.

Planet of the Apps: I’m starting to get into Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show. I never really saw the Letterman version so I’m getting in on the ground floor this time. I found this Planet of the Apps section particularly hilarious.


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is a freelance technology writer. He's always trying out new apps, tools and services. He is platform agnostic. You'll find an iPhone 5 and a OnePlus One on him at (almost) all times.