The 10 best iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus features

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 27 Sep 2015

iPhone 6s features

Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus arrived this weekend and they come with a variety of new features that set the pair apart from previous iPhone models. Below we discuss ten of the most important features that you will find in Apple’s new flagship phones. Don’t be surprised if you want to buy a new iPhone after reading this list — the changes Apple introduced this year are compelling. 

#10. 7000 series aluminum and Ion-X Glass screen

From the moment I touched the iPhone 6s Plus, the new casing choice of 7000 series aluminum was immediately apparent. The iPhone 6s Plus felt stiff and solid in my hand as compared to my iPhone 6 Plus, which feels softer and more delicate. The ION-X glass screen also is an added benefit as the large display is a magnet for scratches. Anything that’ll cut down on the superficial scratches is a welcome improvement.

#9. A9 chip with M9 motion co-processor

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus feel faster when you are using them thanks to the new A9 processor. According to Apple, the A9 improves overall CPU performance by up to 70 percent and GPU performance by up to 90 percent. From a user’s perspective, the new iPhone screams — screen animations are quick and smooth, app switching happens in a flash, and 3D games show no lag at all.

Apple integrated the M9 motion co-processor into the A9 chipset, improving performance and offering new features such as always on Siri and more detailed motion metrics. The new M9 chip can measure steps, distance, elevation changes and even your running or walking pace.

#8. 2GB of RAM

Apple never announced the amount of RAM available in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but a Geekbench benchmark tool revealed the presence of 2GB of RAM. This behind-the-scenes performance boost means apps will run efficiently in the background, switching will be more fluid and system performance overall will be smoother and less laggy.

#7. Live Photos and Live Wallpapers

Unique to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the new Live Photos feature allows you to capture an image along with a one-second buffer of audio and video on either side. When this feature is enabled, you are capturing a short video clip along with every photo. These 2-3 second clips can be viewed using 3D touch and can be added to your lock screen or home screen as a Live wallpaper. These Live Wallpapers allow you to use a moving image as your lock screen and home screen wallpaper. Apple ships each iPhone with a handful of stock live wallpapers, but you also can choose Live Photos from your camera roll for an extra-personal touch.

➤ How to take and view Live Photos on your iPhone 6s

#6. Always-on Hey Siri

Apple’s A9 and M9 co-processor are so powerful and efficient that you can now use “Hey Siri” anytime you want. The “Hey Siri” command allows you to wake Siri and speak a command without touching your iPhone In previous iPhone models, the iPhone had to plugged into a charger for the Hey Siri command to be available. Now in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Hey Siri is always on, always ready for your input.

#5. 5-megapixel FaceTime Camera with Retina Flash

Selfies and video conferencing get a big boost with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus thanks to the new 5-megapixel FaceTime HD Camera. Not only can it do 720P HD recording, it also uses new retinal flash technology to get the lighting just right for your front-facing photos. The retina flash uses the display of your iPhone to provide adequate lighting for your photo.

➤ How to take Live Selfies with Retina Flash on the iPhone 6s

#4. 12-Megapixel iSight Camera with 4K recording

Already the top smartphone camera, Apple outdoes itself with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, including an impressive 12-megapixel sensor with support for 4K video recording. Images are crisp, colors are gorgeous and the interface is responsive.

#3. 3D Touch – Quick Actions

Hands down, 3D Touch is the best feature Apple added to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The new pressure sensitive display provides a whole new way of interacting with your phone. There are Quick Actions that allow you to pull up a shortcut menu by force touching an app icon on the home screen. If you want to take a selfie, you don’t have to open the camera app, tap photo and then switch to the front camera. Simply force touch on the camera app icon and select selfie from the menu. The iPhone will do the rest. On you start using the quick actions, you’ll wonder how you used iOS without them.

➤ How to use Quick Actions with 3D Touch on iPhone 6s

#2. 3D Touch – Switch back to the previous app

3D also makes it easier to switch between apps without pressing the Home button. You can press firmly on the left edge and swipe slightly to access the app switcher. You can also press firmly and swipe all the way across to switch back the previous app you were using.

➤ How to quickly switch apps with 3D Touch on iPhone 6s

#1. 3D Touch – Peek and Pop

3D Touch also provides two new gestures — peek and pop which allow you to preview and open content without switching away from your existing app. If you receive a link in a text message, you can simply touch down on the link and view a preview of the page (Peek). If you want to open it, press a little harder (Pop) to open it in Safari. Peek also shows up in the keyboard. Whenever you are typing, try force touching the keyboard — you should see a trackpad that allows you to move the cursor to where you need to edit by sliding your finger across the screen.Peek and pop are scattered throughout iOS (including third-party apps), so you have to force touch everything to see where it is enabled.

➤ How to peek and pop with 3D Touch on iPhone 6s

What is your favorite iPhone 6s or 6s Plus feature?

Do you have a favorite iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus feature(s)? Share them in the comments.