ibooksos9Almost as soon as I installed iOS 9 on my iPad, I tried out the new iBooks.

Hooray! Apple has finally come around to the need for a decent boldface font—for those of us who read better with more perceived contrast between text and background.

More perceived contrast also means you can save battery life by reducing screen brightness.

Turn on the bold capabilities of the “San Francisco” font by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Bold Text. Even before iOS9, I had switched on bold for accessibility purposes in the readability mode.

What miracles will we behold next—now that Apple has favored us with the San Francisco font? Will the anti-bold stalwarts at Amazon finally succumb to customer needs in this regard?

That forthcoming $50 tablet and other other devices just might find a few more buyers if Amazon actually listened to those of us whom bold can benefit.

Meanwhile I’d be curious what TeleRead community members think of the pros and cons of iOS 9. What features do you love? What do you hate?

Related: 15 Hidden New Features Tucked Away in iOS 9, from Tech Crunch. The low-power mode might be of special interest to e-bookers. Reach it via Settings > Battery. I’m not sure if this is just for phones or also for the iPad incarnation. The mode comes on when your battery is down to 20 percent or so.

Note: I’ve updated this post to tell how to make S.F. bold (the new OS picked up my settings from the old one). I love this approach. Rather ingenious on Apple’s part. My only fear is that not everyone might know about the tweak required in settings.


  1. Well, Nate, “San Francisco” is bold enough for me on my iPad Air 2. I wonder if there could be differences in how SF looks on different iPad models. At any rate, the font weight is distinctly heavier them alternatives. David

    • @Nate: Thanks for the e-mail. Want to replicate the view on my screenshot showing bold? Then turn on the bold capabilities of the “San Francisco” font by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Bold Text. Turns out that I’d already set up my iPad this way for the accessibility mode, and OS9 picked that up. Now I’ve tweaked the post for the benefit of you and others starting from scratch. HTH! Thanks. David

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