Contacts might not sound like the most interesting bit of a mobile OS, but there is some genuinely useful new stuff here.
The new interface not only delivers more options in less space, with icons for text/iMessage and calling next to the phone number and for FaceTime audio / FaceTime video, but you can share contacts by message, email or Airdrop or block the contact altogether.
When you do that, all phone calls, messages (including texts) and FaceTime requests will be blocked. You can also store additional information such as anniversaries, Twitter names and useful information such as their partner's name or the name of their line manager.
Messaging and mail
Say bye-bye to glassy bubbles: messages are flat blue balloons (green for texts). The most recent message is the darkest, with earlier messages fading into the past. Timestamps are hidden by default - swipe left to see them - and while contacts' names are shown in full in the message list, they're abbreviated to forenames only in conversation view.
Apple's mobile browser is very different, especially on iPad: the white interface chrome is semi-transparent, so the colours of underlying web pages show through. It's a nice idea but we sometimes found it annoying, the browser switching from yellow to white to grey as we swapped tabs. We're not sure about the iPad's redesigned bookmarks view either, which presents your bookmarks and folders as an icon grid instead of a list.
Both iPhone and iPad versions of Safari have a single integrated address and search bar, and bookmarks are supplemented with the reading list and shared links from your Twitter feed if you have Twitter integration enabled.
Tab switching now takes place in a 3D stack of cards, from which you can also toggle Private mode, and in a nice touch the address bar offers not just search suggestions but preloading of the first suggestion on the list (you can disable this in Settings > Safari > Smart Search Field).
Mail is better than before too. You can trash messages with a swipe, you can move messages to the junk mail folder and searching has been improved to cover all mailboxes at once. It's all very reminiscent of Mailbox, the nifty email app recently acquired by Dropbox.