At WWDC, Apple unveiled the next iteration of iOS, iOS 9. The upcoming version will launch later this year with the developer preview available now. Apple is making iOS 9 all about making the operating system smarter and more aware to the apps you use and people you contact. Spotlight is also smarter with a broader system search as well as looking into apps for data. Also updated is Notes and Maps. Apple Maps now has the ability to show transit directions for trains, buses and subways in select cities around the world.
So what has Apple changed? – below is the list of what has been updated…
With iOS 9 Apple is basically catching up, the ‘Proactive Assistant’ is similar to Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana assistant. Proactive can also look through your emails to help find out who is calling if the number isn’t in your address book. Spotlight has also moved to back to swiping left on the home screen and this is where all the relevant information lives. Spotlight now houses the apps you may use based on past behaviour as well as suggesting people to contact.
Spotlight on iOS is also catching up with its OS X counterpart, it can now do unit conversions without the need for a web search. Spotlight also does something called ‘deep linking’ to search the content in third-party apps to find the information you need quickly. In the WWDC keynote, Craig Federighi was keen to point out that iOS does all of the processing for Proactive on the device, as opposed to using servers like Google and Microsoft do for their services.
Taking a stab at Evernote with Notes
Apple’s Notes app has long been quite light in feature set, but with iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan the Notes app has had a huge revamp with new features such as the ability to insert images, create checklists and draw sketches; Bringing Notes more in line with Evernote.
UK getting Apple Pay
Apple says since its launch in October, Apple Pay has been a huge hit in the US and now the payment service is making its way over the pond to the UK. Users can use iPhone 6 or Apple Watch to pay for coffee in Costa Coffee or Starbucks, or pay for groceries in Marks and Spencer and Waitrose. Apple even highlighted in the keynote that the Transport for London will be accepting Apple Pay. Passbook is also dying the death, with a new app called ‘Wallet’ replacing it. Wallet will house your credit and debit cards as well as your store cards and loyalty cards.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express are also going to be accepting the payment service as well as the UK major banks including NatWest, HSBC and Nationwide, with Lloyds, M&S Bank and TSB coming soon.
A new path with Maps
Since its introduction in 2012 with iOS 6, Apple Maps has caused melting highways, former iOS chief Scott Forstall being fired and people getting lost in Australia, but since then Apple has done a lot to improve the service and with iOS 9 it goes one further with the addition of transit directions for trans, buses, subways and ferry. Transit directions will launch with iOS 9 in twenty different cities, including London, Berlin, San Fransisco and New York. Hopefully the transit directions will make its way out of the big cities and into smaller towns with future iterations.
Apple News. Literarlly.
WWDC also saw the launch of a new ‘News’ app. iOS 9 will also get a new app which will aggregate new from lots of different news organisations. Apple is focusing on the “rich typography” and images with the new app. CNN, Time, The Verge, ESPN, Buzzfeed are among the launch partners for the app, Apple also said that it isn’t just about the media titans, the app will also show articles from blogs and more.
This concept isn’t new, people have compared it to Clipboard and other apps which have been on the App Store for a while now. The News app will launch with iOS 9 this fall/autumn in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
iPad back in the game
iPad sales are falling, in the most recent earnings call, Apple revealed that 12.62 million iPads were sold, which is down by twenty-three percent year-over-year. To put it in perspective, Apple made more money off Macs than iPads. iOS 9 brings new features to buy and an excuse to buy a new iPad.
iOS 9 adds a wealth of improvements and new features for the iPad, one of which is clearly aimed at productivity which has enhancements for the system keyboard with the addition of cut, copy and paste shortcuts as well as the ability to turn the keyboard into a makeshift trackpad for easily moving the cursor. The biggest addition for iPad is multitasking, iOS 9 on iPad now lets you run two apps next to each other, something which has made Microsoft’s Surface range so compelling. A new task switcher on iPad, as well as on iPhone which makes it easer to swipe between two apps at a time.
System Improvements and Battery Life
As expected, iOS 9 brings many enhancements and improvements to the operating system and improvements to battery life. Apple has said that iOS 9 will give an extra hour of juice to iPhones, when used in normal conditions. Apple has also made some handy tweaks that weren’t mentioned in the keynote such as using the ambient light an proximity sensors to detect if the phone is facedown on a table or desk and then any notifications won’t light the screen up.
Another feature is borrowed from Android, Low Power Mode. Once activated, iPhones will be able to last for a further three hours, it does this by turning off motion effects, animated wallpapers, disabling email fetch and any other features which drain battery.
Many users will be pleased to hear that Apple has worked to reduce the overall footprint of the installation files for iOS 9, with iOS 8 many users complained that the installation required 4.58GB of free space, but now it only needs 1.3GB.
Release Date & Devices
iOS 9 is set to release later this year, most likely in September, it will also be available on all devices which supported iOS 8.
- iPhone 4s
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPad mini
- iPad mini 2
- iPad mini 3
- iPad 2
- iPad 3rd generation
- iPad 4th generation
- iPad Air
- iPad Air 2
- iPod touch 5th generation