Anticipation is building up ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2015, where Apple is expected to preview its upcoming iOS 9, among other things.
Apple's WWDC 2015 kicks off on June 8 and runs through June 12. The annual conference always starts with a keynote focused on software on the first day, and this year should be no different. The new iOS 9 should make its official debut as a preview, teasing neat features to come ahead of its final release in the fall.
Considering that the last iOS iterations boasted major visual overhauls in the past years, the new iOS 9 is now expected to focus more on new features and stability rather than dramatic visual changes.
No concrete information or evidence is available at this point, but the rumor mill is always busy churning in anticipation, trying to paint a picture of what's to come. Based on speculation so far, iOS 9 should bring some improvements to the popular Siri digital assistant, add a HomeKit app, support split-screen multitasking for the iPad, enhancements to Apple Maps and more.
The next-generation iOS 9 may not boast the impressive overhauls of its predecessors, but it should add some much-needed improvements to stability and the overall experience. iOS 9 should maximize the potential of existing features in addition to adding new ones.
The update to iOS 8 brought big changes and features, such as Continuity and Apple Pay, but it was also full of bugs that marred the experience for some. Users reported numerous issues with the operating system, including poor battery performance, poor and unreliable Wi-Fi, failure with Bluetooth connectivity, screen rotation problems and many more. The upcoming iOS 9 should fine-tune everything and resolve most of the lingering issues, allowing for a more stable experience.
Storage and Download Size
With its upcoming iOS 9, Apple could be looking to reduce the amount of space required for the OS install. When iOS launched last year, many users failed to upgrade because they did not have sufficient internal storage to make the jump. Adoption rates were slow for iOS 8 during its first months of availability, and even today there are iPhone and iPad users who haven't left iOS 7 yet. Devices with just 8 GB or 16 GB of internal storage capacity, for instance, make it more difficult to allocate a minimum of 2 GB only for the iOS 8 install. If iOS 9 solves this issue and reduces the amount of space necessary, it should see significantly bigger adoption rates.
Recent rumors indicated that iOS 9 will work with devices packing Apple's older A5 processor, including the iPhone 4s, the first iPad mini, the iPad 2 and the iPod touch fifth-generation. On the other hand, other reports indicate that the iPhone 4s might not make the cut for iOS 9, and the reasoning is not too far-fetched. Back in 2013, iOS 7 ditched the iPhone 3GS. One year later, iOS 8 dumped the iPhone 4. This year's iOS 9 could do away with the iPhone 4s, but nothing is certain for now.
With iOS 9, Siri could get some notable improvements, including support for third-party apps. The digital assistant could also receive a minor redesign, along the lines of the Siri interface for the Apple Watch as well as some other tweaks and features to make it smarter. Google Now and Microsoft's Cortana received significant upgrades so far, and Siri has to stay competitive.
Being able to open two applications or two versions of the same app at once is something iPad users are eagerly waiting for, and iOS 9 may finally bring this feature. The display of a tablet, especially full-sized iPads, has plenty of real estate to support two apps at once, and multitasking features are quite popular nowadays.
Apple is reportedly working on new security features for its upcoming iOS 9, aiming to combat malware and better protect sensitive data. At the same time, increased security is also expected to make jailbreaking harder.
The new MacBook and Apple Watch introduced a neat display feature called Force Touch, consisting of haptic feedback. Simply put, Force Touch is pressure-sensitive and allows users to access certain functionality by pressing harder on the display. The next-generation iPhone is expected to support Force Touch as well, which means that iOS 9 should set everything up.
The new iOS 9 may also bring some much-needed improvements to Maps, including transit routing data that should add public transportation information into mapping routes. An augmented reality feature called "Browse Around Me" is also rumored, potentially allowing a user to hold up their iPhone and point it at a building or location on the street to receive information about it.
Lifestyle Management With iOS 9 "Proactive"
Various reports suggest that iOS 9 will boast a new lifestyle management feature called "Proactive," which is expected to replace the existing Spotlight Search. "Proactive" will reportedly bring improved search features, as well as a new user interface (UI) that includes content from apps, Maps and Contacts. The feature will learn the user's daily habits and display information accordingly, and it may support third-party apps as well.
The next-generation iOS 9 may also come with a new "Home" application, according to various reports. This application would serve as a control center for devices based on Apple's HomeKit home automation platform, which should also debut at WWDC 2015.
The upcoming iOS 9 should also bring a host of other minor enhancements, including an improved keyboard, a new font, improvements to iMessage read receipts, Apple Pay perks and more.
iOS 9 Launch
As previously mentioned, Apple is widely expected to preview its new iOS 9 at the WWDC next week. The final version of the OS, however, will most likely roll out in September, powering the next-generation iPhones. Apple could also launch a public beta test for iOS 9 before the official release. With WWDC 2015 just around the corner, more information will become available shortly.