Apple reveals a slew of new features that are coming to its iPhone and iPad devices once it fully launches the new iOS 9 in the coming fall.
The announcement was made at the WWDC 2015 wherein Apple said that the iOS 9 beta is available for developers beginning today while a public iOS 9 beta can be fully accessed in July.
A more proactive Siri. One of the key features of the update is the enhanced intelligence of Siri. The popular assistant will be able to access the user's photos, find out when one gets into his car, or even connect Safari links to preset reminders. According to Apple, Siri on iOS 9 is 40 percent faster and 40 percent more accurate than it is on iOS 8. It can now search a wider range of topics in order to provide a wider range of answers. It has a more accurate way of understanding the user and can deliver results much faster. In fact, it can even give helpful suggestions before the question is asked.
Native apps. Native apps in iOS 9 are both tweaked and improved which include a duo of major changes to Newsstand and Passbook. These include renaming them into News and Wallet respectively in order to showcase the broader capabilities that are featured on each.
Similar to Flipboard, News features a more personalized way in getting information, which include personally curated and interactive content. It's designed with a proprietary intelligent system that allows it to find out beforehand what content the user likes and deliver it. Apart from print and familiar news outlets, the app will also deliver content from blogs, local newspapers, specialty publications, and more.
The new Wallet in iOS 9 will feature tickets, passes, credit cards and support for store-specific cards. According to Apple, the UK transit system will enjoy compatibility with Apple Pay.
The Notes app is also getting some new features that include sketches, checklists, and image insertion. Users can also quickly add a link back into their notes with the Share Sheet support.
The Maps app is getting highly requested upgrades, which include support for providing transit directions. Launching in over 20 cities that include San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Beijing, London and more, the transit directions will feature support for subways, buses and trains. Moreover, Maps can provide step-by-step directions along with an estimated walking time. Users can get access to underground maps and would be able to easily find where they are heading.
Spotlight on the iPad. iOS 9 is bringing a number of features that are specific to the iPad iteration. These include some notable shortcut buttons for cutting, copying and pasting and a whole lot more in the Quick Type menu bar.
The latest OS will feature new ways for users to multitask on their iPad. The Split View feature allows the user to have two apps that are open and active at the same time. This can be great for those who want to sketch while having a reference photo on the side. It's perfect for those who are keen on having everything right before their eyes, allowing them to focus more on what they're doing.
The Slide Over feature allows the user to open a second app without having to close the previous app that one has been using. This way, the user can easily respond to a text message, browse the web, or put something down in a note. When done, the newly opened app can be slid away as the user goes back to the one he has opened initially.
The Picture in Picture feature allows one to keep watching a favorite TV show while replying to an email that just came in. The user just has to press the Home button and it will cause the video screen to scale down to a corner of the display. The video can also be pushed off the screen in order to prevent obstructing content. Likewise, it can also be removed with one quick tap.
Performance. Apple said that the new iOS 9 will feature a new low-power mode, which can extend the iPhone's battery life for three hours more. Moreover, the required free space in order to upgrade to iOS 9 has been enhanced. Compared to more than 4 gigabytes needed for iOS 8, upgrading to iOS 9 only requires 1.3 gigabytes.
All devices that can run iOS 8 are capable of getting the iOS 9 upgrade. The new OS will be officially launched in fall.