Apple’s iOS 9 beta is now available to the public for the first time ever and users can download it on their iPhones and iPad. Users can sign for the iOS 9 public beta access here.
Apple warns you that this a beta version of the OS, which means it is still full of bugs and errors and that ideally you should not install this on your primary iOS device, but rather an older device if you have one.
So what’s new in iOS 9? Well in terms of design it looks pretty similar to iOS 8, other than the big font change. As The Verge notes, iOS 9 ditches Helevtica Neue for San Francisco font by Apple. Additionally 9to5Mac reports that the iOS 9 beta 3 which was released to developers has a separate album for Selfies and that Siri does not make the usual ‘Ding’ sound when activated.
The other new features of iOS 9 are:
Siri with Proactive assistance: Siri comes armed with Proactive assistance. It will take the place of spotlight search in iOS 9 and will give users the most relevant information based on the context they put in. In addition to this, Proactive will also automatically add invites, reminders to a calendar without a user having to tap and do it themselves.
In iOS 9, users also get a more improved and colourful version of Siri. Siri also supports search natural language and a user can type sentences like, “Photos I clicked last June” and the voice-assistant will have an answer.
News app: There is also Apple’s News app which looks a lot like Flipboard and will have access to news content and articles. Sadly News app is not coming to India yet, so really nothing of interest here.
Transit in Apple Maps: This new feature on Apple Maps will give train, bus schedules etc and step-by-step direction along with walking time to subways, bus-stations etc. Again it won’t work in India yet.
SlideOver on iPad: The new feature allows users to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side on the iPad. A long awaited feature for iPads indeed. There’s also a new Picture-in-Picture which will let users continue watching a video while using any other app.