Apple’s WWDC conference is all set to take place on June 8-12 and this is where the company showcases the next level of iOS and OS X. Given the interest in the conference, rumours have already started about what Apple will reveal in iOS 9, the next OS from the company for its iPhones and iPads.
We take a look at the rumours around iOS 9.
New font for iOS 9: Apple will be ditching Helvetica Neue which was introduced with iOS 7 in favour of the Apple Watch font San Francisco, says a 9to5Mac report.
While Helvetica Neue did not win too many fans when it was rolled-out with iOS 7, the report adds that not all Apple engineers are happy about the switch and worry that San Francisco won’t look good on non-Retina display screens.
While iOS 9 is unlikely to see too many design changes, the font change could also not take place entirely.
Beats Music: Apple bought Beats Music streaming service and the headphones business for $3 billion in 2014 and so far we’ve not seen an integration of the Beats Music streaming service with iOS.
It was reported in February by 9to5Mac that Apple was working on a new app that will compete with Spotify and Rdio and will be deeply integrated with “iOS, iTunes, and the Apple TV”. Given that a year has passed since the Beats acquisition, no announcement on the Apple-Beats front seems highly unlikely.
Transit for Apple Maps: Transit will allows users to navigate subways, bus services, train routes using the Apple Maps app.
Now Apple Maps has not been the most successful product from the company and most iOS users are firmly sticking to Google Maps. It remains to be seen what Apple Maps will offer new in iOS 9.
Apple recently bought a GPS-start-up company Coherent Navigations, which relies on satellite data for its mapping purposes. While it’s soon for Coherent’s technology to be a part of Apple Maps at WWDC, we could hear more on this closer to the actual roll-out of iOS 9, which takes place in September.
Upgrade for Siri :Last year we saw Siri get integration with Shazam which allows the Apple voice-assistant to identify songs for users. In addition to this, Apple introduced the ‘Hey Siri’ mode which allows users to start a question with the phrase.
It remains to be seen how Siri evolves in iOS 9. According to Gizmodo there could be a good chance that Siri will look a lot like the colourful version in the Apple Watch. Whether Siri finally makes an appearance on OS X (Microsoft’s Cortana is coming to Windows 10) is another question a lot of Apple users will be asking.
HomeKit: Apple’s answer to IoT gadgets and devices for the home, HomeKit was showcased at last year’s WWDC 2015. This year, we could see the app get renamed to Home and it will come with new features like “virtual rooms” which will help users organise their ‘smart’ accessories in their home.
9to5Mac reports that Apple has been working on improving HomeKit and we are likely to see some announcements on this front.
Compatibility with older iPhones: According to a report in 9to5Mac, iPhones and iPads will be able to run iOS 9 efficiently. The report adds that Apple has been testing “a core version of iOS 9 that runs efficiently on older A5 devices.”
With the release of a new version of iOS, the biggest problem is that users who are on older devices, find their iPhones and iPads start getting buggy and slow once they move onto the new version. When iOS 7 was rolled-out in 2013, which saw a significant change in the iOS in terms of looks and design, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users complained how their devices had become slow. Similarly when iOS 8 was rolled-out, users on devices like iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, etc complained how the ‘Settings’ app was constantly crashing.
Also hopefully unlike the iOS 8 update which required 5GB free space on the device, this new update will be lighter. Apple will roll-out iOS 9 in September when the new iPhones are released. With iOS 8 there was a public beta mode as well for testing, so we’ll have to wait and see if iOS 9 also gets one.