Apple at its annual software conference on Monday took the wraps off its latest operating system iOS 9 for iPhone, iPad and iPod. While the developer build of iOS 9 has gone live, the public beta preview which is a first will also be available in July.
iOS 9 will require only 1.3 GB space (unlike the 5GB Space that iOS 8 demanded) and that it will support iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and later devices.
iOS 9 comes with a new Proactive Assistance, which is Apple’s answer to Google Now and will answer queries based on context.
Proactive assistance will give users the most relevant information, it can learn what music you listen to in the gym at what time of day and it will just put that on for you. In addition to this, Proactive will also automatically add invites, reminders to your calendar without a user having to tap and do it themselves. You can now also search in natural language on Siri as well. For example you can type sentences like, “Photos I clicked last June” and Siri will have an answer.
According to Apple, Proactive will not compromise user privacy and this is in no way linked to your Apple ID (like Google Now is linked with your Google account). The searches via Proactive will be anonymous, not shared with third-parties or linked to other Apple services.
In addition to this iOS 9 is also promising battery optimisation and a low-power mode to help further extend battery life by up to 3 hours. Apple has also made developer APIs available which include will allow
- deep links directly to content within third-party apps;
- GameplayKit and Model I/O for building better games and ReplayKit for recording gameplay
- new HomeKit profiles for motorised windows and shades, motion sensors and home security systems;
- wireless CarPlay and support for auto manufacturers to develop apps within CarPlay;
- new HealthKit data points for reproductive health, UV exposure, water intake and sedentary state.
Apple also announced updates to the Maps with a new Transit feature. Transit emphasises on trains, buses, etc and Apple will provide step-by-step direction along with walking time.
Transit can even survey the entrances and exits of a station so you can find the quickest way in and out. Apple says that the Transit information in Maps will be available in select major cities this fall, including Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto and Washington DC, as well as over 300 cities in China, including Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai. The other app to get an update in iOS 9 was the Notes App. In iOS 9, Notes will allow users to to draw quick sketches, create checklists that they can tick off, or just take a photo directly inside a note.
Apple also announced a News app for iOS which will be coming to US, UK and Australia. The News App will allow users to pick a customised feed of news content from publishers like Conde Nast, ESPN and The New York Times.
Apple Pay also got some updates with support for loyalty cards and rewards programs from merchant stores. Apple has renamed Passbook as Wallet as all cards, etc will be stored here. Apple Pay is also coming to UK starting next month.
The other big update in iOS 9 was the new Split-View or what Apple called SlideOver addition to the iPad. The new feature allows users to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side. There’s also a new Picture-in-Picture which will let users continue watching a video while using any other app.
Although to use these features you will need Sadly an iPad Air and above or iPad mini with Retina Display and above. iPad 4 and below users will probably see no new features when they hit the update.