Yesterday at WWDC Apple unveiled the iOS 9 features, in the latest version of its popular mobile operating system. The question on everyone’s mind is what’s new in the latest iOS version. Most of what we see in iOS 9 is that Apple has managed to bring existing third-party apps to make its own standard apps in what Apple called elevating the foundations of the platform.
Intelligence and Siri
They have added intelligence throughout the user experience. without compromising your privacy. There is also a new Siri UI in iOS 9. Siri can “see” your apps, and you can just say “remind me about this when I get home.” Siri now has Proactive assistant feature as it knows what you like to do at certain times — it can start playing music when you plug-in headphones, or cue up an audiobook when you get in the car. Calendar can now give you time to leave reminders based on traffic, just like Google Now. Mail can look in your email and suggest Caller ID for unknown numbers which we think is pretty cool. There is also a suggested apps feature which is a GREAT idea and I’m glad it’s here.
Siri and Spotlight are getting more integrated in iOS 9— it can suggest things you might want to do or people you might want to contact based on your email and calendar when you pull down the Spotlight shade. There is now an API for search. When a user performs a search, Apple can find content behind the apps they have on your device, and when they are tapped they’re deep-linked into the app. This is what Apple called Deep Linking.
All of this information is anonymous, and on your device. The company says that it stays on your device, under your control. Not affiliated with Apple ID, or other Apple services.
Spoiler: Most of what was announced about Apple Pay doesn’t concern anyone who lives out of the US or UK for now.
Now Apple Pay is coming to more services like Forever 21, Rader Joe’s, Baskin Robbins, and JC Penney. Later this month, Pinterest will launch “buyable pins” letting you buy things from Nieman Marcus and Macy’s using Apple Pay. Apple Pay coming to the UK next month and will launch with eight of the most popular banks, more coming this fall. Apple Pay will work on the London transportation system. Also Apple managed to kill Passbook in favor of it’s new app called Wallet.
In the new Notes app, you can make checklists, and add photos right from the app. You can also draw and sketch inside of Notes. In my opinion Notes apps are supposed to be as light as possible, look at what happened to Microsoft’s One Note, Who still uses it? Especially after it was bloated with many features. Okay, back to Notes, You can now add a link to notes right from the share sheet.
Apart from Apple boasting on how they have 5 billion user requests per week in Maps. And, claiming it’s 3.5 times higher usage on iOS than the next leading mapping app, Apple introduced Transit feature which is limited for selected cities in USA, UK and China. When you tap on a station you can see all the lines that run through it, with “multi-modal routing” so you can switch from trains to buses, and whatnot. Basically, Apple located all of the entrances and exits in various train and subway stations and uses the distance data to refine your travel time. Location cards in Maps now show whether the merchants support Apple Pay.
News is beautiful content form the world’s greatest sources personalized to you. Everyone seems to be is building around the poor performance of the mobile web: Facebook is doing Instant Articles, Google is doing Chrome Tabs in apps, and Apple is doing News. The News App is a direct challenge to Flipboard, and it’s built into the OS. The articles can come from anywhere, but the best ones are built in Apple News format with the best mobile reading experience ever. You can bookmark articles to read later. Now, keep in mind that Apple’s previous Newsstand app was a huge disappointment for publishers. It’s not clear they’ll invest much in creating modified RSS feeds to power this app. There was no business relevance talked about, Whether it will be based on ads or a revenue split, is not yet known.
There’s an Explore tab, with suggested publications and topics. News keeps track of more than a million topics. Apple says that the app will get smarter as you read it and claim that there are powerful machine learning algorithms that figure out which stories belong in which articles. EVERY news reading app in history has said this, and in my experience, it is never true. For the disappointing part, Apple is rolling out News in the US, UK, and Australia seems the rest of the world will have to wait.
iOS 9 will be seen as the OS that made the iPad relevant again since the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus. With QuickType, they’ve added shortcuts to the keyboard suggestion bar: cut copy paste, attachments, etc. You can put two fingers down on the keyboard and it becomes a trackpad to move the cursor around. I don’t know who’s typing like this on an iPad in portrait, but with this update, clearly they’re gonna be so stoked.
Multitasking helps make the post-PC era which Apple invented with the iPad, feel exactly like the PC era. iPad has always supported forms of multitasking, but for iOS 9 they’re taking it to a whole new level. Double tapping on the home button now shows the new task switcher that looks like an Android 5.0 Task manager inverted.
SlideOver: swipe in from the side to bring in another app. Pull down from the top to bring in other applications. This is very reminiscent of Windows 8. You can launch two app side by side and both apps are active at the same time; you can scroll them both at the same time. You can drag and drop between apps, and four-finger swipes still switch apps in each zone. There is also picture-in-picture (PiP) multitasking with floating videos, something Samsung has done on Android for a long time now.
This really feels like all of this is about making the iPad way more useful ahead of that rumored iPad Pro. It should be noted that SplitView is only available on the iPad Air 2, since it has the raw power to handle this kind of Multitasking. SlideOver and PiP is available on iPad Air and up, Mini 2 and up.
Low power mode and OTA Updates
iOS 9 has a switch for “low power mode. It pulls switches you didn’t even know existed as it gives you up to an additional three hours of battery life. Apple has significantly reduced the amount of free space you need to get iOS 9 from 4.6gb to 1.8gb.
Other silent Features
Flyover and Walkthrough : In Maps there’s an even richer experience users can expect when iOS 9 ships. Certain cities already have a “flyover” view that give an automated, bird’s-eye view of a city’s landscape.
Search extensibility : It’s one way Apple wants to combat Google Now with what it calls a “proactive assistant”.
Third-party notifications and Notification actions : Here we shall see improvements in Third-party notifications for iOS.
Object-oriented Contacts : In iOS 9, the operating system will be able to cross-reference data from various sources when you receive a call.
iOS 9 will be coming out for all iPhones and iPads below with a Public Beta for iOS 9 expected this July and Final version later in the year. Developer beta today, and it will support all the devices supported by iOS 8, no drop off.
All Image Credit: The Verge