iOS 9 Apple’s next major mobile OS delivers much-needed features

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Apple on Monday previewed iOS 9, the next major software update for its mobile devices. During the 26th WWDC keynote event Craig Federighi, SVP of Software Engineering, talked about the focus of iOS 9 being towards intelligence, multitasking on iPad, foundation and improving built-in apps.

iOS 9 Built-in Apps

Apple is improving built-in apps that iOS already has and even bringing new default apps to iOS 9. Every-time the company expands functionality of some of its existing apps or introduces new apps it tends to disrupt the business of some of the third-party apps.

News

In iOS 9 Apple is all set to introduce News which will bring personalised news stories based on the type of articles you read and the topics you are interested in. Sounds a bit like Flipboard right? Apple will be releasing special set of tools to enable publishers to create content for the News app. This content will include immersive design, interactivity and beautiful typography.

These special print style layouts would be great for editorial and in-dept articles.

Notes

The Notes app in iOS 9 is getting a lot of love from Apple. The updated app will allow you to do more than just note taking. It now includes creating a checklist, adding photo, map or a URL to your note. Another addition to the app is the ability to sketch with your finger.

I use Notes app a lot and even though my devices have many third-party apps I’ve always gone back to the default Notes app in iOS. These new features would certainly make Apple’s Notes app a whole lot powerful and iCloud syncing will support all these features between OS X and iOS.

Maps

Ever since Apple and Google’s maps licensing ended, the company has been hard at work to improve its mapping solution. Apple Maps were initially criticised for inaccuracies and limited features. In iOS 9 Apple is bringing Transit vier with routes and directors. The new maps app will also include Nearby search to find local businesses from categories such as Food, Shopping, Fun, and more.

Wallet

Passbook has been renamed to Wallet app in iOS 9. It will not just store credit cards you use but also include reward and loyalty cards. You will be able to use Apple Pay to redeem rewards or apply offer.

CarPlay

Apple has pulled the cord from CarPlay for the new cars that support wireless connection to your iPhone. You can have your iPhone in the pocket never take it out and still access CarPlay. The updated app will also support apps developed by car manufactures so that you can use the car’s features without leaving CarPlay.

iOS 9 for iPad

With iOS 9 Apple has taken multi-tasking on the iPad to a whole new level. The upcoming software update will support slide over, split view and picture in picture which will utilise the true potential of the iPad. Apple has also improved the QuickType feature introduced in iOS 8.

Multitasking

Slide Over allows you to quickly take action in another app without ever leaving the first one. Split View allows you to have work in two apps simultaneously. Picture in Picture takes any video content and floats in on the screen when you press the home button.

QuickType

Selecting text, copying and pasting while these tasks have been very easy to do on iOS. However, for getting some serious work done receptively selecting text, copying and pasting involves constantly lifting your finger from the keyboard the tap and hold on the screen to have controls appear on the screen. All this is changing with iOS 9. Two finger tap on the new keyboard in iOS 9 for iPad transforms it into a trackpad allowing you to move the cursor and then use dedicated keys for cut, copy, paste, text formatting and adding attachments.

Intelligence

Siri received a major upgrade in iOS 8 and now with iOS 9 it is getting much better. Apple is allowing Siri to search built-in apps to source answers, deliver results faster and even offering suggestions proactively.

Siri can now offer you quick access to different apps depending on the time of the day and your location. It can automatically create events when it detects invitations in an email and much more.

Foundation

Apple has made a number of under-the-hood refinements to iOS 9 to make its performance faster and even improve battery life.

One of the biggest hurdles in users upgrading to iOS 8 was the amount of free space the software requested for over-the-air update. In iOS 9 Apple has reduced it by more than 70%. A new developer API called App Thinness will allow the App Store to download assets for the app that match the users screen density.

Security has also been improved in the OS. The devices will now require a six-digit passcode. Two-factor authentication will be required when you sign in from anew browser or on a new device.

Conclusion

iOS 9 brings many features that will enhance users productivity in performing day to day tasks. Intelligence and improved multitasking are certainly some of the best new features in iOS 9.

The public beta will be available in July followed by final release this Fall.

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