Apple has announced it’s new iOS 9 for the iPhone and iPad and iPod touch and it aims to fix a few issues and make iOS more intelligent and intuitive. The iOS 9 is due out this fall (Or spring for those in the southern hemisphere.) as a free download.
Improved in iOS9 is the search feature, Siri is going to be more powerful, and multitasking will finally be available for iPad users. Notes has been given an upgrade, Newsstand has been replaced by News and Maps is now able to connect to local mass transport systems to give information on buses and trains (A feature that’s been lacking for some time, but is only in a small number of cities so far.). Multitasking is something the iPad should be able to do, and it is something that it will finally be able to do.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering has said “iOS 9 is packed with more intelligence through, and delivers big updates to the apps customers use most – Maps supports public transport a redesigned Notes app provides a great way to capture idea and a beautiful New app delivers content that’s personalised to your interests. With out new iPad features, users can take advantage of the power of iPad, working in two apps at the same time with Split View, Slide Over or Picture in Picture.”
The new iPad features may breath new life into a device that was losing popularity. For many people, an iPad was just an oversized iPhone. It had a lot of potential and quality hardware, but it was missing a few things that would have been useful to many users. Picture-in-Picture is a new feature that allows you to have a video call on FaceTime while using a different app side-by-side. This has been a useful feature on Windows OS, and for iPad users it will be really handy. Switching between apps is time-consuming and decreases workflow. Slide Over allows users to slide between apps easily, again making the iPad more efficient to use. Split View will allow users to use two apps at once, which is something I’ve wanted for a while now. For those who use the iPad for research, being able to have the information on one side and Notes on the other will make it much easier than moving in and out of apps.
Siri has been upgraded to become more intelligent. The intelligence comes from Siri being proactive in what your routine and habits are. Using your location, Siri will know when you’re at the gym, and what music you listen to as you work out, remind you to contact certain people at certain times should you forget, and will essentially be a more capable personal assistant in your pocket. Siri will be able to predict what you’ll want your device to do and set it up to do when you need it to be done. Apple hasn’t said how this will be secure, but it claims that the information Siri will keepwon’t be compromised.
Apple’s built in apps are hit and miss. When Maps was released, it was flawed to a point where it was unusable. Compared to Google maps, it wasn’t even playing on the same field. Support for metropolitan transport systems is being included, but only for a limited number of cities (Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. in the US, and Mexico City, London, Berlin and Toronto internationally. 300 cities in China will have Maps support for public transport systems.). Maps will also let you know what local businesses are nearby with a feature called Nearby that will also tell you what businesses accept Apple Pay.
Notes is an app with competitors that are ahead of what Apple’s app offers. Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote are very good apps for note taking. Apple has redesigned its Notes app, giving users the ability to use their finger to quickly draw or write something in a hurry. Checklists will be included and the ability to snap a photo into a note. If you’re someone who uses Apple products exclusively, these added features along with the syncing in the iCloud would make these apps more productive.
The Newsstand will be no more, replaced with an app simply titled News. News aims to make a more immersive reading environment, combining the design of a print magazine with the interactivity available through digital devices. News learns what topics and magazines you read and suggests relevant content. Apple News Format is a new digital publishing format that allows for content producers to utilise custom typography, galleries, audio, video and interactive animations. There will be a range of publishers to be read through News, and over one million topics.
Battery life will also be improved, which is a big plus. An extra hour of battery will be available, as will a low power mode to conserve energy when some features aren’t required to be used.
Each time Apple releases an iOS update, there’s always complaints about flaws. But, each time there’s a new iOS update there are improvements. For developers, beta software and SDK are currently available. A beta version for the public will be released in July, and the final version release in fall/spring.