Apple announced its upcoming mobile software – iOS 9 at WWDC in June. It is now going through beta stages and will be available for public download by the end of September. Lets have a look at the top 10 features of iOS 9.
iOS 9 is an incremental update to iOS 8 and makes it smoother and solid. Apple has made a base with iOS 7 in terms of major overhaul and is now building a strong foundation, along with adding few new features and apps on the way. The developer beta is out since June and recently Apple released the Public Beta 1 as well. We have been using it for few days now and it is pretty stable except some bugs.
So, iOS 9 is full of enhancements that will be appreciated every day. Now, lets check out the top 10 features of iOS 9.
Top 10 features of iOS 9
The iPad Air 2 is a powerful device but limited in functionality due to current OS constraints. With iOS 9, true multitasking capability comes to the iPad. New features like Slide Over, Split View and Picture in picture has been introduced. Also, new QuickType features will make formatting and text selection even easier now, with shortcuts right at our fingertips.
Slide Over means we can now open a second app without leaving the one we are currently in. In this way, we can respond to a message, browse the web or any anything else and again slide the app and go back to the first app, we were using before.
With Split View, now we can open two apps and let them be active at the same time. This has been on many Android counterparts since ages but its better late than never.
Picture in Picture can be used by pressing the Home button while using FaceTime or watch a video, then the video screen will scale down to a corner of the display. Then tap to open another app, and the video will continue to play. Thus, you can continue watching your favourite TV show or FaceTime with your loved ones and reply to your email as well at the same time.
The multitasking features should have made its way to the iPhone as well – at least the iPhone 6 Plus, which rocks a 5.5-inch display. However, we are sure it will be implemented on iPhones sooner.
Revamped Notes app
This may not be the best Notes app in the market but Apple has introduced a lot of new features to make it one of the best app makeovers in iOS 9. Now, we can add to our notes from the apps we are using, without leaving it. By tapping the Share button in Safari, Maps and other apps, we can save attachments like maps, URLs, Pages documents and much more, to a new or an existing note. We can now turn the lists into checklists by adding bullets. Photos and videos can also be added or taken directly from the Notes app. With iCloud, you get real-time syncing across all your iOS and Mac devices.
After the Maps fiasco after its introduction in iOS 6, Apple has been constantly improving the experience of Apple Maps. Now, the Cupertino company has added support for public transit directions. It includes buses, subways and ferries. However, it is limited to few cities at launch – San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington, New York, D.C., Chicago and Philadelphia in USA. We are sure it will expand overtime. The search had a major overhaul with new topic-based search suggestions, including Food, Drink, Shopping, Fun and more. This will help in finding popular restaurants, groceries, cafés and more.
Siri has also received a major upgrade which it deserved in order to compete with the likes of Google Now and Cortana. It can now answer contextual questions. Due to addition of context, it can now followup question without restating the original query and thus it makes searching much more conversational. Siri is now also better at searching through the contents of the iPhone. It can reply to commands like “show me pictures from February 2013”, “Show me videos I took at Pragya’s birthday party” and more. Based on the apps we commonly use on our iPhone, we will be given intelligent suggestions for what we might want to do next – even before we ask.
Apple has added a new app in iOS 9 which is known as ‘News’. The app collects all the stories we would want to read, from top news sources, based on topics we’re most interested in – so that we no longer need to move from app to app to stay informed. It promises to give a captivating experience with beautiful editorial layouts and typography along with rich photo galleries, videos and animation. The articles will be optimized for both iPhone and iPad. The more we read, the more personalized the News app will become. We can easily share articles with others and even save them to read offline.
iOS 9’s one of the most wonderful feature is its smarter and more relevant search. It has brought more Google Now like experience to iOS with system wide search. Now, swiping to the right from the main home screen will get you a personalized set of recommendations and news. It includes selected contacts, apps and much more according to the time and behaviour of the day.
The settings menu has a search option now, which makes it more convenient to type in the settings you want to visit instead of making our way though several options. In addition to basic web search and contents on the phone, we can now also do simple conversions and calculations as well from the built-in search.
The app switcher or the multitasking window has a new card-like design now. It makes it easier to flip through the apps which are running. This also removes the contacts shortcuts which showed in iOS 8. If you’re connected with another Mac or iOS device, the handoff window also shows up there.
The Photos app has got an upgrade as well. Now there are dedicated albums like Screenshots and Selfies along with the old ones. The Screenshots album is specially helpful as it automatically pulls all the relevant screenshots for quick access. This will help in deleting irrelevant ones which was not possible by searching through a tons of photos.
Battery: Low Power Mode
Apple promises 1 hour of additional time before charging in iOS 9 across all devices. If your iPhone is kept in a facedown position on a table, the ambient light and proximity sensors will prevent the screen from turning on, even when you receive notifications. Thus, helping in saving power. There is a new Low Power Mode in iOS finally. When switched on, it temporarily reduces power consumption by turning off mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads and some visual effects are reduced or disabled. When the power goes below 20% on iOS 9, it shows the warning as well as gives the option of turning ‘Low Power Mode’ and the process is repeated again, when it goes below 10%.
Keyboard: Shift Key
The iOS keyboard had capital letters all the time and it is finally changing. When you press Shift and accordingly the keyboard is in small letters or capital. It is a welcome change which will not lead to any confusion now.
These were the Top 10 features of iOS 9 according to us. Of course, Apple has added many other features which includes CarPlay, Wallet, smaller and more convenient updates. iOS will be faster and more responsive than ever before because of Metal. There is improved security as well. Apple is also making sure it’s now easier than ever before to move from Android to iOS, with the introduction of ‘Move to iOS’ app.
Moreover, iOS 9 will be compatible with most iOS devices, starting from iPhone 4s and later, iPad Air and Air 2, iPad 2 and later, all the iPad Minis and lastly iPod Touch 5th generation.
To know more on iOS 9, visit Apple. Let us know about your views on the top 10 features of iOS 9 in the comments section below.