Apple debuts iOS 9: Battery enhancements, smarter Siri and more

Apple just revealed the latest version of iOS at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

iOS 9, which will roll out to iPhones and iPads later this year, adds a suite of new features to the operating system.

With a smarter Siri, battery enhancements and other performance improvements, iOS 9 is expected to bring more subtle changes to iOS, compared with iOS 8, which was the biggest overhaul of Apple’s mobile operating system yet.

One area Apple particularly focused on was improving the functionality of Siri, which is getting a huge upgrade with iOS 9. The revamped Siri is now much more like Google Now in that it’s context-aware and able to proactively make suggestions before you ask. A voice command to “find photos from Utah last August,” for example will allow Siri to surface the relevant images from your device.

Apple is also introducing an API for search, which will allow developers to take advantage of Siri’s new features and build better deep linking experiences between apps. Apple’s new search interface also provides Google Now-like suggestions by surfacing contact information, breaking news and apps based on factors like what’s on your calendar and the time of day.

Other improvements include better caller ID — iOS will provide suggestions on the identity of callers from numbers not saved in your device’s contacts list. Reminders are also getting a boost with better integration with your calendar. iOS can now automatically surface reminders when it’s time to leave for your next meeting and will provide suggestions for based on email messages.

Apple’s Craig Federighi emphasized Siri’s new functionality doesn’t come at the expense of users’ privacy, noting that the new features were designed with privacy in mind.

On the iPad side, Apple is revamping the device’s quick type keyboard with new gestures that make it much easier to adjust text and the position of the cursor.

Multitasking is also a huge focus for tablets: Apple is introducing a new app switching experience, split-screen apps and picture in picture viewing for videos. Split-screen apps will allows users to run two apps side by side for the first time ever on an iOS device while new picture in picture features make it possible to watch videos while you work in other apps, like Mail.

Finally, iOS 9 will also add battery improvements that could squeeze an extra hour of battery life out from devices and both iPads and iPhones will benefit from a new power efficient mode that Federighi said could extend a device’s battery life by as much as three hours, when enabled.


Source: Mashable