Apple has a lot on its plate at the moment with the release of the Apple Watch, but another major development for 2015 will be the unveiling of iOS 9. The latest Apple operating system will be expected to play a major role in the forthcoming iPhone 7, and Apple has traditionally released the latest version of its operating system well ahead of its flagship smartphone.

Apple iOS 9 - Possible Improvements Over iOS 8

So what do we know already about the next version of the iOS operating system? Here is a ValueWalk rundown of the latest news and rumored features.

iOS 9 release date

First things first, iOS 9 is likely to be released at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. This is the usual venue for the unveiling of Apple operating systems, and Apple is not expected to veer away from this with iOS 9. This will ensure that developers who are registered with Apple will be able to test out the beta version of the operating system in June of this year. Non-registered developers will have to wait until September to get their hands on this operating system.

iOS 9 – customization

There is a raft of possible features which could be included in iOS 9 that Apple consumers all over the world will be hoping for. One of the first and most obvious aspects of this operating system is the potential for Apple to offer more customization. iOS 9 is renowned for being a slick and user-friendly operating system, but critics of the Apple approach, and devotees of Android and Linux, typically point to the rigid nature of iOS when critiquing the Apple software. Apple could finally choose to truly address this with iOS 9.

iOS 9 – multitasking

Apple would of course argue that multitasking is already an element of iOS 8. But he ability to switch between two applications which are both paused does not really fit a true description of multitasking. Thus, Apple fans will be hoping that a more holistic version of multitasking is delivered with this mobile operating system.

iOS 9 – shortcuts

It has already been reported that iOS 9 will enable users to open up new shortcuts, which will make it easier to navigate menus on the iPhone and iPad quickly. Simple taps and gestures will now enable users to rapidly navigate through the menus of the two Apple iDevices.

iOS is already known as being an intuitive operating system, but it is likely that Apple will ramp up the functionality in this department to deliver an even more refined user experience.

iOS 9 – less crashes and bugs

Some users reported a lot of false starts, glitches and crashes with iOS 8, and it is important that Apple improves the situation when it releases iOS 9. One of the most annoying of these bugs was the tendency for the iPhone 6 battery to drain rather rapidly. And considering the already short battery life of the iPhone series this was particularly annoying. Apple would be well advised to get a handle on this error in particular.

iOS 9 – footprint

To some degree, Apple is praised in this department, considering Android devices are notable for so-called ‘bloatware’. But the amount of storage space required to install iOS 8 was quite considerable, and many Apple fans that utilize its mobile products to store pictures, music and videos would greatly appreciate the next version of its mobile operating system being a more lightweight client.

iOS 9 – Beats music

Apple has made a lot of capital out of its acquisition of the Beats music service, both in terms of the initial commercial outlay and media advertising. So the inclusion of a streaming music service would be extremely welcome, and would also seem to make strategic sense for Apple.

Ultimately, this has been a multi-billion-dollar acquisition for Apple, and it hasn’t committed this amount of money purely with the intention of selling headphones.

iOS 9 – Siri improvements

Siri is a nifty piece of software, but with Microsoft upgrading its Cortana rival, there is pressure on Apple to improve Siri too. New features included in iOS 8 such as Shazam integration and improved activation functionality were welcome, but there is still room for improvement, and in particular Apple could take steps to humanize the service.

iOS 9 – iTunes backup

ITunes is inherently associated with Apple and the iOS operating system, but not everyone is enamoured with this Apple music system. Although software companies like users to utilize their particular proprietary solutions, many users of Apple smartphones have now expanded their music libraries beyond iTunes. It would be an excellent feature if Apple was to ensure that iOS 9 also extended its taste beyond this trademark Apple system. This wouldn’t require Apple to ditch iTunes, simply to embrace some of the competition.

iOS 9 – Updated Apple Pay

This is virtually a certainty for iOS 9, as Apple Pay will have developed considerably by the time of the Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple will also have released the Apple Watch by then, so the concept of mobile payments may have become more cemented in mainstream society. With Samsung Pay also being released possibly before iOS 9 is unveiled, the mobile payments war will truly be underway, so Apple is likely to place an increasing emphasis on Apple Pay in iOS 9, as well as possibly improving functionality.

iOS 9 – embrace jailbreaking

Apple has always viewed iOS as a closed system, and has tried to present a very uniform environment to consumers. It has therefore consequently always done everything within its power to prevent jailbreaking, despite the fact that iPhone users all over the world love to break open its operating system.

Instead of taking the rather ‘square’ option of continuing to fight this, Apple could instead embrace jailbreaking with iOS 9. This would open up the iPhone and iPad to a range of new applications which currently aren’t permitted within its rather exclusive atmosphere. Smartphone enthusiasts all over the world would surely welcome this mentality.