With Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on the horizon, many developers and fans of the corporation will be eagerly awaiting news about iOS 9. The two previous versions of Apple’s mobile operating system featured fairly cosmetic differences. Most changes involved in iOS 8 were either granular or internal, although Apple did include a few new elements of functionality such as another iCloud Drive.
iOS 8 was largely a well-received update to the physical upgrade that Apple instigated with iOS 7, but fans of the iPhone series in particular will be looking for something a bit more substantial when iOS 9 is unveiled and later released. Apple has the opportunity to do something a little more radical when iOS 9 is released, and this would be a good foundation for the future revolutionary iPhone handset which is strongly rumored.
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iOS 9 – extensions
One of the recent suggestions for iOS 9 which could make a significant difference to the software is the expansion of the extensions functionality. This is a feature of the operating system which may have gone unnoticed by many iOS users, but it is potentially an extremely useful feature of the software.
But Apple might consider enabling developers to trigger specific extensions programmatically in this next version of iOS. This would enable the consumer electronics giant to make extensions more accessible for users, and at the same time ensure that the technology is more consistent, useful and approachable.
Apple users are also calling for iOS 9 to be more user-friendly in terms of customization options. Although the slickness of the iOS operating system has frequently been praised by both commercial customers and the critical community, it is something of a closed book. Android is far more customizable than the iOS operating system, and Apple has been encouraged to improve the situation for quite some time.
We could see this finally stepped up in the iOS 9 release, with default apps an element of the software which is being predicted in some quarters. This would allow, for example, those utilizing the iPhone to replace the Safari browser with Chrome, or Apple Maps with Google Maps.
While Apple software is undoubtedly extremely proficient, the company does not have the market- leading package in every single software niche, and those iPhone users would benefit from more freedom of choice. This is commonplace on Apple’s desktop platforms, but it has hitherto not been an option included in the iOS operating system.
Control Center changes
Another aspect of customization which Apple could consider for the forthcoming iOS 9 release is to enable the Control Center to be fully customized by users. This has been effectively locked down since iOS was first released, but recent versions of the iOS operating system have allowed a little tinkering.
For example, since iOS 7, Apple has located a Control Center located within the settings application. In the most recent version of iOS, this page includes two toggles – Access on Lock Screen and Access Within Apps. This shows that Apple has begun down the path of enabling customization to this aspect of the iOS operating system, and iOS 9 could curry a lot of favor with iPhone users by enabling, for example, the settings page of Control Center to allow users to customize shortcuts and toggles.
A far less likely possibility in this area is that Apple could allow shortcuts to be customized by users as well. The reason that this is less likely is that Apple likes to keep the visual appeal of its devices, both externally and in terms of what appears on the display, locked at the very highest standards possible. It is the stylish, design-oriented aspect of the iPhone which has played a massive part in its overwhelming success, and Apple will certainly not compromized this element of the smartphone.
The problem with allowing more customizable Apple shortcuts is that some of the icons which would then find their way into the Control Center would be less appealing from a visual perspective. Although it would offer versatility to iPhone users, Apple is likely to jealously guard the physical beauty of its Control Center visual interface.
Siri to get revamp
It has also been reported that Siri will be getting an upgrade when iOS 9 is released, and central to this will be a more colorful aspect to the software. Apple has remained extremely quiet about what features will be included in its latest mobile operating system, but the recent release of the Apple Watch has certainly got tongues wagging in this department.
Apple’s voice assistant on the iPhone and iPad could mimic the more colorful version of Siri which appeared in the Apple Watch. Sources close to Apple has apparently suggested that this will definitely be the case when the operating system is announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference. This would be a departure from the plain black and white design which features in the existing Siri software on iPhone and iPad.
There may be upgrades to the functionality of Siri as well, considering that Microsoft is placing such a huge emphasis on Cortana. There have even been reports that this software will make its way to iOS in the foreseeable future, but this seems like a rather far-fetched scenario.
Beats release likely
It is probable that Apple will make more of its Beats acquisition during the Worldwide Developers Conference as well. It has been widely reported that Apple will include its new Beats-powered music service in this iOS 9 release, with the intention of facing off against other streaming music services such as Spotify.
Above all else, there will be pressure on Apple to deliver an iOS 9 release which is free from bugs out of the box. iOS 8 was a little disappointing in this area, with users reporting numerous niggles when it was first released. Apple will certainly want to get on top of this and deliver the slickest iOS 9 release possible, as its unveiling approaches.