Apple showcased its new iOS 9 mobile operating system at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday. The iOS 9 comes with a slew of new features and improvements over iOS 8. The next-gen OS for iPhones and iPads will arrive this fall, most like with the next generation of iPhones. Curious about how the iOS 9 is better than its predecessor? Check out our roundup of the key features of the next iOS update.
1- Enhanced security
While the iOS 8 requires four-digit passcodes, the new OS will require users to insert a six-digit passcode. It won’t change the core process of unlocking your device, but makes it difficult for hackers as now they will have to deal with one million permutations and combinations.
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2- Siri gets ‘Proactive’
As expected, Siri has received a much-needed facelift. The digital voice assistant will use Proactive to display content in a better way. It can now understand a much wider range of requests. The improved Siri is Apple’s answer to Google Now. It can handle more complex requests such as “play the top song from 1982” via Apple Music, or show you photos from a particular time, date or location.
3- An improved battery performance
The iOS 8 lacked a clear battery saving mode. You are left on your own to turn off Bluetooth, WiFi, data, etc. to conserve battery. That’s going to change with the iOS 9. The new OS features “low power mode” that will provide you at least three additional hours of typical usage, claims Apple. It has general performance improvements, too. The iPhone maker claims the iOS 9 offers an extra one hour of battery life over the iOS 8.
4- Multi-tasking on iPads
This one was widely expected. There are Split View, Slide to Switch, and Picture in Picture features that provide a slew of multi-tasking options. Split View supports dual-app view mode for iPads. It allows you to work on two different apps simultaneously without having to constantly switch between them. Slide to Switch lets you switch to a second app while you continue to work on the first. Picture in Picture allows you to pop out a video into a floating window.
5- More free space
Last year, Apple was heavily criticized by users because the iOS 8 required at least 4.6GB of free storage space to upgrade. Now the iOS 9 will require only 1.3GB of space to upgrade wirelessly, which will be particularly useful for iDevices with 8GB and 16GB of storage. It was made possible by App Thinning, a new technology that reduces app size.
6- Spotlight Search
Spotlight Search shows app suggestions, key contacts, and other time and location specific information on the main search page when you swipe left from the home screen. It also shows videos in search results, which you can play even without leaving the search screen.
7- iOS 9 gives Apple Pay a big boost
The mobile payment service on iOS 8 only supports a few U.S. bank cards. With iOS 9, Apple Pay will allow users to add store credit and debit cards, loyalty and gift cards. All this info is stored in Wallet, a new name for Passbook in iOS 9. Apple announced that the mobile payment service will be rolled out to the UK next month.
8- Transit data for Apple Maps
The Cupertino-based tech giant has finally introduced public transit support to its Maps service. Now Apple Maps can show you bus, train, subway, and walking information along with routing options, just like Google Maps. Initially, the transit feature will be available only in select cities worldwide.
9- Support for older iPhones and iPads
Usually, Apple drops some of the older iPhones and iPads from the list of devices supported by its newest iteration of iOS. This time, it wasn’t looking good for iPhone 4S and iPad 2. But the iPhone maker surprised users by announcing that iOS 9 would support all the iPhones, iPads and iPods that are compatible with the iOS 8.
10- Notes app
Now you can easily turn a list on the note-taking app into a checklist, add pictures, scribble, video, map location or URL. Since all the notes are backed up on iCloud, users can create a note on Mac and check it later on their iPhones and iPads.