iOS 9 Features – What you need to know
After gathering the usual inevitable buzz, the latest operating system from Apple, iOS 9, was released on the 16th of September. Some are now calling it the best of Apple’s latest operating systems, and for good reason.
Below are a list of the most significant new features and updates we’re seeing in iOS 9.
The most promising features of iOS 9 all come down to the built in apps. Through enhancing pre-existing default apps and adding a completely new one to boot, it’s clear where Apple’s priorities were in the making of the new operating system. The Notes app, once a simple word processor similar to Microsoft’s Notepad, has been revamped, bringing it closer than ever to replacing Office programs everywhere. Users are now able to create sketches as well as import images, audio, documents and locations into their notes.
The Maps app has received its fair share of updates as well. iOS users now have access to public transit integration in several major cities across the globe including Toronto, Berlin and Paris, making trip planning easier (hopefully in the coming months we’ll see the list of compatible cities grow).
The News app – Apple’s new default app – brings iOS users a collection of news from major sources such as ESPN and Wired on a daily basis. Articles are published specifically with the mobile user in mind, keeping content and layouts optimised for mobile touchscreen viewing and navigating. News is currently only available in the States on iOS 9 but is available to the UK in the iOS 9.1 update.
Perhaps the most surprising upgrade we’re seeing is in Siri’s intelligence. Once the butt of every smartphone-related joke, Siri has been hitting the books and is smarter than ever. Not only are her suggestions much more relevant, users now have the choice of receiving unsolicited suggestions as Siri sees fit, based on a devices activity at that time.
A common complaint made by iOS users is that each update seems to bog down devices and drain the battery. Apple responded to this by giving iOS 9 users quicker device speeds and longer battery life. iPhone users specifically have the option of enabling a “Low Power Mode” on their device, decreasing its energy use when no resource-heavy programs are needed, further increasing battery life.
Multitasking has always been one of Apple’s faults when it comes to their mobile devices. Many have suggested that one can’t multitask at all, due to devices’ nasty tendency to refresh an app upon being minimised. Now however, users of specific devices are able to run an app covering the better portion of the screen while simultaneously checking up on another app in a smaller portion of the screen. i.e. a popup window.
Formerly known as the Passport app, Wallet allows users to pay electronically in-store using loyalty cards as well gift cards, now with support for Discover’s debit and credit card. Those in the UK also have the Apple Pay feature, a payment program compatible with ExpressPay (American Express), PayWave (Visa) and PayPass (Mastercard) terminals, allowing for quick, easy, on-the-go payments.
Apple seems to have taken a different (and much needed) approach in developing iOS 9. Responding to customer criticism seemingly their ultimate goal this time around, iOS 9 is everything good about every other iOS minus the bad. We’d wager this is Apple’s best work yet.
What do you think about the new iOS9? The best ever? Or overhyped?