iOS 9 comes with improved features for Siri and built-in apps including Maps, Notes and News. It also includes battery optimisation, enhanced security features and improvements for Apple Pay.
Multitasking features designed specifically for the iPad allow users to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side or with the new Picture-in-Picture feature, to keep watching a video while browsing the web, composing email or using any other app.
“iOS 9 is packed with more intelligence throughout, and delivers big updates to the apps customers use most - Maps supports public transit, a redesigned Notes app provides great new ways to capture ideas, and a beautiful News app delivers content that’s personalised to your interests,” says Craig Federighi, Apple Software Engineering senior vice president.
“With our new iPad features, users can take advantage of the power of iPad, working in two apps at the same time with Split View, Slide Over or Picture-in-Picture,” he says.
In iOS 9, Siri features contextual reminders and new ways to search photos and videos.
Proactive assistance presents relevant information and automatically suggests apps to launch or people to contact based on usage patterns.
It also notifies users when they need to leave for appointments, taking into account traffic conditions.
iOS 9 can also learn what a user typically listens to in a certain location or at a particular time of day, so it can automatically display playback controls for a preferred app at a specific time of day.
Typed search queries deliver more relevant results from more categories, including sports scores and schedules, videos and simple math calculations.
These new multitasking features for the iPad are supported by built-in Apple apps, and APIs make it easy for third-party developers to add support into their own apps.
With iOS 9, Apple Pay adds support for Discover, rewards programmes from merchants and participating store-issued credit and debit cards.
Shoppers will be able to manage their cards in the new Wallet app. Apple Pay is only available today in the U.S. and will also be available to users in the UK starting next month. No announcements have been made about when it will be available in New Zealand.
iOS 9 also includes refinements such as battery optimisation that provides a typical user with an additional hour of battery life, and a low-power mode to help further extend battery life.
Software updates require less space to instal and an Instal Later feature can perform updates to a device when it’s not in use.
Enhanced security features in iOS 9 keep devices and Apple ID secure by strengthening the passcode that protects devices and improving two-factor authentication by building it directly into iOS, making it harder for others to gain unauthorised access to your Apple ID.
iOS 9 APIs and tools for developers include:
• extensible search that deep links directly to content within third-party apps;
• GameplayKit and Model I/O for building better games and ReplayKit for recording gameplay;
• new HomeKit profiles for motorised windows and shades, motion sensors and home security systems;
• wireless CarPlay and support for auto manufacturers to develop apps within CarPlay; and
• new HealthKit data points for reproductive health, UV exposure, water intake and sedentary state.
Swift 2 brings powerful new features and performance improvements that produce faster apps.
The Swift compiler and standard library will be made available as open source later this year, putting the language in the hands of more developers.
iOS 9 will be available this September as a free software update for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and later.
Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.