The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2015 began on 8th June with a host of new announcements. The most notable of them was the arrival of the new Mac OS X, titled ‘El Capitan’. Along with the new Mac OS X version, Apple also announced the latest in their mobile operating system, the iOS 9. Even though the newest iteration of iOS doesn’t bring a truckload of new features, it does improve the Apple user experience with some added functionality in Siri, Maps and multitasking among others. Let’s take a closer look at what iOS 9 has to offer.
image source: technobuffalo.com
Apple claims to have improved their virtual assistant Siri by making it ‘proactive’, a term consistently used at the announcement. What it means is that now Siri will be able to understand the context of certain queries and act accordingly. It will have the ability to suggest apps based on your app collection, your location, or simply the time of the day. Siri will launch the music player automatically once a pair of headphones is plugged in, a feature similar to that offered by Google Now. It can also look into your emails and call logs and identify callers not in your address book. If you have a meeting and there is a lot of traffic en route, Siri has the ability to gauge that and remind you to leave early. This works automatically without any input from the user. Siri may be only a few versions away from being self aware. Ha!
The new app switcher features three dimensional cards showing recent apps. This switcher is quite similar to the one featured in Android Lollypop. But the similarities end there. Apple has introduced an all new split-screen method for multitasking in iOS 9. This feature will be available only on the iPads for now. Two levels are offered for split-screen multitasking: Slide Over and Split View. Slide Over lets you dock any app to the side of the screen while the main app remains in the background but is greyed out. A top swipe lets you choose which app you want to have quick access to. Split view lets you use two apps simultaneously on a split screen. The difference is that the main app isn’t greyed out and can be used to its full potential. You can toggle apps and change the split-view ratio as per your needs.
iOS 9 brings with it a new keyboard called QuickType. It has an improved layout that features editing options like cut, copy and paste. There is a nifty little addition to the keyboard that lets you use it as a trackpad to select text by using multi-touch gestures exactly like you would on a laptop. So there is no need to block out text to do this since you can do it on the keyboard itself.
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The new Maps application now includes public transport like buses, trains and ferries. Nearby outlets like restaurants and shops can be quickly accessed onscreen as you pass them. To make it easier, the app displays whether these outlets support Apple Pay. Nifty!
image source: macrumors.com
In iOS 9, Apple will include an app called News that will list out news from different sources based on your personal interests. Of course, you need to pick out your interests and the app will fish out data from all over the internet to suit your interests.
Some pretty interesting new features in iOS 9. We shall, of course, be looking into these features in greater detail once iOS 9 releases the beta version in July. iOS will be available to the public later this year, by fall.