With the Apple Watch's launch now over and done with, Apple fans are looking keenly ahead to the next iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 6S, along with the iOS 9 software that will grace it. Last year, we saw Apple unveil iOS 8, an update to its operating system platform heralded as the company's finest work in its software platform. iOS 8 came with several crucial upgrades on board, including the introduction of third-party keyboards for the first time in iOS history, coupled with more functionality features for the visually impaired in the form of speakscreen, improved Braille keyboards and more. Well, that was last year; we now turn our focus to iOS 9, and the new host of improvements that can be expected from the Cupertino firm at WWDC this June.
iOS 9's Features: Everything You Need To Know
iOS 8 marked the introduction of a variety of new features for Apple, which include those mentioned above alongside other such as Continuity and Apple Pay. iOS 8 also came with its fair share of bugs and performance irritants, such as Wi-Fi connectivity issues and others. Well, Apple seems to have learnt its lesson, as we now believe that iOS 9 will focus intently on stability and bug fixes.
According to sources of 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, Apple's team of engineers is more focused towards improving core iOS performance this time around. Programming language Swift will be bumped to version 2.0, and among the changes therein, it'll offer what is known as 'Application Binary Interface' (ABI) stability. This entails code libraries being pre-installed within iOS 9, allowing apps to be smaller, taking up less space on a device, and requiring fewer MBs of data when being download over cellular collection; a win-win.
More Focus Towards Older Devices
It looks like Apple's going to cater towards all of its mobile users with iOS 9. While iOS upgrades are known to run tediously on older devices, the most recent example being iOS 8 slowing down the antiquated iPhone 4s, word on the street is that iOS 9 will put an end to such woes. With iOS 9, Apple is creating a tailor-made edition for older-gen devices, which will allow users to take advantage of the newer features without feeling like their device is about to grind to a halt. With this core version of iOS 9 for A5, features will be added periodically, ensuring that the older hardware is not overwhelmed by too many adjustments in one go.
Multitasking For The iPad
Apple's also expected to finally introduce multitasking and multiple logins for the iPad with iOS 9. According to the latest information, the Cupertino firm intends to introduce multiple accounts for one iPad, that would allow users to share one iPad, but have access to their selective apps, data and other options.
It also intends to début split-screen multitasking with its latest upcoming operating system, that'll allow users to either display two windows of the same app, such as different tabs in Safari, or two different apps side-by-side. Apple's also looking at a major redesign for core iOS apps to better suit them towards larger screens. With such a focused approach for the iPad and the larger screen, perhaps the Cupertino giant hopes to reverse the iPad's oft-reported falling sales.
Siri + Security Upgrades
Siri's finally expected to get an overhaul in Apple's iOS 9 upgrade as well. The virtual assistant is likely to receive a completely new interface, which would signal a welcome departure from the simplistic theme that it currently employs, and could be re-jigged in the image of Siri for Apple Watch.
An all new 'Trusted Wi-Fi' feature for iOS 9 will now arrange a heavily encrypted connection for routers that your iOS 9 device does not recognize, while trusted routers will see connections made without any additional security measures. An all new kernel-level security system, being dubbed as 'Rootless' by Apple's engineering team, will restrict access to certain elements of iOS's inner workings, even if a user happens to have administrative privileges. It'll enable better malware and sensitive data protection on devices, but will also likely make jailbreaks increasingly tough to achieve on devices.
With iOS 9, core IMAP apps such as Reminders, Calendar and Notes will now also feature an iCloud back-end. This will shift the apps from IMAP servers to Apple's iCloud servers, touting improved syncing and end-to-end encryption. iCloud Drive and CloudKit servers are also reportedly undergoing upgrades to account for this increased data transfer.
Mass Transit On Maps
Apple's also expected to finally introduce Transit directions on maps with iOS 9. Transit directions on iOS 9 would allow users to navigate public transport routes easily and would include directions for mass transit services such as subways, bus and train routes with lesser effort. It'll also help users to spot subway and train stations and airports, courtesy of enlarged icons.
Apple's Map service for iOS has faced several issues and criticism since Cupertino's decision to switch to its own navigation service, and transit maps for iOS 9 will be one of the first major overhauls to this particular feature.
That's all that we have for you so far on iOS 9. For an upgrade that's reported to focus more on core performance and improved stability, it also features several new much-needed upgrades to the platform. Users have been screaming out for multitasking and multi-user logins on on the iPad in particular, and while some of the reported features mightn't be ready for the official iOS 9 public roll-out around September time, we'll have a better idea of what's in store when WWDC kicks off next month.
Let us know what you think in the comments section, and we'll keep you duly updated on any further developments as they come along.