Apple Announces iOS 9 with Proactive Intelligence, iPad Multitasking

Posted by Jim Tanous on June 8, 2015
iOS 9 ipad

As expected, Apple on Monday unveiled the next update to its mobile operating system. iOS 9, detailed by Apple during the company’s WWDC 2015 keynote, brings a number of notable changes and improvements:

  • Intelligence
    • Siri Improvements with “Proactive Assistant” – iOS will analyze common user activities and automatically prep or launch certain apps at appropriate times (e.g., automatically start playing an audiobook when you get in the car, automatically add invitations to your calendar, suggested contact IDs, launch the music app when plugging in headphones).
    • the ability to use natural language searches through the OS
    • context-sensitive reminders
    • APIs for developers to provide search results for app content
    • suggested apps and contacts when searching
    • unit conversions in iOS search
  • Apple Pay
    • Passbook will now be called “Wallet”
    • support for Square reader for small businesses
    • support for retail charge and credit cards
    • support for retail membership and reward cards
    • UK launch in July with eight banks and 250,000 merchants
  • App Improvements
    • Notes: formatting toolbar, integrated checklists, photo import, drawing support, Safari link import, attachments view to help find the correct note
    • Maps: public transit info and directions with “transit” view (showing subway lines, bus routes, etc.), support for multi-modal routing (i.e., start with walking, transition to public transit), specific instructions for closest entrance/exit for transport hubs, Siri support, identifies merchants that accept Apple Pay
      • Initial transit support for Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, D.C.
    • News: new app that aggregates user-defined and recommended news sources, includes tools for publishers to format content specifically for News app. Rolls out starting in US, UK, and Australia.
  • iPad
    • True side-by-side multitasking with split view, simultaneous gestures, picture-in-picture support for video with resizeable and movable window
      • “slide-out” available on iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3
      • “split view” available only on iPad Air 2
    • Shortcuts on QuickType suggestions toolbar
    • Trackpad-like selection and navigation with two-finger gesture
    • New shortcuts for app switching and Spotlight searching when using physical keyboard
    • Battery life improvements on iPhone and iPad
    • Smaller upgrade firmware to improve experience for those with limited free space on their iPhone or iPad

Of note, Apple claims that all of its “intelligence” features are performed on your device, with any network inquires anonymized to protect your data, continuing the company’s crusade for user privacy.

iOS 9 will launch this Fall. Developers can access the first preview builds starting today, while the public will be able to participate in a public beta program for the first time starting in July. While specific features will be unavailable on certain devices, iOS 9 will support all devices supported by iOS 8.

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