Apple unveiled iOS 9 today at WWDC15 in San Francisco, and while the new OS X El Capitan is going to focus on improved performance, iOS 9 brings a hearty helping of new features to Apple’s mobile world. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to roll out improved versions of existing features.


Siri is about to get much smarter, because she has to in order to rival her competitors. She now understands the word “it” within context. Like Google is doing with Google Now, Apple is working to make Siri more proactive. If you’re chatting with someone and you ask her to “remind me about this later” she’ll scan the chat and try to figure out what “this” is.

In a further effort to be proactive, Siri will suggest appointments to add to your calendar. She’ll also work in conjuction with your device’s location-tracking services. If you often listen to music at the gym, she’ll bring up the music app while you’re there. If you listen to audiobooks in your car, the next time you plug your phone into your car, Siri will bring up the audiobook app.

The most impressive and potentially helpful new feature happens when you’re called by an unknown number. Siri will search through your emails to try to identify the number.

Like I said in regards to Google Now’s latest update, the new Siri could be really awesome and will definitely be really creepy.


Apple Pay

Apple’s mobile payment system will be launcing in the United Kingdom next month and will be backed by nearly 70% of credit and debit cards, including Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, and HSBC. Rumor has it that China and Canada will be the next markets to get the service. In the US, Apple Pay is backed by 2,500 banks.

Multitasking for iPad

Despite growing evidence that multitasking is horrible for your brain, it remains the most popular method of pretending to be really efficient. iOS 9 brings true multitasking to the iPad, giving you three different ways to switch between windows. Slide Over lets you slide another app into view. Picture-in-picture is self-explanatory; it puts a little window in the corner. Finally, Split View is only available on the iPad Air 2 and it splits the view right down the middle.

New Keyboard

The new iPad keyboard will now feature a built-in shortcut bar that will let you cut, copy, paste, embolden, italicize, and underline text. The default layout will be customizable and compatible with third-party apps. Cursor control is easier with a new slide mechanic that more or less turns the keyboard into a trackpad. Shortcuts are coming to wireless keyboard as well.


Apple Maps

Apple Maps has been the butt of countless jokes in the face of Google’s much superior Maps service. iOS 9 looks to even the playing field a bit more with the addition of public transit directions, which means you’ll be able to see the routes for buses, trains, subways, and even ferries.

iOS 9 also adds directions for 300 cities in China, given the iPhone’s growing popularity there.

Force Touch

The iPhone 6S will be getting a Force Touch display with haptic feedback. Pressing the screen with force will drop pins in Apple Maps and scroll through media players.

Beats Music

Remember when Apple dropped $3 billion on Beats by Dre? That was crazy. It makes sense that iOS 9’s music streaming service will be backed by Beats. It’s poised to compete with Spotify and Google Play Music All Access. According to a code found in iOS 8.4, Apple Music will include an artist-driven social network, which will apparently be Apple’s secret weapon to lure customers away from their rivals.

And The Rest

Then there’s a bunch of smaller changes like improved stability, less insistance on using iTunes, and a smaller download size to upgrade to iOS 9 so as to not leave people in the dust like Apple inadvertently did when going from iOS 7 to iOS 8. You can hide apps that can’t be uninstalled, which is a welcome addition, and you can make third-party apps your default apps. iCloud is getting a price drop. There will be a kids mode and guest mode for when letting others use your devices.

And home screen widgets! iOS 9 seems like an all around huge step up for Apple’s mobile OS. Like OS X El Capitan, iOS 9 is available now for developers and will officially roll out this fall, presumably with the new iPhone. However, there will be a public beta in July.

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