iOS 9 is officially available for download — go get it now! But while it may seem like a minor jump, there's quite a bit of new stuff in Apple's new OS. Here's everything you need to know in only three minutes.
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Siri Gets Proactive
One of the big new features with iOS is what Apple's calling a more "proactive Siri." Now, iOS will pay attention to your habits and change a little based on how you use it. A lot of this stuff is under the hood and dependent on how you use your device, but some features include automatic suggests for people in email messages, automatically suggesting events in from your email, traffic-based event notifications, showing different contacts and apps in Spotlight depending on the time of day, and more.
Spotlight Can Search for More Stuff
Spotlight is getting up to par with its OS X counterpart with iOS 9. You can now search for all kinds of stuff to get instant results, including sports scores, weather forecasts, stock prices, and even search within your apps. The search screen is also now populated with people you tend to contact or you're scheduled to meet with, nearby places, local news, and suggested apps based on the time of day.
The News App
Apple's added yet another new app to your home screen with News. The app works similar to apps like Flipboard: just load up the app, pick some news organisations you like to get your news from, and you can get to reading articles right away. As you'd expect, you can search out articles based on topics, save articles for reading later, and explore a curated list of articles.
The New Notes App
Notes gets a nice overhaul in iOS 9. You can now easily turn lists into checklists, add photos to notes, and sketch out your thoughts on a notepad.
The big new feature in Maps is public transit, but it's only available in a handful of cities right now (Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC, London, Toronto, and Berlin). For the rest of us, Maps adds the ability to easily explore nearby locations, and routing finally updates with an alternative route when traffic changes.
Multitasking on the iPad
The iPad finally gets multitasking, which makes it a lot more useable for work. New iPad models get a Slide Over view that works similar to Control Center to quickly check out certain apps, while there's also now a dedicated side-by-side mode where you can run two apps at once (your non-Apple apps will need updates to work with both of these features though).
Other Minor Improvements
Again, iOS 9 isn't about huge improvements, it's more about under the hood stuff. That includes a supposed extra hour of battery life along with a number of minor improvements, including:
- Go Back to an App: When you follow a link or notification to an app, you can easily bounce back to the original app you were using by tapping the back button in the top left corner.
- Search in Settings: You can now search for Settings toggles in the Settings app.
- Low Power Mode: When you need to conserve power, you can enable low power mode, which temporarily lowers your CPU speed, disables motion effects, stops fetching mail messages, turns off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and turns off Background App Refresh in order to preserve battery life.
- Shift Key Changes: When you tap the Shift key on the keyboard, the keyboard will now change the characters to reflect which typing mode you're in.
- New default apps: Alongside News, you also get the Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps.
- Six Digit Passcodes: You can now set a six digit passcode for extra security.
There's plenty of minor changes tucked away in iOS 9, but these are the things you'll notice right from the start.