‘iOS 9’, the next offering in the series line of Apple operating systems for iPod, iPhone, and iPad, was quite recently revealed at the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 2015. Today we are going to present you with a preview of ‘beta 1 version’ released specifically for the developers in this conference. After going through this preview, you will be able to decide whether it is worth upgrading from iOS 8 to iOS 9 before the actual release of the OS this coming September.
We will also talk about the possible changes that could occur in the future of iOS 9 development. These changes include all the bugs covered in future beta versions that we have encountered in this version. In addition, we will talk about the exact availability of final version and answer questions related to what, when, and how? First, let us have a look at the beta version and know what to expect in the final release.
There have not been many changes made as far as User Interface & User Experience goes. That was the case with even iOS 8 when it was released which was more or less similar to iOS 7. Again, that is the case with iOS 9 looking much like iOS 8.
The reason simply being, users spend their maximum time on smartphone interface, and a major change in overall experience could be disturbing. However, there are still few significant differences that cannot be neglected.
The default system font changed from ‘Helvetica’ in iOS 8 to ‘San Francisco’ in iOS 9. Moreover, iOS 9 provides more room for text to breathe when compared to iOS 9.
This is a flagship feature in iOS 9. ‘Proactive’ is a personal assistant that is not just predictive but also contextually intelligent. It tries to anticipate even before you ask that what you want to do. Accordingly, it will suggest you shortcut to access that function.
How does it work? Well, proactive will keenly observe your activities such as people you contact, apps you use, where do you stay maximum time on your mobile, and when do you access what. Accordingly, it will learn all your habits to predict your future actions.
Proactive has far more functionalities than you can expect. In addition to forecasting your activities, it offers new stories related to your location, display all the restaurants as well as coffee shops nearby, provide direct Map links, go through your Calendar to pick important dates, scan traffic and location related data, remind you of your appointments, look in emails to identify unknown numbers, and so on.
However, Proactive accompanies some loopholes as well. Firstly, many Android users compare it with old and trusted Google Now. Secondly, at this stage, Proactive is somewhat buggy like it is not able to reveal the anonymous user calling, even though an email has already been sent to the user with exact same number and name.
The multitasking feature is largely basic, that enables users to view two apps together. Of those, one app occupies 1/3 screen and rest is occupied by latter app. The divisions take place on right-hand side in vertical perspective. Hence, it is known as ‘Slide Over.’ You can activate this Slide Over thing by swiping from the right to the inner side, which triggers a sidebar menu containing all the inbuilt apps.
It will be interesting to see how the third party app developers will make use of this sidebar menu when first party apps are already in place. In fact, slide bar menu can let you access two apps at once, but you can interact only with one at a time. The only exception lies with ‘iPad Air 2’ wherein iOS 9 offers a ‘Split View’ that lets users to interact with both apps together. You can even adjust the space between the two, with a couple of options such as 2/3-1/3 view or even 50-50 view.
Another feature offered in multitasking category is picture-in-picture viewing. It is compatible with all iPads having iOS 9. It might look like a simple feature, but highly appealing in viewing videos. While watching a video, you can go back to Home screen by tapping on Home button. After doing, video still continues to play in the background after getting shrinked down.
This is another brand new offering from iOS 9 not been implemented in the beta version, but surely seen in the actual OS. It is similar to a Flipboard, wherein you select news from different sources.
The app understands your interests, and selects articles not selected by you, but matches your interests. With another ‘Explore’ functionality in-built, you are offered channels to view showing you even more topics in addition to your interest ones.
Content can be in the form of animations, maps, video, audio, galleries, and photos. Bookmark stuff for later viewing. Search over a million topics with this app. News app described by Apple as beautiful content from the world’s greatest sources, personalized for you.
A right balance of visual consistency & individual style seen with this newest Apple offering.
We have already seen Apple over the years collecting transit maps that even include ‘GPS Company Coherent Navigation’ purchase. We will finally see these maps implemented with iOS 9 that will eventually help in trip planning, and locating transit directions.
With the help of this app, you can finally navigate through public transport systems located at over 300 locations in China, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, and London.
With most anticipated ‘Apple Pay’ launch in this July, Maps will gain prominence, as it will be able to locate nearby shops that support the Apple’s mobile payment system.
It is probably the most underestimated and neglected productivity app that comes preinstalled. Thanks to iOS 9, ‘Notes’ will turn out to be more convincing to iPhone users now. It has turned out to be useful when creating a to-do list, especially shopping lists. In iOS 9, you can highlight the text selection, and by tapping the icon, the to-do list will be reformatted, accompanied by a tickable spot.
It will now be handy when you want to repeat work tasks such as rebuying week after week, removing objects from a list without removing it altogether, and so on. Users can now draw digital sketches that come embedded. You can actually create an illustration with the help of a neat ruler, translucent highlighter, stroke thickness, textures, and multiple colors. Tap for returning to original document with the sketch in place.
7. Battery Life
With iOS 9 focusing on being more power efficient and streamlined, you will now have an extended hour of battery life. In addition, with the help of new ‘Low Power Mode’ functionality, you can actually extend the battery life by 3 hours more.
A switch cuts down on eye candy interfaces, unnecessary background apps, and useless animations. Thanks to proximity sensors and ambient light, that avoids the screen from turning on even if a notification arrives.
However, we are optimistic that iOS 9 will truly be high on performance. With every new OS coming into play, it becomes difficult for the iDevices to cope up with processing power when a newer version launches. It happened at the time of iOS 8.
The biggest question that might be haunting your mind right now is ”Will your iPhone or iPad process slower when you upgrade to iOS 9?” To be very honest, even we do not have an answer to this. It might be, or it might be not.
Devices literally slowed down, when users switched from iOS 7 to iOS 8, in spite of the fact that Apple was very much confident of its new update. Henceforth, beware if you are using somewhat old devices, or probably wait for some time to see how the OS responds to old gadgets.
As per Apple, iOS 9 is going to be more power efficient with file sizes one third of that found in iOS 8. Keeping this in mind you can surely expect a smooth optimized performance on all iDevices – old or new. Meanwhile let us check out which are the iOS 9 compatible devices:
iPad Mini 1, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3
iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
iPod Touch (5th generation)
iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2
Upgrading to iOS 9
Once iOS 9 launches, go to Settings >> General >> Software Update. Before you upgrade to the latest iOS, you should know a few things.
Firstly, take backup of your device on ‘iTunes’ or ‘iCloud’, in case things go wrong.
Secondly, delete some apps or files in advance to make room for the new OS. Although it is expected to be smaller in comparison to iOS 8 but it will still take up more than 1 GB of space. Once installed, you can reload things back on your mobile. If you do not want to delete apps or files for making room, download iOS 9 via iTunes.
In case you want to try iOS 9 before the actual launch, you can do so in couple of ways:
Another way would be joining public beta program, just one or two weeks before actual launch letting you users try out the interface yourself.
Join ‘Apple’s developer program’ for yearly fees of $99 and get the beta version ahead of public launch by officially having the right to test the compatibility of the platform with devices. Since unfinished software, do not expect it to be running perfect.