Apple finally launched iOS 9 at WWDC 2015 and the latest iPhone and iPad OS will come packing a huge range of spangly new features and updates, from multi-tasking to an even smarter new Siri.
Here’s our run-down of all of the biggest and best new features that Apple announced for iOS 9.
First up, Apple Pay is expanding further in America, with the likes of Baskin Robbins and JC Penneys now supporting the service. Apple has teamed up with Square to produce an affordable reader for smaller businesses too, with over 1 million retailers expected to support Apple Pay by next month.
But what about us here in the UK? Well, good news – Apple Pay is coming here in July, at long last! Eight banks including HSBC and RBS will kick off Apple Pay at launch, with the likes of Halifax and Lloyds to follow.
Wagamama, Cost, Boots, M&S, Waitrose, Lidl and lots more retailers will support Apple Pay to begin with – and over 250,000 locations should support Apple Pay at launch. And Apple Pay can also be used on the Tube, to pay for your extortionate ticket. Hooray!
Check out our Apple Pay coming to the UK coverage.
Siri in iOS 9
Siri is going to be updated yet again in iOS 9. She’s now 40% more accurate than this time last year and also 40% faster in responding to requests. In iOS 9, she’s more intelligent too, packing a lot of features found in Google Now and Cortana.
Now you can ask Siri to remind you to do something when you get to your car, or when you get home. You can also tell Siri to remind you about something you’re looking at later that day, for instance a web link.
You will also get traffic updates when you have an appointment approaching, which might make you late. And appointments will automatically be added to your calendar if you receive an invite in your emails.
iOS 9 search feature updates
The main iOS 9 search page now offers you easy one-tap links to your favourite people and apps, plus the latest headlines.
In iOS 9 you can search for specific photos you’ve taken, for instance ‘show me photos of my daughter doing karaoke’ – something we’ve seen in Google Photos, announced just last week. You also now have the ability to play video directly from your search results.
And search will also handle some smart stuff like automatic conversions if you type something into the bar – type in something in pounds and you can have it converted to kg, for instance.
And the best part is, Apple respects your privacy. All search functions performed on the phone are completely private and any online searches are performed anonymously, with no link to your Apple ID.
As expected, Apple Maps now supports public transport with its new Transit map. You can get a run down of your local stations and get timetables for buses, trains and so on in real time. London is one of the big launch cities, so we look forward to checking it out.
This is a new app from Apple which delivers the headlines you give a crap about. It’s basically another Flipboard, with a sexy layout for your news and recommendations on what to read based on your browsing habits. It’s also easy to search the enormous news database for anything you can think up.
If you drag two fingers around the new iOS 9 Quicktype keyboard, the board acts like a virtual touchpad for shifting the cursor to exactly where you want – a very handy new feature.
Multitasking in iOS 9
Despite Apple’s insistence that iOS has always supported multi-tasking (nope), iOS 9 now finally actually does support multi-tasking.
Now, if you swipe your finger in from the right edge of the screen, you can bring in any other app including your messages and a fresh Safari window. And you can actually fiddle with both windows at once thanks to multi-touch, for instance for scrolling through both apps at the same time.
And the windows are rescaleable too, so you can make one bigger than the other or give them equal screen space with a simple swipe.
iOS 9 also supports picture-in-picture, like LG’s smartphones stretching back a few years, so you can watch a video in one corner of the iPad screen while messing around on another app.
These multi-tasking features can be found on both iPhone and iPad when you update to iOS 9, although to a varying degree. The most powerful features will only be found on the latest iPads.
Low Power Mode in iOS 9
iPads now also feature a ‘Low Power Mode’ in iOS 9, which is a simple tap-to-activate effort. We don’t know exactly what it does just yet, but Apple reckons it gives you a further three hours of use.
iOS 9 iPad and iPhone support
The following iPhones and iPads will be supported by iOS 9: