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Original publish date: July 15th, 2015
For the third flashback post to celebrate the anniversary of MBEDDED, we’re going back to our third article on our site. After writing about my favorite features in OS X El Capitan, I thought it would be appropriate to do the same for iOS 9. And boy, did I pick good ones!
Without further a do, this is iOS 9: The Features I’m Looking Forward to the Most.
iOS 9, Apple’s next operating system for their line of iPhones and iPads, was just recently announced at WWDC 2015, Apple’s developer conference held at their headquarters. During the event, they announced their next versions of their operating systems, OS X El Capitan, the next OS for the Mac, and watchOS 2 for their lineup of Apple Watches, alongside Apple Music, the California giant’s take on a music streaming service. The company announced a couple months ago their focus will be heavily on bug fixes and improvements to their current release, iOS 8. But they didn’t just fix the bugs and make it faster, Apple added in some pretty sweet new features that are going to make you iOS device better than ever, like the new Notes app, transit directions in Maps, and improvements to CarPlay. Below is a list of the features I’m looking forward to the most in iOS 9.
The new News app
Like other news apps and RSS fead readers out there, News lets you customize what you read by selecting categories that interest you, like “Business” or “Technology”. News also lets you sync all of your stories and bookmarks through iCloud with all of your other devices, so if you save a story on your iPhone to read later, you can then read it on your iPad when you get time to. This is a great feature for people who are subscribed to a lot of news publishers on the News app. It’s a really exciting feature I can’t wait to try out. SPOILER: There are rumors that MBEDDED will soon be on the News app! Stay tuned!
We’re going back in time to when Search was the left-most panel on the Home screen in iOS. Apple has now re-added that feature alongside the swipe-down search feature. The new Search panel is like Spotlight for iOS: you can search for sports scores, weather, stocks, contacts, documents, and more. Those features are also brought to the swipe-down search control. But only in the Search panel will you find Siri Suggestions, containing frequently contacted contacts and frequently used apps. You’ll also be able to find a place near you to grab a bite to eat or go see a movie. And with a news feed containing news trending where you’re located, this new and convenient way of finding what you need will definitely cause an impact on your experience with iOS 9.
Longer Battery Life (Finally!)
Apple has finally come to realize that iOS is good with iPhone, but not great: the battery isn’t all that fantastic. Well, it looks like they wanna fix that with the new Low Power mode and optimizations made to iOS 9. Apple has stated that Low Power mode will give you an additional 1 hour of battery life until you plug your device in, so until some other sources confirm that, it’s hard to say if that’s true or not. They’ve also optimized their built-in apps to use less power to extend battery life, but again until more sources say “Yup. It’s true!” it’s hard to say if the California company is just estimating. But if these power saving features do work, it will be a major game changer for the iPhone.
Smaller Update Package
One of the reasons iDevice users didn’t like iOS 8 is the fact that the update package was 4.58 GB, so most people couldn’t even download it. And (apparently) Apple saw that, so they decided to get rid of all the junk they included in iOS 8 (iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and a bunch more) and make the iOS 9 package so small it can fit on a 2 GB SD card. The new update will be just 1.3 GB of storage, which is a dramatic difference compared to the last version of the mobile OS. And now with new optimizations to smaller update (e.g. iOS 9.0.1), you can set the Update to install while you sleep or use it least, so it isn’t hard to tell that Apple will have much more customers using iOS 9 on their iPhone or iPad.
What, did you think I was gonna let this feature slide? This is huge for the iPad. It’s so huge, it might just bring the iPad back to life. See, iPad sales haven’t been so great and Apple wants to make the iPad a great tablet to get work done on, but they really have never optimized the experience on the iPad to suit customer’s needs, until now. Apple has added 3 main features to iPad Multitasking; Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture. Slide Over lets you slide in from the right hand side to access an app of your choice as long as it’s compatible with this feature. So if your browsing the web and you need to jot down a quick note or return a text, you can do that with just a swipe of your thumb. With Split View, Apple finally added the ability have 2 apps open at one time. something Android users have been using for quite some time now, but there is a catch with this: this particular feature is only available to iPad Air 2 users. So if your rockin’ an iPad Air 1, you’re out of luck with this one.
Picture in Picture is a term we’ve used for years now, and Apple turned it into a feature in their latest mobile OS. For example, if you’re watching a movie on YouTube and someone emails you and you need to get back to them but you don’t feel like pausing the movie, you can drag out the video player from YouTube to your screen then access any app (or in this case Mail) while the movie still plays, hence the name Picture in Picture. It’s kinda confusing how it works, but this should give you a general idea of the feature. So Apple really came to their senses with these optimizations for the iPad. Both Slide Over and Picture in Picture are available to all iPads that support iOS 9 while Split View is exclusive, as stated earlier, to the iPad Air 2.
Merge from Android to iOS
I know, I know. Unexpected, right? Apple didn’t announce it at WWDC, but they did post it on their site. The Move to iOS app for Android, which is’t yet available, will let you transfer all of your contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpapers, and DRM-free books to your new iOS device, which is great for Android users wanting to switch to iOS. But if you know Android users, they’re real sticklers when it comes to switching from Android to iOS. But hey, not everyone is like that (like myself), so it will be interesting to see how many people actually use this feature, but it’s something I’m looking forward to the most.
If you wanna try out any of these features now, download the public beta of iOS 9 for your device at http://www.beta.apple.com, but be aware, there will be bugs.
Anyway, those are the features I’m looking forward to the most. iOS 9 will be made available to everyone in the Fall, including people with the iPhone 4S or iPad 2.
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