At Apple’s WWDC event in San Francisco earlier this week, the company offered a preview of its upcoming iOS 9 update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch mobile devices. Set to be available this fall by way of a software update, iOS 9 comes with several new features and improvements that could help you be more productive and more effective in the work that you do. Just don’t let yourself get distracted with too much Apple Music or too many games from the iTunes App Store.
It is important to note that these new features are based only on the preview version of iOS 9, as demonstrated at WWDC. A lot can still change between now and the final release of the new mobile operating system later this year. In the meantime, developers can access the early beta version and SDK at developer.apple.com. The public beta will open some time next month.
Better iPad Multitasking
Perhaps the biggest boost to productivity to come with Apple iOS 9 is a feature that is only being rolled out onto the iPad and not, at least for the time being, onto the iPhone and the iPod touch. The iPad family of tablets will finally get true multitasking with a new split-screen feature.
While working in nearly any app, you simply swipe in from the right to reveal a list of apps that can run in the sidebar. Need to add up some numbers with the calculator? No problem. You never actually exit the main app on the left; simply tap on it to return to full-screen mode again.
Siri Gets Proactive
The Siri digital assistant has been hugely popular among all sorts of Apple users, looking up useful information on the Internet and interacting with several of the apps on Apple’s mobile devices too. With iOS 9, Siri gets even more useful with a feature called Proactive.
Working in a similar way as Google Now on the Android platform, Proactive allows Siri to provide the information you want without needing you to actively request it. One of the examples given is that your iPhone will tell you that you need to leave to make the meeting you have scheduled in your calendar based on current traffic conditions.
The Subtle Keyboard Enhancement
When smartphones and tablets first hit widespread adoption a few years ago, there were still many people who were hesitant about touchscreen keyboards. Now, typing with on-screen keyboards has become second nature for a lot of people. That doesn’t mean the keyboard can’t be improved.
Several small changes have been made in the iOS 9 main keyboard. For instance, the actual letter keys will switch from lower to upper case when you press the shift button, making it far clearer whether shift has been activated. Additional shortcut buttons may now appear contextually in the top-left of the keyboard too, like cut, copy and paste.
Better Battery Life
A great mobile experience doesn’t do you much good if your iPhone or iPad is completely out of battery and you desperately need to send those TPS reports off to the central office. Apple promises “even longer battery life” with iOS 9, making the entire platform more efficient and trimming battery usage whenever possible.
For example, if you receive a notification while your iPhone is face down on a table, the screen will not light up. That’s because the iPhone is using its ambient light and proximity sensors to detect its current position. A new Low Power mode extends battery life even more by reducing performance and network activity.
Are you tired of wasting your time, weaving your way through the settings menu trying to find that one setting that you would like to change? It can be an exercise in frustration and that’s hardly the smarter way to work either. So, Apple has introduced a search function in the Settings app. This makes it far faster for you to find the setting that you need so you can get on with your day.
Image credit: Apple