During the keynote, Apple also announced the availability date for iOS 9, the latest mobile operating system powering its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, which will be available for users to download and install from September 16. The iOS 9 update will be available to iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch fifth generation and later, iPad 2 and later, and iPad mini and later. The Cupertino-based giant also stated that some features of the new OS may not be available in all regions or in all languages.
Some of the major highlights of the new iOS 9 are the intelligent and proactive search apart from the improved Siri features. The new update finally brings the much-awaited split-screen multitasking to the iPad.
iOS 9 learns from your habits and routines and will suggest actions, apps and other bits of information based on them. Apple at WWDC had detailed that the new proactive assistance will offer users the most relevant information at a given time of day and will suggest actions at that particular moment based on the apps used frequently.
The voice-based virtual assistant Siri has received an all-new design, contextual reminders based on time and location, and new ways to search photos and videos. Siri will be able to process granular contextual cues as well. Spotlight is now proactive, with a full-screen interface that shows suggested contacts (again based on patterns), apps that users likely require, localised news snippets, and places of interest nearby.
iOS 9, according to Apple, will improve the overall iPad experience for users. The Split View multitasking feature has been designed specifically for iPad and comes with a new app switcher interface that lets iPad uses run two apps side by side. The new Slide Over feature lets users simultaneously work on a second app without leaving the one being used currently and easily switch between apps. The new Picture-in-Picture feature lets users continue a video or FaceTime call while using an app.
iOS 9 brings many built-in apps including the redesigned Notes app, which will allows users to draw sketches with their fingers, create checklists, and even save important items in the Notes app; an all-new News app comes with a new design of a print magazine that can learn users' interests and suggest relevant content; Apple Pay in the meanwhile has received new capabilities including support to discover, merchant rewards programs and shoppers will now be able to manage their cards in the new Wallet app, and support for transit in Maps, which now shows metropolitan transit systems and schedules
Commenting on the announcement, Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, said, "iOS 9 is packed with intelligence that makes every experience with iPhone and iPad even more powerful - Siri can do more than ever and new proactive assistance helps you get more done before you ask, all while protecting users' privacy. With iOS 9 we focused on strengthening the foundation of iOS with a deep focus on quality, and with the help of more than one million users who participated in our first ever public beta program, we're excited to release the best version of iOS yet."