Apple Reveals iOS 9 Improvements At WWDC

Apple / iOS / Mobile

Today at the 2015 WWDC Keynote, Apple unveiled the new iOS 9.  Lots of new goodies were revealed, so let’s get down to them.

The biggest improvement is to Siri. Apple said they are seeing over 1 billion requests per week through Siri. Boasting a new intelligence called Proactive and a new UI, the new Siri is said to be 40% faster and 40% more accurate.

New search features included things like “show me pictures from Utah last summer” and those specific pictures were brought up on the device. Reminders are also getting improvements with context sensitive reminders. The example shown was looking at a faucet on a web page, and Siri was told “Remind me about this when I get home.” Siri then created a reminder based on location and that web page.

Another new addition to Siri is reservation reminders from email. Working with apps such as OpenTable, reminders are created from email confirmations.

Another improvement shown was for incoming calls that aren’t associated with a contact. Siri can offer up suggestions based on emails.

Apple Pay was another app to receive big improvement in iOS 9. Apple said there are currently over 2500 banks that you can connect in Apple Pay, and will be adding Discover in the fall of this year.

Also debuting later this year is a new reader from Square, which will work with Apple Pay to bring mobile payments to small businesses.

After being leaked last week, it was confirmed that Apple Pay will be coming to the UK in July, with 8 banks to start and then several more coming later in the year.

Another big addition to Apple Pay is store credit and debit cards. Kohls and JC Penney were 2 stores mentioned. Kohls Rewards program will also be available, as well as many others including Walgreens.

Another big addition (and this will excite our very own Alex Hernandez) is that Dunkin’ Donuts will be joining Apple Pay, and not just that, but with their DD Perks rewards program as well. This is, in my opinion, very big. If they can get Apple Pay working with rewards programs for a “one tap” payment and rewards process, it will set Apple Pay a step above the rest. Also announced is the transition of Passbook to Wallet – ironic as Google is doing away with Google Wallet for Android Pay.

Several core apps in iOS 9 are receiving improvements including Notes and Maps. Improvements include:

  • Checklists in Notes
  • Pictures in Notes – from Camera or Camera Roll
  • Drawing
  • Sharing links to Notes
  • Adding Public Transit in Maps
  • Adding walking directions in Maps

A new core app – News – was also unveiled. This is Apple’s take on news magazine aggregation, and will definitely give services like Flipboard a run for their money.

New iPad features in iOS 9 include:

  • Copy/paste shortcuts on iPad keyboard
  • Multitouch turns into a trackpad on the iPad screen
  • New UI for multitasking
  • Split screen multitasking – very cool and sharp looking

Battery life in iOS 9 is purported to add 1 hour of real life use to what most people experienced in iOS 8. A new feature debuting in iOS 9 is a one-touch “low power mode,” which should add an additional 3 hours of real life use.

Finally, it was announced that the OTA updating has been improved to reduce the on-device space requirement for an OTA update from 4.6gb to 1.3gb.

The Developer Beta is available today, and for the first time there will be a public beta available in July,  with a free upgrade to iOS 9 for all devices that support iOS 8 in fall – no devices being left behind for this update.

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