Apple announces iOS 9 – Coming this fall with revamped Siri, Notes, News and more…

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As is customary for the first day of its World Wide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system with a host of really cool new, and much-needed features. If you’re a T-Mobile iPhone user you’ll want to check out iOS 9 and all its improvements.

“Intelligence” – Siri

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Apple broke down its new focus points in to their own categories. Filed under “Intelligence”, the company unveiled a bunch of cool new features for the iPhone’s digital assistant. Along with a new user interface – similar to that on the Watch – Siri took on some features that may be familiar to Google Now users.

You’ll be able to ask Siri to show you photos from a specific time and/or place. For example “show me photos from Utah last August” will bring up all your pictures taken if you were in Utah on a summer break. What’s more, you can be on a web page, in an email or text message and just tell Siri “remind me about this”, and it creates a smart reminder based on the information on screen. It remembers the context.

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There’s also a new Proactive Assistant feature which automatically takes email invitations and puts them in your calendar. If there is an address included in that invite, it’ll give you warnings when you need to leave in order to get there on time. You also get a bunch of different kinds of suggestions when you go to the new Search screen including apps you might want to try. This new search screen also lets you search popular video services like YouTube, Vimeo and Vevo and lets you play the video directly within the UI of that screen.

New Notes App

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The stock Notes app that has had very little improvement ever since the first iPhone got announced is about to get a revamp. In fact, it may just replace a few other, more feature-rich apps for many of you. The new app features more formatting options like changing type face, font etc. You’ll also be able to include check-lists, insert pictures or draw little sketches with your finger. What’s more, Notes will become one of the default share options from Safari, so you can clip a web page and save it directly to a note and come back to it later.

New Maps App

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Maps has been upgraded with a new awesome Transit feature. Unlike most map services, it doesn’t just incorporate times and distances and rough directions to your next station stop, or how many stops you have. Instead, Apple actually mapped out entire underground systems, including stations, their exits and walking directions/distances to use while you’re on your journey. With this level of detail, it’s understandable that Transit will only work – to begin with – in a handful of cities. In the States, those include Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

New NEWS App

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The one new stock app being added this fall will be News. In concept, it’s very similar to Flipboard in that it allows you to customize your news feed to include topics of interest, or publications you enjoy. Design is key here – as with many things Apple does – and once optimized, publications will look stunning, including simple, quick and beautiful mosaic galleries.

Apple Pay, Wallet, Low Power mode and more

Apple Pay is being improved to include retail store cards and rewards cards. What’s more, the Passbook app is being renamed “Wallet” to better reflect its new capabilities. iOS 9 will also bring with it a clever new Low Power Mode which can get you an extra 3 hours of use from your battery by killing processes you apparently “didn’t even know existed”. A big positive is that over-the-air updates won’t require as much space to download, for instance, iOS 9 will only need you to have 1.3GB free on your phone rather than 4GB. HealthKit and HomeKit are also being improved with more features. CarPlay is too. The in-dash car system will work without a cable in new cars from later this year.

New iPad features

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For those of you with iPads you’ll be glad to know that it’s finally getting multi-window multitasking. There are two different modes. Slide-over brings a screen in from the side giving you a look at a secondary app. You could be writing an email and needing to read one of your messages or notes at the same time. You can just slide in your messages from the side. Slide-Over will work on most modern iPads. iPad Air, iPad Air 2 and the iPad minis with Retina should support it. Essentially, it just lets you slide a secondary app over the one you’re using, but doesn’t have them both active at the same time.

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Split View is different in that it brings two app windows on screen at the same time, splitting them in the middle. Both apps are active and usable and you can adjust whereabouts on the screen you want the split to be. But there’s a caveat: Split-Screen mode will only work on the new iPad Air 2. If you don’t have the most recent version of the 9.7-inch tablet, there’s no love for you. There’s also a new picture-in-picture multitasking mode which lets you have a hovering video window on top of whatever you’re doing. What’s more, you can resize the window, move it or push it to the side if it’s getting in the way.

Other cool iPad features include the new QuickType keyboard for iPad which brings shortcuts for functions like cut, copy and paste to the top bar of the keyboard. These will show alongside the word predictions you’re used to already. There’s also a new multitasking window which shows app cards in full screen (also coming to iPhone).

As an overview of iOS 9, that’s pretty much it. There was an Apple Music streaming service launched too, which looks promising. Let’s just hope it’s included in Music Freedom. If you want more in-depth reporting on iOS 9 or anything else announced today, I suggest finding an Apple blog somewhere.

iOS 9 beta is available to developers from today with a public beta launching in July. Public full release will happen this fall – as usual. All devices that currently support iOS 8 will also support iOS 9, so there are no generations losing out this year.

Catch up on the full announcement over on Apple website here.

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  • Android_God

    Any my Note 4 is spontaneously rebooting and FB keeps freezing up thanks to Lolipop! Good time!! All these years and Google can’t seem to get their $hit together.

    • emcdonald75

      Mine too. Ever since Lollipop, my FB freezes, my phone reboots, my dialer disappears 2-3 times when I am trying to make a phone call, text messages fail to send and my battery dies very fast. Android 5.0.2 is awful. I am hoping to get Android 5.1.1 or Android M soon on my Galaxy Note 4 to repair these issues, hopefully.

      • Android_God

        Ya!! The numbers disappearing from the dialer drives me up the wall! I charge the damn things twice daily. I have experienced the texts not sending as well. It’s been YEARS since I’ve experience a random reboot from an Android phone!! Unreal. I’m about to do a factory reset but I’m guessing that it won’t do anything except waste the rest of my day.

        • emcdonald75

          I did the factory reset too. It did nothing. However, I was able to delete a lot of unnecessary data and apps, but the problems still linger.

        • Android_God

          Geez! It’s good to know that TMobile will now be dealing with a lot of phone returns over this.

        • emcdonald75

          I am almost considering the Apple iPhone 6S Plus or pray that Samsung gets it right with the Note 5. If Samsung puts a 4K screen on the Note 5, then I will definitely go Apple iPhone. I value battery life and performance over anything else now. I am sick and tired of stutters, crashes, freezes and reboots. I like Android because of the flexibility and increased functionality, but dang, can I get some stability too?

        • Matt Terk

          I get that you’re frustrated, but the iPhones have far less battery life than the Samsung Note series, that just doesn’t make sense. Also, I feel as though you need to know, Samsung is only one company that sells Android OS based phones. Your problem with Samsung doesn’t mean that you have to leave Android, a lot of use left Samsung years ago.

        • emcdonald75

          You’re right. I will wait and see what other phones are released. Only Samsung and Apple phones are always praised by reviewers. I almost tried the Nexus 6 but people complained about burn in screen issues and a poor camera. Maybe the new Nexus or HTC or LG will get it right. Also, so many quality apps are available for Apple devices and developers just don’t seem that excited about developing quality games and apps for Android. I thought that things would change with AEP for games but nothing yet. While Metal for Apple is helping to produce great, quality games. I really hope things change for Android. I really like Android better.

        • Mike Palomba

          I Always said I liked android because of its customizibilty and believed it was a better OS over all. Well, I was wrong. I used an iPhone for one day and then made the switch because I realized how much better it was. And a jailbroken iPhone has WAY more customizibilty then an android, rooted or not. It’s also a hell of a lot more fluid, has more apps, and imo has a nicer and more functional UI. If you’re unsure weather or not you could get used to having an iPhone, try one out for a week or so. Another huge amazing feature, iCloud. It backs up almost everything on your phone seamlessly. One time back when I was jailbroken I had to reset my phone and completely forgot to back up anything. Thanks to iCloud when it finically finished nearly everything I had before was already there (contacts, pictures, call logs, app data, apps, etc.) and iMessage is great, being able to send full quality pictures and videos to anyone with an iPhone comes in handy more often then you’d think. I believe their are more pros then cons to iOS compared to android

        • williejackbrainer

          I have the nexus 6 and have not experienced any problems with “burn in screen” or “poor camera” issues. I just went to a Tmo store and played around with it. Every phone will have it’s issues at some point or another.

        • 21stNow

          The iPhone 6 Plus has better battery life than the Note 4 does.

        • Mike Palomba

          I can’t speak for the note 4 but with my iPhone 6 I leave at 7:00am with 100% and get home around 4pm with 60-80% battery life depending on the amount of use. That’s pretty good. Easily gets through a full day and sometimes even two

        • williejackbrainer

          That’s awesome, but as you stated it depends on amount of use. If you’re a heavy user I doubt at the end of the day around 4pm you’ll have 60-80% battery life left.

        • Mike Palomba

          I would consider my self a moderate to heave user. Very rarely do I leave with less then 50%

        • Ellay

          Yeah I get that with heavy use on my N4. Then even still when my batt gets low I know it atleast takes 30 min to fully charge it from 40%

        • gar1

          I was lucky enough to get the s5 update really screwed up my phone returned for a refurbished one it was so bad. So I new better with note 4. And the discussion about note 4 update was short because new news left it behind when it was on this site

    • Verizonthunder

      I am having issues with phone dialer not completing a call, battery life, random reboot. Yeah if they do not update to 5.1 to fix these issues I will go with LG G4

    • Marcus

      The Facebook app has been going downhill for sometime (read the reviews, sort by newest). Try Facebook Lite (google it). The app gets bigger and bigger, yet they keep spinning off secondary apps that you have to use for certain functions. The more pieces spread out the more likely you are to have issues. I would recommend a factory reset after any major os update, use application manager to disable any built in apps you don’t use, and always read the latest reviews before reinstalling any apps. Avoid anything that claims it will boost performance or battery life (haven’t seen one work yet).

    • Andrew Singleton

      google has a very healthy operating system after lollipop. samsung is your problem. i have 6+ androids that all work way better than my s6 edge

      • Cam Bunton

        I have to say, I’m with you. I bought the Note 4 a few months back, sold it a couple of weeks ago after unreliable performance. I loved its hardware and features. But now, I’m on a Nexus 6 and don’t regret the move one bit. Samsung needs to get its act together on the software side.

  • Apple.. I AM, I AM

    Great News for the Apple iPhone Tmobile customers.. ‘All devices that currently support iOS 8 will also support iOS 9, so there are no generations losing out this year’. Thanks for the update…

  • Adrayven

    WARNING – Geeky post: Being a Dev Conference the biggest news was Swift programming language going Open Source starting this fall. Starting out as available to Apple and Linux based devices.. though with Microsoft now also adding Objective C to Visual Studio, I do not doubt they will quickly hop onto Swift as well now it’s going open source. Especially with so many dev’s liking the basic structure and foundation of Swift.

    Will be very interesting if Oracle wins it’s appeal / ban hammer against Google ala Java and forces Java compliancy. Will Google just go Swift instead? HAHAHAHA.. sorry.. couldn’t resist the possible irony.

    It’s the tech version of ‘And the World Turns’ digital soap opera.. :)

  • guest

    more useless apps added again taking more storage space and that ugly watch app that i wont be using anytime soon

    • agreed.. apps should be optional…

  • Microsoft Mobile should rip a page out of Apple’s playbook: Microsoft needs to start selling ALL of their Windows phones unlocked with Bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 25, 26 and 41 LTE already enabled. Then, let the carriers decide on how to activate the phones.

  • Irfan

    apple is smart , never add features which they know its will made slower hardware more slow because its income source is to sell the hardware ,they added 2GB ram in IPad last year and plan to bring Multitasking which Samsung was giving them hard time.
    no multiple screen option in iPhone etc because only I Pad is capable to take this load.
    andriod is open source many thousand of feartures need strong hardware thats why low end smart phone having problem.

    • Andrew Singleton

      multitasking on ipad?

      • Irfan

        ipad air2 only get split screen multitasking

  • greywolf

    next iphone will have to be 2GB RAM to support some of these features. quite likely my next phone.

  • Pete

    Is file manager coming as well?