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Apple launches iOS 9 with iPad multitasking, ‘proactive’ Siri, better battery life & more

Apple launches iOS 9 with iPad multitasking, ‘proactive’ Siri, better battery life & more

Apple on Wednesday officially launched iOS 9, a major update for iPhones, iPads, and the iPod touch that brings features such as more advanced iPad multitasking, a News app, search and Siri enhancements, and a variety of technical changes including better battery life.

iOS 9 can be downloaded free via iTunes or as an over-the-air update through the Software Update function in iOS’s Settings app. People must have at least an iPhone 4s, iPad 2, or fifth-generation iPod touch.

“With this update, your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch become more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri features,” Apple’s release notes state. “New multitasking features for iPad allow you to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side or with the new Picture-in-Picture feature.

“And, built-in apps become more powerful with detailed transit information in Maps, a redesigned Notes app, and an all-new News app. And improvements at the foundation of the operating system enhance performance, improve security and give you up to an hour of extra battery life.”

Update: Upon launch, many users encountered error messages, as Apple’s servers struggled to make iOS 9 available for download. Users who installed last week’s golden master build must also install a small update to match Wednesday’s final public release.


Owners of the iPad Air 2 or Mini 4 can take advantage of Split View, which runs two apps side-by-side. Two other multitasking options, Slide Over and Picture in Picture, will run on those devices plus the iPad Air, Mini 2, and Mini 3. The former lets users open a second app without exiting the first, while Picture in Picture allows compatible video to keep playing in a smaller window.

Another major addition is a new search screen to the left of the homescreen, which is prepopulated with apps and contacts based on past habits, and also offers a news feed and points of interest based on location. This “proactive” approach extends to other aspects of the OS — a Mail message with a flight reservation, for instance, can now be used create a Calendar event, which will then send out a notification to leave for the airport based on traffic congestion.


Siri can now find photos and videos using criteria like dates and locations, or set a reminder based on what’s currently onscreen with a phrase like “remind me about this tonight.”

iOS’ built in Notes app has been enhanced with things like checklists, attachments, and sketching, while Maps been updated to restore public transit directions, and Passbook has been renamed as Wallet and given support for store credit and rewards cards. Newsstand has been replaced with News, which centralizes articles into one place but with custom formatting for major partner publications.


On a technical level, Apple is promising that simply installing the update will add up to an hour of extra battery life. The company is also making various security improvements, and trimming down the amount of storage iOS updates need during installation, such that while an iOS 8 install could require up to 4.58 gigabytes of free space, an equivalent iOS 9 download will need only about 1.3.

iOS 9 will come preloaded on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, launching on Sept. 25, and the iPad Pro, due in November.

Source: Apple Insider

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1 Comment

  1. MIG-31

    All though there are reports of installing issues, the update went (OTA Release) went nice and smooth for me. And after using the previous Public Betas prior to this release I had some app issues so I rolled back to 8.4.1. The issues have been solved.

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