iOS brings true multi-tasking, new "snap" style controls, new APIs, a smarter Siri, mass transit mapping, a unified "Wallet", and more

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) on Monday announced iOS 9 (as anticipated) alongside OS X 10.11 "El Capitan" at the 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).  Apple software senior vice president (SVP) Craig Federighi and his team were on hand to present the feature set of both operating systems in detail.  Here's a fairly thorough list of what to expect from Apple's ninth generation mobile operating system, iOS 9.
  • Availability
    • iOS 9 beta is available now!
      • This is a pre-release beta
      • For now only licensed iOS developers can get it .
        • Enrollment is $99
        • See here for a complete guide of how to get it once you're registered as a developer.
      • Public beta (free) to begin in July
      • "Fall" launch
iOS 9 prerelease
  • Xcode 7 beta is free to everyone, including non-enrolled developers
    • Comes with iOS 9 beta SDK (software development kit), inc. emulator
    • Supports Objective-C and Swift 2 programming languages
    • Requires OS X (so you'll need either a virtual machine on a PC or a Mac computer).
      • is one alternative for native development in Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) ubiquitous Windows operating system; iOS 9 beta support is expected shortly.
XCode 7 beta

X Code 7 screen
  • Swift 2
    • What's Swift 2?
      • Apple introduced language in 2014
      • Ties into Apple's Cocoa design language and traditional Objective C programming language
      • Chris Lattner led the development of this new language
      • It's a highly abstracted (some would say painfully so) programming language
        • Variables are inferred based on the kind of data you assign them.
        • There's no semicolons
        • Memory management is automatic (as in C# and Java)
        • Built-in pattern matching (see: Perl)
    • At this year's WWDC Apple announced that Swift 2 was going open-source
Swift 2 Overview

Swift Open Source
Apple's "Swift" program language will be open sourced, the company has announced.

  • Siri Improvements
    • Siri gets smarter, gains more learning capacity
      • Has access to photo library
      • Attempts to identify unknown numbers via various sources
      • Monitors connections to watch for when you get in your car or arrive at certain sites
        • Context-specific suggestions/help
      • She can give live sports score info and search popular video sites (YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, etc.)
      • She'll suggest apps you might want based on recent downloads and usage trends.
    • Third party weather and Search APIs (based on Siri)
    • Siri now uses a randomized identifier to protect privacy
      • Personal details such as your name and app ID are obfuscated in the communication
    • Siri Suggestions
      • Tied to Spotlight (swipe left to access Spotlight)
      • Links to reminders
      • Apps based on context (e.g. an audiobook app for your car).
      • Advanced natural language reminders requests, e.g. a request to be reminded about an email or text message later.
Apple Siri improvements

Siri gets smarter and gets new capabilities in iOS 9.

Siri anonymity
Searches and queries in Siri are now made anonymous.

Search API
Search is now offered to third party developers via a new API.

Apple iOS 9 Search API
Spotlight in iOS 9 gets "Siri Suggestions", faster indexing, and more.

Apple Siri Suggestions
Siri Search Suggestions are seen above.

  • Apple Maps
    • Transit information -- subway, train, and bus schedules
      • Step-by-step instructions for transit travel routes
      • Limited to handful of cities.
        • U.S. (6 cities)
          • Midwest (1 city)
            • Chicago, Ill.
          • East (4 cities)
            • Baltimore, Mary.
            • New York City, N.Y.
            • Philadelphia, Penn.
            • Washington D.C.
          • West (1 city)
            • San Francisco, Calif.
        • Canada (1 city)
          • Toronto, Ont.
        • Mexico (1 city)
          • Mexico City
        • Europe (2 cities)
          • Berlin, Germany
          • London, England
        • China (9 cities)
          • Beijing
          • Chengdu
          • Guangzhou
          • Hangzhou
          • Shanghai
          • Shenzhen
          • Wuhan,
          • Xi'an
          • Zhenghou
    • Can compare times between different kinds of transportation (walking, mass transit, driving)
    • MapKit API -- facilitates mapping in third party apps
Apple Maps iOS 9 mass transit
Apple Maps is now endowed with mass transit data for select cities.

  • Wallet (formerly: Passbook)
    • Includes Apple Pay (credit cards), tickets, passes, and store-specific credit cards
    • Also stores rewards cards
    • Apple Pay
      • Check quickly if a merchant supports Apple Pay
      • Search for nearby merchants that support Apple Pay

Apple Wallet
Apple Passbook becomes "Wallet" and unifies payments, rewards, and other digital currency options.
  • Newsstand (powered by News Publisher program) (formerly: News)
    • Intelligently curated content
    • Supports magazines, newspapers, specialty publications, and other paid content
    • Some local newspapers are now supported
    • Free online news and blogs are also funneled into smart suggestions system

  • Notes
    • Sketch a picture
    • Attach an image
    • Share link into your note
    • Summary view of attachments

  • Other app odds and ends
    • Safari API
      • Autofill in app
      • Track in-app browsing history
      • Reader mode in app
    • HomeKit
      • Improved iCloud interactions
      • More kinds of smart home accessories
    • HealthKit
      • Now can track
        • reproductive health
        • UV exposure
        • water intake
        • sedentary state
    • CloudKit
      • Sync data across OS X and iOS apps

  • iPad UI Improvements
    • Two finger faux maus (cursor) support
    • Copy, cut, and paste shortcuts on the virtual keyboard (along with other key actions , e.g. camera and attachment
    • Better support for third party keyboards, including the ability to support custom functionality (e.g. custom app launches, etc.)
iOS keyboard shortcut buttons
The keyboard on iOS 9 on the iPad gets copy, cut, and paste buttons to improve efficiency.
  • True multitasking
    • Previously Apple used context switching to simulate multi-tasking in its mobile OS
    • Snap (think Aero Snap)
      • Swipe right to get a list of apps for split screen (analogous to swipe left in Windows 8)
      • These same graphical effects were also just added to OS X 10.11 "El Capitan".
      • Options include
        • Side-by-side apps
        • Slide middle bar to adjust between 25-75, 50-50, and 75-25 screen division
        • Picture-in-picture mode
          • Watch a small video box while doing another task
          • Drag to with finger to reposition
          • Can be moved partially offscreen or fully off screen to dismiss
          • Quick click to dismiss
iPad multitasking, side-by-side
iOS 9 slider
The 50-50 and 75-25 views for snap/Split View multitasking are seen here on the iPad.

  • Gaming improvements
    • Gameplay Kit API
      • Facilitates smart AI abstraction via state machines
      • Rule based constructs
      • Applicable to in-game randomization engines
    • Replay Kit API
      • Store in-game videos
      • Edit and replay saved gameplay videos
    • Model I/O API
      • 3D modeling and materials (texturing) support
      • Includes lighting
      • Metal accelerated
    • SceneKit, SpriteKit, and base Metal acceleration are also enhanced.
Apple iOS 9 gameplay improvements

Apple is incorporating new game development-friendly APIs with iOS 9.

  • iPhone performance improvements
    • App thinning
      • Slices out code unused for particular iOS target (many developers already do this, but it makes it more standardized).
      • Allows for on-demand bitcode or resources for specific platforms
      • Similar to Microsoft's Universal Apps program, but more rudimentary in terms of purchasing options, degree of interface auto-optimization

Apple iOS 9 App Thinning

  • Battery life
    • "Low Power" battery saver mode
      • Can extend battery life by up to 3 hours
    • Baseline optimizations
      • Deliver up to an hour more of claimed battery life.
iOS 9 will be available for these devices:

iOS 9 Supported Devices

It will not be available for: The installer for iOS 9 is expected to be a 1.3 Gigabyte download in finished form, a massive improvement over the hulking 4.6 GB installer for iOS 8.  

iOS 9 is expected to power the upcoming iPhone 6S/6S+ (which may also be named the iPhone 7/7+), a ninth generation flagship smartphone.  It also is likely to power the upcoming iPad Mini 4 and iPad Air 3.  Other rumored devices include a sixth generation iPod Touch (as that model hasn't seen a truly new release since 2012) and/or an iPhone 6c for budget buyers.

Sources: Apple -- iOS 9 for Developers, [WWDC 2015 -- videos and more], Apple Insider, Neowin

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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