The release of the new iPhone means a new-and-improved upgrade to the iOS mobile platform – and it looks set to be another intuitive, elegant and seamless update to Apple's product ecosystem. Whether you plan to pick up the 6s or 6s Plus, or just want to upgrade your older iPhone’s software, here’s what’s new in iOS 9.
Camera and Photos
Along with an improved iSight camera and sensor, Apple has added an all-new feature to its suite of camera enhancements – Live Photos.
Designed to turn your still photos into ‘unforgettable living memories’, Live Photos takes your iPhone's standard 12-megapixel photos, but also captures the moments immediately before and after the shutter clicks.
So when you view your pictures in Photos, you can re-live the whole experience - including movement and sound - by holding your finger to the selected photo. It’s not quite a video, but a little more than a still photograph, so it's a perfect way to capture those quick memories. You can even set Live Photos as your lock screen background.
The Photos app also retains all of its popular organizational features (such as Moments and Collections), and the iPhone camera still allows you to switch easily between modes and make adjustments with a quick swipe of your finger.
With the introduction of Apple’s News app, all the media and stories you’re interested in will be available with a quick tap of your home screen.
News pulls together content from news organizations and publications worldwide to source articles and items it thinks you’d be interested in reading. And the more you use News, the better the app becomes at finding publishers, topics and authors that match your interests and habits.
Finally, selected cities will be able to access public transport information from within the Apple Maps app. Maps will now show routes and directions for local transit such as trains, buses, ferries and subways, and will integrate with Siri to give you information and timetables quickly and easily.
You’ll also be able to use the Nearby feature in Maps to browse businesses and services around you, as well as search for specific landmarks including bars, restaurants, and stores.
Now that Apple Pay is up and running (in the US, at least), Wallet collects all your credit and debit cards in the one place for easy payments, with store-branded cards - including rewards and store-credit cards – to be available to Wallet users soon.
You’ll be able to make purchases or open Wallet directly from the Lock Screen by double-tapping the Home button, and use Touch ID to make instant and secure payments by holding your iPhone up to in-store contactless readers.
iCloud is a godsend for anyone with multiple devices to manage, and now the new iCloud Drive feature makes organizing and finding your files easier than ever.
You’ll be able to find and access any file saved to iCloud straight from your home screen through the Drive app. Users can search by name, date, or tags, and preview and re-arrange files from within iCloud Drive.
Notes has also undergone an update for iOS 9: you’ll now be able to easily add photos, maps and links to your Notes, as well as draw a quick sketch or jot down points with the tip of your finger.
Users can also now add bullet points to lists to create an instant checklist, take photos from within the Notes app itself, and even save attachments or info to Notes from external apps (such as Safari or Maps) just by tapping Share.
The Search screen will feature relevant contacts, news, apps and places for quick, one-touch access to the things you may need – and as with other apps, the more you use this feature, the better it gets at predicting your requests before you make them.
Security is improved with the addition of six-digit passcodes to further protect your data. Apple is also launching two-factor authentication support, for times when you use your Apple ID from a new browser or device.
Efficiency and battery
If battery life is still a sticking point, Apple claims you’ll be able to get an extra hour out of your iPhone thanks to improved efficiency and app usage. iOS 9 will schedule smaller updates for more convenient times (such as when your device is connected to WiFi), and uses light and proximity sensors to preserve battery life.
When can I get it?
While there’s no massive changes or new novelty features, iOS 9 promises a faster, more responsive experience overall – the perfect combination of smooth software and specially designed hardware.