The full version of iOS 9 is now available for the iPhone and iPad, and users in the UK can upgrade their devices via the iCloud.
The launch comes just two weeks before the launch of the new iPhone 6s and introduces a number of improvements, including several security, performance and quality of life tweaks, in addition to some impressive new functions.
Siri as a Proactive Personal Assistant
One of the most interesting changes is that Siri is becoming more proactive. Rather than passively following orders, Siri will now use context-based information. For example, if you have a habit of going to the gym and listening to music several times a week, Siri will notice that at 6PM, in a certain location, you tend to listen to music and it will show the “now playing” information on the lock screen for you.
If someone who is not in your personal address book calls, Siri will search your email for phone numbers and will pull name information from there if it is found. In addition, Siri can now follow instructions such as “Remind me… when I get home.”
Multitasking on Mobile Devices
Another interesting improvement is split-screen multitasking. This will be invaluable for mobile workers. One of the most significant differences between a desktop and a mobile device right now is the lack of decent window management. On a desktop, a worker can have an invoice document open while at the same time viewing details of the customer in question in an online CRM system. On mobile devices, the option for multitasking is there, but each tab takes up the whole screen and switching between them disrupt the user’s activity flow.
This change will be useful for consumers, too. While looking for products they can pull up multiple items and compare specifications side by side, or look at the offers from different vendors. It’s a simple productivity tweak, but once people become used to it they will wonder how they ever lived without it.
The Notes app will be updated, too, allowing users to make sketches with their finger (or the new Stylus device), and share links from Safari directly with the Notes app. The update also includes an attachments view.
iOS 9 is free for users of the iPhone 4s and newer iDevices, and was made available in the UK as of September 16th.