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Apple has pushed out the first public release of iOS 9 ahead of next week’s iPhone launch. With no shortage of reviewers offering up their opinions and findings on the matter, we’ve combed through several in hopes of providing an idea of what to expect from Apple’s latest mobile OS.
Much like Google is doing with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Apple’s focus with iOS 9 is stability and overall maintenance. As Joanna Stern from The Wall Street Journal reports, Apple has more or less delivered exactly that:
iOS 9 is all about stability—with fewer hair-pulling bugs, slowdowns and battery problems.
I’ve been using the final version on an iPhone 5, 5S, 6 and on various iPads and it feels a lot like the previous version. On one hand, that’s great: Despite some niggling little bugs, the software feels nearly as stable as the latest version of iOS 8. According to our tests, it can actually speed up your phone in some places and extend the time between charges.
Gordon Kelly from Forbes concurs:
Yes the iOS 8 year-long glitch which causes some users to experience mind numbingly slow and woefully unreliable WiFi performance has at last been fixed. This was achieved by ripping out the entire iOS 8 wireless protocol and replacing it with the instruction set from iOS 7. Drastic times require drastic measures, but it’s a relief all round.
MacRumors’ Juli Clover approached the release from a different angle, forgoing the obvious changes and instead focusing on some of the OS’ less-talked-about features:
Settings search - There's a new search bar in the Settings app that lets you quickly locate a specific setting by typing in what you're looking for. Want Siri settings? Search for Siri, and all the settings options for Siri will be shown in a list.
Battery settings - To go along with all the new battery features in iOS 9, there's a new dedicated "Battery" section in the Settings app, where Low Power Mode can be turned on. It also displays more detailed battery usage information that can be sorted by apps using the most and the least amount of power. With Low Power Mode, background activity, motion effects, and animated wallpapers are disabled. Battery information is also displayed in the Notification Center, for the Apple Watch, iOS devices, and some other connected devices like wireless headphones.
Dan Seifert from The Verge found that although Apple is playing catch-up, some features will still be welcomed by iOS fans.
All of those features will likely sound pretty familiar if you’ve used an Android phone over the past few years. Google’s Now service does a lot of what iOS 9’s predictive features do, and often times in better and more varied ways. Microsoft’s Cortana in Windows 10 also offers similar services and features. But while iOS 9’s predictive features may not be wholly new or original, they are a welcome addition to the platform and lay the foundation for even more capabilities in the future.
Along those same lines, TechCrunch writer Romain Dillet had this to say about the new iPad multitasking features:
Slide Over lets you open a second app in a drawer-like interface. It’s great to send a quick message, or check your emails while you are doing something else. You just need to swipe your finger from the right edge of the screen to launch a second app on top of the existing app.
Split View is a different beast. Instead of running an app on top of your existing app, you can run two apps side by side. You can copy and paste things from one app to the other, scroll through your emails and browse the web at the same time, and more. You decide if you want to split your screen in two halves or if you want a smaller one third app.