Users Gear Up For Apple’s New Software


iOS9 brings a host of new features to iPhone and iPad

THE latest edition of iOS, Apple’s mobile software, is nearly here – with people able to download it on Wednesday.

All devices from the iPhone 4s onwards should receive a notification that the software – iOS 9 – is available to install.

As well as being offered as a free upgrade for owners of older models of the iPhone, it will come pre-installed on the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models.

The big new feature is Apple News, a platform which publishers can send stories directly to consumers.

Users choose their favourite news sources, and the articles are then streamlined into one continuously updating feed.
The Notes app is also beefed up, with the ability to add check-lists, inline images, basic sketches, and web links.

You can also add items from whatever app you are in directly to Notes.

A number of other smaller tweaks have been made, including to the reintroduced search screen and the app-switching mechanism.

Meanwhile, those using iPads will see a number of device-specific changes.

The main one is that two apps can now “snap” side-by-side on screen, allowing you to multitask.

And while watching a video or making a FaceTime call, it is possible to swipe the video to the bottom of the screen while you work on something else in another app.

Apple customers are advised to back up before upgrading, so they are safe if anything goes wrong.

Because the file size is hefty, it is wise to be connected to a power source while downloading and installing the software.
The big iPhone and iOS updates come every other year, and 2015 is an “off” year of minor tweaks and improvements.

Apple News is a brand new feature, but essentially mimics an RSS feed, technology which has been around for years.

However, it does look slick and plenty of newspapers, broadcasters and websites are on-board, meaning there’s usually a good handful of interesting articles waiting for you every time it’s opened.

The overhaul of the Notes app is significant enough that I’ve ditched Evernote as my note-taking app of choice.

Apple Maps continues to become more useful, but it is an evolution rather than a revolution.

For me, one of the most strikingly simple improvements is the app-switching tool. Now, when the home button is pressed twice, recently opened apps are stacked on top of each other four-deep.

It’s buttery smooth to scroll through them to quickly switch between programs, and it also looks quite impressive in action.

There’s also a nice option when your battery falls below 20 percent to turn on a power-saving mode, which turns off some of the iPhone’s more energy-sapping functions temporarily. It’s proved really useful so far.

Overall, it’s a decent, but non-essential upgrade.