Apple's much-touted iOS 9 operating system releases today and we should see the software update button in our iOS devices start blinking a little after 6PM this evening.
While you might not prefer waiting, in the meantime, do check out these new updates that Apple will bring to your iPhones and iPads with the new OS. With beta testers having experienced the iOS 9 in their devices, there's no reason why we shouldn't let you in on a few details.
Unveiled at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in June, iOS 9 is poised to introduce major updates to Siri, iPhone battery settings and introduce new APIs and storage saving options.
Featuring an all new design, Siri will be more responsive and will cater to a whole new world of user requests. If you wished to go back down memory lane and wanted to see pictures of a picnic that you were part of several years ago, Siri will bring those photos up from the photo library in your iPhone.
Siri will also work proactively to suggest apps to launch and people to get in touch with based on your usage history. It will also keep a track of traffic conditions and will remind you when to leave for appointments.
It can be said that the most profound impact of iOS 9 updates can be seen in Apple's iPads. To endear iPads to users who aren't too used to working on larger screens, iOS 9 has brought in the new Split View feature which will let such users use two apps side by side at the same time. For example, if you are watching an ESPN video, a slight swipe from the right will let you access, read and reply to messages, and ditto with Notes. The new Picture-in-Picture feature will also let you continue a FaceTime call while Subway Surfing at the same time.
Selecting and editing texts will also be easier with the new Multi-Touch gestures feature.
iPhone battery life has been the Achilles' heel for Apple since the first iPhone was launched. However, iOS 9 is bringing in a battery saver feature and a low-power mode in your iPhone's settings that will turn off several background programmes to let your iPhone run for an extra three hours.
iOS 9 will be available on all existing platforms that are currently supporting the iOS 8. This means we will not see the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 5 missing out on iOS 9 updates this year.
At the same time, iOS 9 will be less bulky than the iOS 8 and will require lesser storage space to be installed than its predecessor when available.
Apple's new iOS 9 is set to enable developers to take advantage of the new GameplayKit, Model I/O and ReplayKit platforms to create enhanced gaming experiences. At the same time, an extensive search function that can go beyond third party apps will also be available for developers.
Additionally, developers will be able to design new apps within CarPlay and the revamped Healthkit platforms.
Apple have also made the programming language Swift open source, allowing developers to build a whole line of new apps based on the advanced features and performance improvements.
How to download
Before you jump up to be among the first to catch hold of iOS 9, be aware that the download could cost you just over 1GB of precious internet data, which implies using your home Wi-Fi will be a must.
If you are a subscriber of BT's home Wi-Fi with a 10GB limit, a single iOS 9 download can eat up a tenth of your monthly limit. The download can be dearer for those with lesser monthly limits and in homes where there are multiple users of iOS devices.
A study by Virgin Media has revealed that a 22 Mbps Wi-Fi speed, which is the median speed of home Wi-Fis in the UK, will take 9 minutes to download iOS 9, while those with 5 Mbps speed will have to wait for 37 minutes for the download to complete.
For those struggling with low Wi-Fi speeds, either keeping iOS devices next to the routers or downloading iOS 9 overnight are more convenient options.
However, if you are one of Virgin Media’s ultrafast broadband customers, your download should finish in less than 2 minutes. You will not have to worry about the data size as well since all of Virgin Media’s broadband packages have unlimited monthly downloads.