Apple iOS 9: Public Beta Now Available

Some Benefits that iOS 9 Brings to Both Developers and Users

Apple iOS 9
Image © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

July 13, 2015

Apple had announced that it would be releasing its iOS 9 Beta soon. While the beta version was available to registered app developers last month, the public beta release is now accessible to all, for free. This new release, currently in the testing phase, is widely believed to be available in fall this year. The latest version of the mobile platform brings with it several changes and improvements, especially beneficial for app developers.

In this post, we list some of the major enhancements of Apple’s upcoming OS version:

  • Smarter Siri: The upcoming iOS 9 makes Siri much smarter than it previously was. Apart from enabling users to search public transit routes, it now includes a “Nearby” feature, which helps users find shops, restaurants and bars around their area of operation. This feature would benefit mobile marketers and companies as well, looking to lure customers with suitable location-based offers and deals.
  • Search API: The new search API is a veritable boon for developers. It offers deep linking, so that users can easily access search results from within third-party apps. Hence, when a user enters a search term into his or her iPhone or iPad, supporting apps can return relevant results. This helps users find results faster, without having to search which app may be able to offer them the best answers. This, coupled with the more intelligent Siri, means that users will not have to open separate apps to access the content they seek to find.  Deep linking, via the new search API, additionally includes a back button, which enables users to get back to their original search. Apple is quickly catching up with Android in this regard – Google Now has been offering contextual information for a while now. Of course, the home screen is still very much relevant in Android, as users can customize it with apps and widgets as per their preference. With the new iOS release, the home screen would be less relevant, as Siri Suggestions readily offers all information about the most used apps, contacts and other relevant data.
  • App Thinning: A couple of months back, Apple had released guidelines to app developers, regarding a new feature called “app thinning”. Explaining this in detail on its watchOS Developer Library Website, this functionality is basically useful for developers seeking to optimize their apps for iOS and the watchOS. It enables devices to use the lowest possible storage space, only downloading the most important parts of the app that the particular device needs to fun the app installed onto it. Hence, when the app is being downloaded from the App Store, the app first recognizes the iPhone or iPad trying to install it and then takes only those files and code that is needed for the app to work properly on that device.
  • Detecting Pictures: iOS 9 devices are now automatically capable of detecting pictures and storing them into different groups, categorizing them on whether they are suitable for selfies or screenshots. Hence, the device categorizes a picture on the way it has been captured, rather than by using special image recognition technology. Google Photos too can recognize selfies, screenshots and other pictures. However, it uses complex software for the same.
  • New Keyboard: Apple has further announced a change in its keyboard. When shift is pressed, the letters will appear in upper or lower case. Earlier, the shift key would turn black or gray, to let users know if they were typing in upper or lower case. Now they can actually see what they are typing.
  • 8 Reasons You'll Like iOS 9 More Than You Think

Apple Releases iOS 8.4

In the midst of all this hectic activity, the giant has introduced iOS 8.4; the latest version of its current mobile platform. While it includes some exciting features and enhancements, the major problem is that Apple users who upgrade to iOS 8.4 will no longer be able to downgrade back to iOS 8.3. In its own defence, Apple has stated that it stops “signing” older iOS software, so as to keep the platform up to date.

However, this may end up inconveniencing users who may be dissatisfied with the newest OS release.