Rumors are flying in anticipation of Apple’s September 9th product announcement. Here are some key announcements that are expected to be made about the iPhone, Apple TV, iPad and iOS 9. We’ll find out the exact details starting at 10 AM PDT and this article will be updated with any pertinent updates following the live Apple event.
Apple sells more iPhones than any other product making up nearly 2/3 of its product sales. It is reported that 183 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices have been sold since their debut 9 months ago. Typically Apple announces a significant iPhone upgrade every two years so expectations for the September 9th announcement are less about a new physical design. Instead the announcement might include a new iPhone color option of Rose Gold (a color that is used in Apple Watches), a faster processor, “Force Touch” and a higher resolution camera. Force Touch is the same technology used in the Apple Watch and some laptops that discerns between a tap for selection or a press to trigger different functionality.
iPad sales have decreased in recent quarters but this is most likely a result of the high volume sales of the larger format iPhones. It is highly speculated that Apple will announce a new larger iPad, with a 13″ screen, that might attract more corporate use. This might compete with Microsoft’s increasingly popular Surface device that runs Windows 10. iPad sales might get a boost due to the additional functionality that comes with iOS 9. See key iOS 9 features below.
Most rumors seem to speculate around the Apple TV. The Apple TV hasn’t been updated in several years and it is expected to get a significant overhaul. Some of the rumored features include voice recognition with Siri, potential for original programming (like Apple TV competitors), a tie in with the existing “HomeKit” that allows you to control lights and other “smart” home technologies. Eventually you might be able to ask Siri to turn on/off your TV or lights. Given that Apple created their own international radio station, this might be a sign that they are willing to create unique original programming for the Apple TV as well.
iCloud has always been a little foggy for most people. It is anticipated that the new mobile app will allow you to access your cloud based folder and files in a similar fashion as Google Drive. This is more familiar and easier for people to use.
A few new security features have been added. iPhones running iOS 9 will have 6 digit authentication rather than 4 digit input. A two factor authentication is also introduced that allows you to verify ownership by having a single use code sent to another device.
iOS 9 has been in beta testing for some time and the new features listed here will not change following the September 9 announcement except for some minor tweaks. The overall look and feel of iOS 9 is similar to iOS 8, but the features within apps and multitasking are designed to increase productivity on our mobile devices. The features allow us to do more with little effort.
Key features of iOS 9 include:
There are several new multitasking features including Slide Over, Split View and Picture in a Picture. Some multitasking features, including Split View and Picture in Picture, are only available of the iPad.
- Slide Over – Swipe from the edge of the iPad to get quick access to another app without leaving the app you are using. Respond to a text and make a quick note. Swipe back to the edge of the screen to tuck it away.
- Split View – The Split View allows you to have two apps open and active at the same time! Read an email while maps are getting you directions all on the same screen. Keep mail and Safari open next to each other to freely work between the two without having to “go to” the other app. Use the vertical slider to see adjust how much of each app you want to see on the screen.
- Picture in Pictures – You can “shrink” a video or FaceTime call to move it out of the way while you are trying to check email or work in any other app, without closing it or switching to another app. You can continue to watch the movie in the small screen window while you are working in the larger screen area.
Common shortcuts for bold, italic, underline, copy, paste are readily visible on the keypad.
New News App
The News app being introduced in iOS 9 creates a single location for news sites and content. Not only does it create a single news access point (almost like an iOS 8 group) it aggregates the content so you can get streams on the same topic from multiple sources without ever leaving a single app.
The News app begins to learn your style and content preferences and will begin to make suggested stories you may want to read.
Enhanced Notes App
I love the notes app. It is pretty basic but I do use it to make all kinds of lists and notes. The iOS 9 upgrade gives the app a huge boost in functionality and mimics some of the fundamental features of Evernote. New Notes features include:
- Check list for To Do’s, Honey Do’s, Groceries, etc. Check them off as you go.
- Image Support – Take a picture or add in an image from photos
- Drawing Features – Draw a picture free hand and use the ruler to help keep things straight.
- Automatically updated on all devices – Make a checklist on your iPhone, it will be available on your laptop or desktop
- Share to Notes from other Apps – Tap Share from Safari, Maps and many other apps to save that page as attachments within Notes.
Siri continues to get smarter and more helpful. She has been enhanced for search providing direct answers for many items rather than web links. She can search through photos and videos based on locations, dates and events. She can also offer assistance when you may not expect it – like offering to add calendar events or contacts.
Low Power Mode / Increased Battery Life
A new feature designed to increase the battery life is the automatic Low Power Mode. This automatically turns on when your battery is getting low and disables or reduces functionality of features that use up power such as: background app refresh, mail fetch and automatic downloads. You can also turn it on manually should you need to conserve battery when traveling or have limited access to a power source.
In addition to settings we can modify, Apple has made enhancements on how the iPhone and iPads handles various system processes. These efficiency improvements are touted to increase battery life of the iPhone by 1 hour.
Enhanced Maps App
The Maps app is finally catching up with some of the competitors. Transit directions are available for major cities including detailed information on the way users getting to the subway are guided to the closest entrance. Those exiting a transit are told which exit signs to watch for.
Watch Apple’s Announcement Live
To see how to watch the event live, check out this article: How to watch Apple’s Live Event September 9th.
Watch this page for updates on Apple’s announcements.