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iOS 9 FAQ: Everything you need to know about Apple's new mobile OS

Oscar Raymundo | June 10, 2015
Do you have a question about iOS 9? We got you covered.

Will this update affect my battery life?

Yes, it should — but in a positive way. Apps and key features on iOS 9 have been made more efficient to preserve battery life by one hour, Apple claims. How? The iPhone's built-in sensors are used to determine when the device needs to light up and when it can remain dark. Taking it even further, you can enable the all-new Low Power mode when your battery is running low — Apple says it can make your iPhone last up to 3 extra hours.

Incorporating intelligent assistance

Siri on steroids? Explain.

In addition to getting a redesign, Siri is now smarter than ever. You can use Siri to search photos and videos stored on your device by date, location and album title. Siri can also take into account what you're doing on your iPhone at any given moment to create contextual reminders. For example, if you've found the perfect hotel for an upcoming vacation, you can simply tell Siri to "remind me about this" and Siri will create a reminder linking directly to the webpage you were viewing on Safari at the time you set the reminder. Apple has also given Siri the power to provide you with "proactive assistance."

What is "proactive assistance"?

Siri can now take into account your location, the time of day, recurring activity, usage patterns, the app you are viewing or other connected devices to better anticipate your next move and surface relevant actions and information. All this before you even have the chance to ask or type in a query. When you plug in your headphones, for example, Siri will suggest to start playing the music playlist you typically listen to during that time of day. Or when you connect your iPhone to your car's CarPlay or Bluetooth stereo, Siri will ask whether you want to resume listening to the audiobook you've been enjoying during recent commutes.

Do I have to launch Siri every time I want assistance?

The thing about Siri's new "proactive" approach is that it's better integrated with native apps to work in the background and serve up the most relevant information. For example, Siri simultaneously taps into your Calendar events and uses the location, routing, and traffic info in Maps to send you a notification when you should leave for an appointment to make it there on time. Similarly, when you receive a call from a phone number not in your Contacts, Siri can check your Mail messages for that number, in an attempt to identify it for you.

Why should I care that developers now have Spotlight search API?

iOS 9 will have a more robust Spotlight search engine that will surface deep links to your downloaded apps right in the search results. For example, if you search for the name of a food in iOS 8, you'll get any mentions of that food in your email, plus results from the Web and Wikipedia — but in iOS 9, your results could include recipes from Yummly or other food apps you have installed, and tapping it provides a deep link into that app so you go right to the recipe you want. Apps like Vevo, YouTube and Vimeo, will allow you to play a video directly in the search results.

 

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