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iOS 9 release date rumours: iOS 9 'already being publicly tested'

David Price | Jan. 30, 2015
iOS 8 has been with us for a couple of months, but we're already thinking about iOS 9. When will it come out, what features will it offer and which iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices will it run on?

iOS 9 features wishlist: 1. Proper parental controls

iOS 8 has reasonably decent parental controls: you can go into Settings and set quite detailed restrictions on the categories of music and films that can be played, the apps that can be used, the websites that can be visited and the settings that can be changed. The problem is that these then apply globally, to anyone who uses the device, until you enter a passcode and switch them all off.*

Microsoft has demonstrated a better way to do this, with Kid's Corner on Windows Phone 8, and Android devices also offer more user-friendly parental controls.

More powerful, too. As well as per-account restrictions (which links to request number 2, below), we'd like to see extra types of parental control in iOS 9: one possibility would be time limits on certain apps so that you can allow access to games but for a limited duration. If you could specify content types as well - so that all games are restricted en masse but educational apps are positively encouraged - that would be ideal.

* You can also use Guided Access to keep a child in a single app, of course, although that creates other headaches and definitely doesn't encourage general familiarity with the device. And by the way, have you tried using Restrictions? Disallow certain apps, allow them again and - abracadabra - the app icons have all been moved around the screen. It's a bit of a mess, to be honest.

iOS 9 features wishlist: 2. Multiuser support/user accounts

Following naturally on from parental controls, many users would love to be able to log into iOS under a specific user name or account, enabling their preferences, bookmarks, apps and media content to be kept separate from someone else who uses the device regularly. This would be convenient and allow for a more personalised experience, as well as making parental controls easier to implement. And you could have a 'guest' account to stop visiting family from jumping on to your social media accounts and viewing all your photos.

Perhaps Apple would prefer us to all buy our own personal devices, but its creation of the Family Sharing feature suggests that it might be open to this concept in iOS 9.

iOS 9 features wishlist: 3. FaceTime video messages

My retired parents and parents-in-law all have far busier social lives than I do, and it's not unusual to find that they're out when my son and I call them on FaceTime. By the time they call back the youngster has often gone to bed, and they have to settle for a conversation with me.

 

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