As we get closer to the start of WWDC 2015, we continue to see iOS 9 release rumors tease iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users around the world. This week has produced a flurry of new details and today we want to take a look at what we know right now about the Apple iOS 9 update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
In June of last year, Apple took the stage at its annual WWDC conference in San Francisco and revealed two major software updates. One was OS X Yosemite for Mac. The other was the iOS 8 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company used its keynote to talk about key features for developers and the for the public.
For several months now, iOS 8 has reigned as the company’s latest and greatest operating system. The OS has seen numerous updates throughout its existence including its most recent upgrade iOS 8.3. iOS 8.3 delivered tons of bug fixes but it also brought new emojis, a new emoji keyboard and new filter options for Messages.
While iOS 8.3 was the talk of the town in April, it has taken a backseat to two other iOS updates including Apple’s unconfirmed iOS 9 release for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iOS 9 rumors have been around for awhile but they’ve really started to pick up in May as we approach WWDC 2015.
Many of these iOS 9 rumors are extremely credible and today, we want to take a look at everything we know right now about the iOS 9 release.
iOS 9 Launch Date
The iOS 9 launch date is all but confirmed for WWDC 2015. Apple is scheduled to live stream its opening keynote starting at 9:30PST on June 8th and it’s there that the company will probably confirm the name of its next operating system and run down some of its features.
Apple hasn’t confirmed an iOS 9 announcement for WWDC though in the company’s press release announcing WWDC’s dates, the company said that it would be talking about the future of iOS. Apple’s slated to release another version of iOS 8 though it probably isn’t the future that the company is talking about.
The iOS 8.4 release date hasn’t been confirmed but according to Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac, the iOS 8.4 release date is slated for a release in late June. A specific date hasn’t been called out yet and it’s not clear if the company will confirm a specific date, or window, at WWDC.
According to numerous reports, the iOS 8.4 update will be accompanied by a new streaming music service called Apple Music. The new subscription-based product will reportedly be a direct challenger to services like Spotify. It will reportedly be built into the company’s new Music application.
As a reminder, here’s what’s coming with the new Music application:
All-New Design.Music app has a beautiful new design that makes exploring your music collection easier and more fun. Personalize playlists by adding your own image and description. Enjoy stunning pictures of your favorite artists in the Artists view. Start playing an album right from the album list. The music you love is never more than a tap away.
Recently Added. Albums and playlists you’ve recently added are now at the top of your library, making it effortless to find something new to play. Simply tap play on the artwork to listen.
Streamlined iTunes Radio. Discovering music with iTunes Radio is easier than ever. You can now quickly return to your favorite stations in Recently Played. Choose from a selection of hand-curated stations in Featured Stations, or start a new one from your favorite artist or song.
New MiniPlayer. With the new MiniPlayer, you can see what’s playing and control playback while browsing your music collection. To open Now Playing, just tap on the MiniPlayer.
Improved Now Playing. Now Playing has a stunning new design that showcases your album artwork the way it was meant to be. In addition, you can begin wirelessly streaming your music using AirPlay without leaving Now Playing.
Up Next. It’s now simple to find out which songs from your library will play next — just tap the Up Next icon in Now Playing. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.
Global Search. You can now search from anywhere in the Music app — just tap the magnifying glass. Search results are conveniently organized to help you quickly find that perfect song. You can even start an iTunes Radio station right from Search.
iOS 9 Beta
iOS 9 rumors point to the release of an iOS 9 beta ahead of the iOS 9 release date later this year. The iOS 9 beta is rumored to be coming to developers first and then to Apple’s new Beta Software Program testers though that, like all of these iOS 9 details, remains unconfirmed.
Apple typically releases its beta software shortly after its keynote address which means that an iOS 9 beta release date could potentially land on June 9th.
iOS 9 Release Date
Unsurprisingly, the iOS 9 release date is rumored for the fall. A specific date hasn’t been called out yet but given the rumors about the beta and the iPhone 6s release, there’s a good chance that it will arrive months after its debut so that Apple and its testing partners can polish it.
Apple historically has confirmed its iOS release date windows on stage during WWDC so there’s a good chance that it will tag the iOS 9 update with a vague release date like “later this year” or “fall.”
One rumor comes from the hit-or-miss Digitimes who says that Apple will release an iPhone 6s in the second half of the year. That’s a broad assessment but it makes sense given Apple’s release history.
Another rumor comes from the very credible KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who claims that iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus production will start in mid-to-late August. Kuo believes that Apple will announce the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in August and that they will arrive on store shelves in September.
Earlier this week, the United Daily Newsin Taipei issued a report that outlines possible plans for an early iPhone 6s release. The publication specifically mentions a chance of the iPhone 6s release date in August. UDN cites industry sources for the information and mentions the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus as the names for two new iPhone models that will arrive in 2015.
According to Gurman from 9to5Mac, Apple is working on a new look for Siri that mirrors the colorful look found on the Apple Watch. If you’re not familiar with the Siri interface on the Apple Watch, it’s far more colorful and vibrant than the Siri featured on the iPhone or iPad.
Last year, we heard that Apple was developing transit maps for its Apple Maps application. That feature didn’t arrive with iOS 8 and it now looks like the company will release it with iOS 9.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple plans to officially introduce transit maps and directions in Apple Maps with the release of iOS 9, and will unveil all of the details at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next month.
If these details are accurate, Apple Maps transit directions would work similarly to Google Maps where users can get directions to a specific location using public transit. The report also outlines other features like trip planning for transit and a new “Transit” view which will be tied alongside the existing Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite/Flyover options.
iOS 9 for iPad
Last year also played host to rumors about a split-screen function for iPad. Apple did not show the function off on stage because, according to reports, it was still a “work in progress.” Well, it seems Apple’s gotten the feature ready for primetime because credible rumors point to an arrival with iOS 9 later this year.
A new report suggests that Apple has developed a split-screen multitasking mode that will support both half and thirds window views though it will depend entirely on the apps and what they’ll support. According to the rumors, the iPad screen will be able to either display “two different apps side-by-side, or multiple views of the same app.”
The report notes that this multi-tasking feature could still be pulled before its planned unveiling date.
Bug Fixes & Security Enhancements
Early iOS 9 release rumors suggested that the update would be focused on improving the stability of Apple’s iOS software. The company is also said to be developing iOS 9 with older devices in mind.
Gurman’s sources have told him that “Apple has restructured its software engineering process to better support older hardware.” This is great news for owners of devices like the iPad mini and iPhone 4s though it doesn’t confirm a release.
We’ve also seen rumors hint at a number of security enhancements and today, new information has emerged. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is currently undergoing a “major new initiative” called “Rootless.” These new measures will be there to prevent malware from being installed and increase the security of extensions, as well as keep sensitive data on lockdown.
iOS 9 Jailbreak Release
An iOS 9 jailbreak isn’t confirmed and these new details only help to complicate things.
As we’ve noted, these new security enhancements will essentially mean that even administrative-level users won’t be able to access certain protected files on iOS devices. This includes files that jailbreak developers need access to in order to exploit iOS and create a jailbreak.
Jailbreak developers have always found a way around Apple’s security enhancements though iOS 9 could certainly prove to be a big challenge.