2015 has been a pretty big year for Apple as a company. Product launches this year included the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the iPad Mini 4, the iPad Pro, and the new Apple TV. This month is a big month for their software launches, with today marking the release of iOS 9 as well as watchOS 2, and OS X El Capitan launching at the very end of the month. In time I hope to do some sort of review of the new features in watchOS 2, but today's article focuses strictly on iOS 9 and everything new that Apple is bringing to their biggest operating system for both users and developers.

What's interesting about iOS 9 is how Apple has involved their community of users in the development process by creating a public beta program. OS X Yosemite famously was the first version of OS X to have a public beta (with the exception of the OS X 10.1 Kodiak beta 15 years ago), but Apple had never done anything like it for their mobile devices until now. However, many users found ways to install the developer betas of iOS on their devices by bypassing the activation or having a service register their UDID for beta installation. With more and more features being added to iOS, and more and more users adopting devices that run it, it appears that Apple felt that expanding their beta user base beyond developers would be a good way to collect information on bugs and stability, as well as general feedback about what does and doesn't work well.

Opening up iOS 9 with a public beta also plays into the focus of the new release. iOS 7 was an enormous release that redesigned the entire operating system, and iOS 8 added features like continuity and extensibility to improve how apps communicated on iOS, and how iOS devices and Macs communicate with each other. With all those changes there has been concern that there hasn't been enough attention to polish and eliminating bugs in iOS. While it's not something explicitly stated, it's clear that iOS 9 does go back to basics in some ways, and focuses on improving performance and stability. There are still new features, and some of them are very integral to keeping iOS competitive as a mobile platform, but the key focus is on solidifying the existing foundations.

The polish and improvements that will be most obvious to the end user are those that involve visual or functional changes to the apps they use on a daily basis. With that in mind, it makes most sense to start off the review by taking a look at some of the general changes made to the UI and the system in iOS 9, so let's dive in.

Table Of Contents

General UI and System Changes
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  • V900 - Friday, October 30, 2015 - link

    Give it up. This guy clearly doesn't know much about neither chip nor software architecture, judging from his comments about RISC and CISC.

    He doesn't realize that modern CPUs, whether i7 or A8, use features from both worlds, and that porting OS X/iOS therefore is relatively easy.
  • krutou - Thursday, September 17, 2015 - link

    No they are not. Hence Windows RT for ARM.
  • Gigaplex - Friday, September 18, 2015 - link

    Windows RT on ARM is proof that a company could port the OS to a different chip if they wanted to. Apple could easily port iOS to x86 if they needed to. They probably have an internal port already, I think their iOS "emulators" actually run as x86.
  • aglyport - Monday, September 28, 2015 - link

    in windows parlance, yes
    they are somewhat related
  • osxandwindows - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    Apps wood not run
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, September 17, 2015 - link

  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - link

    Apps wood is from a rare and beautiful tree.
  • melgross - Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - link

    Yeah, and not using a Desktop OS is why iPads are so much more popular in business and government. No dealing with typical Windows malware and viruses, no dealing with the many borked updates...
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, September 17, 2015 - link

    How many iPads have been trashed by updates? Quite a few. How many businesses, that use a WSUS server and test the updates, have been trashed? Not that many.
  • theuglyman0war - Thursday, September 17, 2015 - link

    Not acknowledging my substantial investment in highend desktop graphic applications ( a market that has been working with a tablet form factor long before there was a tablet market ) cements Surface's popularity and free's an army of artists from Wacom's oppressive pricing. ( who needs a pen? I guess Aplle decided market share proves that they do. Now make an Ipad that will run Zbrush and Maya )

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