Avid note-takers will have an easier way to jot down their thoughts using Notes. In iOS 9, Notes supports graphical links and a quick way to turn your notes into interactive to-do lists where you can check off various tasks.
Apple Maps will finally support transit directions and full-featured transit maps, launching with iOS 9 as well. To start off, Maps' mass transit service will be available in 10 major cities: Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington D.C. Apple surveyed individual public transportation stations to compile its own transit data to make Maps as accurate as possible. In iOS 9, Maps will also incorporate more information from local businesses, including whether or not they accept Apple Pay.
Another native app switch-off, News will replace Newsstand. News is a customizable digital magazine, and Apple recruited publishers like The New York Times, ESPN, and Conde Nast to create an interactive reading app. News showcases content from these publishers in a beautiful interface that can play slideshows and video.
For the iPad, iOS 9 brings new features to make it easier to compose and edit text. The QuickType keyboard improves the suggestion bar by adding shortcuts so that you're able to format text and access attachments in a seamless way. The one key feature of QuickType is the ability to turn the iPad's touchscreen into a trackpad by simply putting two fingers down on the screen and dragging selected text around.
iOS 9's new Slide-Over feature is another iPad-only enhancement aimed at productivity, allowing you to work within two apps at the same time. This secondary app launches along the right-hand side of the iPad, and gets pinned to the side regardless of which app you open to be your primary app. For example, you can browse Safari and use Notes simultaneously, pinned as a slide-over app on the side.
Another cool feature of Multi-Tasking on the iPad is picture-in-picture. If you're watching a video but want to access another app, you can minimize the video screen, resize it, and drag it to another place on screen, which allows you to keep an eye on the video while using another full-screen app. You can even move it all the way to the side of the iPad, just out of view, if you just want the audio playing but have to do work on another app.
Of course, iOS 9 ushers in several all-around improvements and fixes, too. For example, a new low-power mode "pulls levers you didn't even know existed" (according to Federighi) to extend battery life by three hours. And to beef up security, Apple is introducing two-factor authorization on-device and on the cloud.
iOS 9's developer beta is available today, and its public beta will be available July. The full version will be released to the masses as a free upgrade this fall.
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