NEW YORK — A new “low power mode” feature in iOS 9 could extend your iPhone’s battery by up to three hours. On Monday, Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi announced traditional battery life will be extended by one hour.
Federighi also unveiled a new feature called “low power mode” that will reduce the battery strain and could extend your battery life by an additional three hours on the full length of the charge. He said the setting will extend battery life by “pulling levers you didn’t know existed.”
Federighi did not say whether the three extra hours includes talk time, 4G LTE surfing or Wi-Fi surfing. He also did not say where the new feature will be located, where it will be automatic or available as an option under “Settings.”
The low power feature already exists on competing mobile operating systems.
In iOS 9, Siri is getting a big update. Siri is going to attempt to guess what you want to know, before you ask it. Just like Google Now.
Apple’s iOS smart assistant is getting an upgrade, called Siri Proactive, that includes predictive tools. It has smart reminders that know more about your location and habits. It pulls from your search history, emails and calendar to give smarter search results to surface information and suggest apps.
“This is all context sensitive to the time, the place and even the devices you’re connected to,” said Federighi.
Apple may be following Google here, but it sets itself apart in one very important way. Apple isn’t a data company, unlike Google, and Federighi said it will never mine your email, photos or contacts for information to target ads or sell to third parties. Things you look up are done anonymously and not tied to your Apple ID.
“We honestly just don’t want to know,” said Federighi. “All of this is done on device and it stays on your device, under your control.”
The feature finally adds transit directions, so you can decide if you’re going to grab a bus, walk or drive. It’s only in 12 cities to start, but will expand in the future. It’s also improving business searches for finding nearby restaurants, and seeing if they take Apple Pay.
Square’s next card reader will accept Apple Pay. Apple Pay will also be available to people in the United Kingdom starting in July, including support for public transit. Apple’s Passbook app is being renamed Wallet, and will support retail loyalty cards.
Apple has a new news app, different from its oft ignored Newsstand app. It’s called (wait for it) News.
It creates a personalized feed called For You, pulling from articles you’ve read in the past. It updates every time you open the app. The articles can come from anywhere on the Web, but it also features articles created by publishers just for the News app. It looks very similar to Facebook’s new native articles, and Flipboard before it, with big graphics and fun interactive elements.
Here again Apple focused on privacy as its killer feature: “News is designed from the ground up with your privacy in mind,” said Federighi.
“Quicktype” and multitasking
Apple introduced a new gesture in iOS 9 for iPads: Use two fingers and your keyboard mimics a trackpad. It lets you select text and move the cursor like a mouse.
IPad users can also get split screen apps and improved app switching and keyboard shortcuts. They might seem minor but small improvements like this push the iPad that much closer to being a serious word-processing device.
Apple’s hub for connected home devices, Homekit added iCloud access and controls for window and controls for window shades, thermostats, lights and sensors.
The health feature will be able to monitor hydration, menstrual periods and fertility, “reproductive health” and UV exposure.
It will now work wirelessly in your car.