Apple iOS 9: 42 Biggest Changes And How To Use Them

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Improves the Watch, Slightly.

Apple Inc. said a software update for Apple Watch is now available after last week’s release was delayed because a problem in the operating system couldn’t be fixed in time. The release, about five days late, introduces a number of new features, including support for “native” apps which run “entirely on your Apple Watch,” the company boasts.iOS 9, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, has been installed on more than half of active iPads and iPhones since it was released just five days ago, Apple announced in a press release on Monday.The Apple Watch has been on sale since the spring, and like all Apple products, it has been the subject of intense speculation, criticism, fawning and doomsaying.

Owners of Apple Watch can download the software update, called watchOS 2, which includes features such as new faces and the availability of native applications from outside developers that use the device’s heart-rate sensor and other tools. The key change here addresses the smartwatch’s independence — Apple is slowly moving the watch beyond its role as the iPhone’s most expensive accessory. That’s not just the fastest adoption rate for iOS; it’s the fastest adoption rate ever for an Apple operating system. iOS 9 is “on pace to be downloaded by more users than any other software release in Apple’s history,” senior VP Phil Schiller said in the press release. The Apple Watch debuted earlier this year to mixed reviews and is not yet available globally; it’s set to launch in Austria, Denmark and Ireland this week. The new software is supposed to deliver faster performance to your wrist and supply new watch face options, including the ability to use your own photos as the watch face.

The device is Apple’s first new hardware product since the iPad was released in 2010 and a key part of Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s attempt to find areas of growth outside of the iPhone. Promised battery life remains at 18 hours, something Apple will need to address in upcoming generations given that rival smartwatches are promising more. The update comes as Apple Inc. pulled several Chinese apps, including the popular WeChat, from its app store after third-party developers were tricked into inserting malicious code into their apps.

The malicious software isn’t believed to affect the watch’s functionality, though it could collect data on the tethered iPhone and send them to remote servers, according to security experts. There’s also an automatic low-power mode that freezes animations and stops apps from refreshing in the background, letting you squeeze a little more life out of your battery once it falls below ten percent. Users should delete any Chinese apps they got or updated recently from their iPhones and iPads and get new versions from the app store once they are available. The release states, somewhat coyly, that “walk-in customers … are encouraged to arrive early” – a suggestion that will certainly be taken just as seriously as in years past, when the truly dedicated have waited in line for days to buy a new iPhone.

During my most recent marathon, my usually reliable Garmin GPS had me going faster than two minutes a mile at one point — more than three times as fast as the winners. As I argued in July, it’s too early to tell if the watch will become a hit because all new major Apple product introductions tend to follow a familiar script. What’s important, though, is that Apple is figuring out what the watch is for and experimenting with some new ideas that may ultimately prove quite novel.

— The nagging reminders that you need to stand up if you’ve been sitting at your desk for too long can be paused if you happen to be on a flight or a road trip. For instance, the company didn’t anticipate that people would want to reply to email using their watches, so the first version let you only read email. The device can now connect directly to Wi-Fi networks that you have already registered with, meaning that you can use some watch apps and, depending on your carrier, possibly make phone calls even when your phone isn’t around. Now, apps live on the watch “natively” — that is, they can store and process data using the watch’s hardware, while in the past they relied on the phone for everything.

For me, this change resulted in a slight but noticeable increase in speed in the watch’s Weather and Maps apps, and it will probably appear soon in other apps, too (once they’re updated by developers). This doesn’t sound like much, but when lots of developers update their apps, many tiny speed increases will likely add up to a more pleasant experience. Apple is now selling a few new combinations of watch cases and bands, including gold and rose gold cases in the cheapest Sport edition, which starts at $349. The designer label Hermès is also creating its own editions of the watch; these versions include Hermès watchbands as well as a special Hermès digital watch face that matches the design of the Hermès analog watches.

I wore the gold Sport watch with a new bright orange band, and at least a half-dozen people complimented me on the combination — the first time I’ve noticed any interest in my Apple Watch since its introduction.

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