As rumors swirl about the iOS 8.1.3 release this week and work continues on the iOS 8.2 beta that will deliver the connectivity needed for the Apple Watch, a new report outlines Apple’s testing of iOS 9, an unannounced update to the iPhone and iPad software.
There is officially no word on the iOS 9 release, but tradition shows that Apple will announce a new version of the iPhone and iPad software at WWDC, a developer event in June. Apple used this event to showcase iOS 6, iOS 7 and iOS 8 to the world and to allow developers enough time to prepare apps to run on the new software.
An iOS 9 release that sticks to this timeline would arrive in the fall with a new iPhone that could carry the iPhone 6s name. There are some things you can expect from an iPhone 6s release, and a new version of iOS is one of them.
Gotta Be Mobile traffic logs only show a small amount of iOS 9 traffic in 2015. This comes from devices that are running test versions of the software, but it is also possible that some of this traffic is from spoofed device information. With this in mind we did not share the small number of iOS 9 device traffic that we detected in December and January, but a new report from AppleInsider includes more frequent visits from devices that show up as running iOS 9.
The AppleInsider data shows a steady climb in iOS 9 traffic, possibly due to Apple testing the software on more devices internally.
There is still a major focus on iOS 8.1.3, which will reportedly fix some of the lingering iOS 8 problems five months after the release. Apple is also on the fourth iOS 8.2 beta. This is a release designed to deliver support for the Apple Watch and potentially other features.
Apple plans to release the Apple Watch this Spring, possibly in March which gives a potential time frame for the iOS 8.2 release.
In regards to the iOS 9 release and announcement, there is a clue that the WWDC 2015 starts on June 8th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. MacRumors spotted a listing for a “Corporate Event” at the venue where Apple traditionally holds the Worldwide Developers Conference. Although Moscone remover the listing, the timing makes sense for WWDC 2015 and the iOS 9 announcement.
We know little about iOS 9 at this time, but with odds heavy in the favor of a iPhone 6s release that is less of a leap than the iPhone 6 this year there may be a bigger focus on software. We saw this with the iOS 7 release that came with the iPhone 5s in 2013.
Apple may use iOS 9 to finally allow Siri to control third-party apps. Apple launched CarPlay with the iOS 8 this year and it is on the way to many cars, with a huge focus on voice control. If Apple hopes to make the iPhone a central part of car infotainment centers, better Siri support for using apps while in motion is a good bet.
Other potential features include allowing app developers to use the NFC chip in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that is limited to Apple Pay. Android devices with NFC can use the technology to pair with other smartphones, cameras and accessories and to enable intelligent switching between modes when a the phone detects a NFC tag.
The iOS 9 release could also allow Apple to incorporate new technology from companies that Apple purchased in the last several years. In addition to the much publicized Beats acquisition, Apple also purchased an indoor navigation company and transit data companies that we could see as part of a new Apple Maps in iOS 9.
The video above from Ralph Theodory shows one take on what iOS 9 could look like and potential iOS 9 features. This is an iOS 9 concept, which means it is not from Apple and not based on leaks and rumors, but what the artist thinks the software might look like.