From my perspective, iOS9 passed by without fanfare. In fact, as I sit here now, I’m struggling to recall the headline features.
Ok. Let’s try harder…
When you swipe to the left from the home screen, you are now treated to ‘Siri suggestions’ (most used apps, contacts and nearby ‘nightlife’, whatever that is), the relocated spotlight search and a list of randomly-selected news headlines I doubt anyone reads. They also did some stuff with Mail… which I’ve forgotten. The News app was arguably one of the most prominent additions, but has so far failed to do as good a job as Flipboard when it comes to collating the mountain of content we may want to read. I think they also fixed some stuff in Apple Music, but, well… it isn’t entirely evident what that was.
In short, the latest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system didn’t do much for me at all. A ‘stability’ year, if anything, really, which should point to quite an update on the way this year for iOS10. 10 is a big, important-sounding number, after all.
And then, earlier this evening, I was sat in my car ready to head off to the local 5-a-side centre to begin my weekly ritual of pretending I can still play football. I started the engine, slotted the gear lever into reverse and, just as I was about to reach biting point on the clutch, noticed my iPhone screen had flared into action.
“15 mins to Mereway. Traffic normal,” said the notification which had awoken my phone from its deep slumber.
I’ve had a few ‘we’re living in the future’ moments with Apple devices recently. Most notably, the ability to go out for a run with just my watch and a pair of bluetooth headphones to track progress and pump music into my ears is still, frankly, jaw dropping for anyone who can remember life before the Internet. And here I was, again, marvelling at something utterly unexpected and mesmerising. Without any configuring, my phone had worked out that, every Thursday, its owner heads to a particular location. What’s more, it either a) knew it happened at a particular time, or b) knew where I briefly locate myself before heading towards said location. I’m not sure which of the last two statements is true, but, frankly, I don’t care; iOS9 has been watching me and has finally proved its worth.
Some will say this is all a bit too creepy. In fact, Daily Mail readers will probably suggest I throw my phone immediately into the nearest bin and report Apple to MI5.
Me? I think this kind of stuff is wonderful. I couldn’t give two hoots about what my phone does when I’m not looking; if the end result is genuinely useful information which appears to be thinking ahead of me, I’m happy. What a feature!
…and what else did I miss in iOS9?!