iOS 9: 9 things we learnt about Apple's new iPhone and iPad OS

5. Your digital Wallet

What iOS 9 brings to the table, above all, is the addition of store credit cards and loyalty/rewards cards in Wallet, which is the newly rebranded Passbook. So rather than fumbling through your real wallet for a card that saves you a couple quid on a pack of diapers, you can simply use Wallet and Apple Pay and be done with it.

6. Apple makes its own Flipboard

One noteworthy app addition to iOS 9 is that of News, a fresh reading experience that pulls in content from various publications - like Facebook's own recent Instant Articles initiative - and displays articles in a very smooth, attractive way.

It looks a lot like Flipboard, really, with a newspaper-like list of articles tailored to your interests, and the app reportedly learns from your reading habits. The articles themselves also have embedded graphics and interactive elements, and retain the style specific to each publication. It's not 100% clear (as of this writing) whether News is outright replacing Newsstand or simply complementing it, but this new approach shows Apple taking stronger control of another aspect of the iOS media experience.

7. Hugely helpful keyboard tweaks

Apple's QuickType keyboard is back in iOS 9, and it has some significant enhancements for the iPad. First is the addition of shortcuts to the top bar, which let you cut, copy, paste, and add style with ease.

But the bigger addition comes with the ability to hold two fingers down on the keyboard to turn it into a trackpad. That makes getting around a document or page a whole lot easier, and paired with split-screen use, it turns the iPad into a much more capable productivity device. Just in time for the long-rumoured, super-sized iPad Pro to come out this autumn, no?

8. Better battery life

We heard for months that Apple was aiming to make iOS 9 more efficient, and the company says that the OS will offer users about an hour of extra battery life per day in normal use.

On top of that, a new low power mode will be available that can extend the use of an iPhone or iPad by up to three hours when you're running low. It's not entirely clear which functionality will be available when engaged, but at least the option is there to still have your device up and running when it's nearly depleted.

9. No devices dropped

With a more efficient, performance-minded approach, iOS 9 will still work with all of the devices that run iOS 8 today - which means the now-ancient iPad 2 and iPhone 4s will have the new OS come this autumn. All the newer devices since will run it, of course, and Apple is sure to have new phones and tablets out around then, as well. But that's news for another day.

And iOS 9 will be smaller, too: Apple estimates that the update will take up only 1.8GB, whereas iOS 8 required a whopping 4.6GB to install. Apple is also opening up a public beta for iOS 9 in July, as well, so if you're eager to test out the OS before it's fully ready for prime time, you can register your interest today.

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