APPLE HAS unveiled iOS 9, the next version of its mobile operating system that brings updates to Siri, a battery-saving mode and Split View multitasking for the iPad.
iOS 9 is all about improving the overall performance and usability of the software, according to Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple.
"We wanted to elevate the foundations of the platform, such as improving battery life and enhancing performance," he said.
Siri was at the forefront of the keynote. Apple claimed that it's 40 percent more accurate and more intelligent than ever in iOS 9, having been given a "Proactive" overhaul.
In a bid to compete with Cortana and Google Now, Siri will be able to respond to more naturally spoken queries and offer context-based intelligence. For example, it will show the Now Playing screen on the lock screen if it knows you've gone out for a run and will want to listen to music when you return.
Proactive Siri can also do things like suggest who unknown callers might be when a number pops up on your screen, and suggest apps that you tend to use during certain times of day. There’s also an API for search, adding support for third-party apps.
Apple explained that this is all done privately and securely. "All of this is done on the device, and it stays on the device under your control," said Federighi.
As expected, a new Maps app will debut in iOS 9, introducing public transport directions for the first time. This covers bus, ferry, tube and train routes, and will be available in London at launch.
In a bid to challenge the likes of Flipboard, a new app called News app will arrive in iOS 9, replacing the existing Newsstand app, allowing users to create a personalised feed. A new Notes app will support images, doodles and check-lists.
A 'Lower Power Mode' will prolong battery life by an additional three hours. In terms of performance Apple has managed to reduce the size of iOS updates - iOS 9 will be just 1.8GB - as well as improving the security credentials of its mobile software.
HomeKit got a mention, and iOS 9 will allow users to control connected devices remotely via iCloud. Support for new sensors, including carbon monoxide sensors and security systems, has been added.
The iPad was also under the spotlight during the WWDC keynote. Apple announced new multitasking features such as a Split View mode (below) and a new Slideover window that allows you to check messages while in another app by sliding from the right of the display, for example.
The multitasking view has been given a lick of paint, offering a full-screen view of open windows in iOS 9.
The iPad keyboard can transform into a trackpad in iOS 9 by simply sliding two fingers over the keys.
Apple announced that Apple Pay is coming to the UK next month. The service will be supported by eight banks at launch including Halifax, HSBC and NatWest, and at retailers such as Boots, Nando's and M&S.
Apple is killing the Passbook name in favour of a new app called Wallet, which integrates credit cards, debit cards, store cards, and loyalty cards in one place.
iOS 9 will be available as a public beta in July, and is available to developers now. It will be supported by all of the devices that supported iOS 8 when it sees a full rollout in the autumn, including the iPhone 4S and first-gen iPad Mini. µ
Handset outperforms its predecessor
It's 25 per cent bigger than before
Chipmaker is reportedly struggling to keep up with 7nm demand
Another fine mesh they've got you into