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Software // Operating Systems
06:01 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

WWDC: What Apple Didn't Tell Us

Apple has plenty in store for iOS 9 and other products like HealthKit and Car Play, that it didn't talk about during the WWDC keynote. Here's a rundown.

Apple WWDC 2015: 10 Best Moments From The Show
Apple WWDC 2015: 10 Best Moments From The Show
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple debuted the hallmark features of iOS 9 during the June 8 keynote address at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Some of the big additions to iOS 9 include public transit directions in Maps, proactive Siri, Apple News, and Apple Music. The two-hour presentation didn't give Apple enough time to talk about all the new features, but Apple did mention a handful of other, interesting additions to iOS 9.

Apple is going to make iPhones and iPads more secure. Beginning with iOS 9, Apple will no longer permit the use of four-digit PIN codes. Instead, it will require six-digit PINs. This raises the possible combination of codes from 10,000 to one million, which means it will take much longer for hackers to crack open iOS devices with brute force attacks. Apple said it will add support for two-factor authentication, too.

Apple will make it simpler for people to switch from an Android handset to an iPhone thanks to a new app called Move to iOS. The app will help transfer all the content, including contacts, messages, photos, and music, from any Android smartphone to a new iPhone. Google already offers something similar for switching from an iPhone to an Android phone.

(Image: Dave Newman/iStockphoto)

(Image: Dave Newman/iStockphoto)

Not only will iOS 9 itself be smaller, but so will apps moving forward. A new feature called App Thinning will cut down on the bulk needed by apps. This means faster downloads, faster installs, and less waste of the iPhone's storage. This will be particularly helpful to iPhones with smaller storage allotments.

CarPlay, which is hardly available anywhere yet, will get better, too. Apple plans to add support for wireless connections between iPhones and cars that support CarPlay. At the moment, consumers have to connect their iPhone to their car through a USB cable. CarPlay will also support a broader range of in-dash screen sizes.

The proactive features being added to Siri all sounds great.

Thankfully, you needn't worry about Apple storing your Siri-related requests and other search data. Apple said Siri user data will remain anonymous and will never be associated with a specific Apple ID. Apple will not share the data with third-party apps, nor will it be linked to other Apple services. What you request of Siri will remain behind closed digital doors.

HealthKit is going to receive a nice improvement, as well. Apple's health-tracking service will be able to monitor users' sedentary status, UV exposure, and water intake. It will also allow women to track their menstrual cycles.

[Read about expanding its data centers and networking infrastructure.]

Apple is going to let more of its apps talk to one another in a feature called object-oriented contacts. For example, if an incoming call is not recognized by the contact application, iOS 9 will search for the number in the email and Facebook apps to see if it is listed there. The end result should be more visibility into who's calling.

Unlike previous versions of iOS, Apple isn't claiming iOS 9 has hundreds of hidden features. The smaller features it did see fit to include may not sound important on their own, but combined they'll make iOS a more usable and powerful platform.

More information, including the developer preview, is available on Apple's website.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2015 | 4:23:54 PM
"HealthKit is going to ... allow women to track their menstrual cycles."

Well, that an interesting app for guys as well. Don't you think?
Susan Fourtané
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2015 | 11:06:45 AM
Water intake
It's nice that HealthKit is going to be able to monitor water intake. More than once I need reminders that I need to drink water, especially when I am not at home. Several times I've noticed because my body starts alerting me. It may sound silly, but it's not. 

This is a problem for many people. And the reason why there are already some apps for water intaking.

Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
6/9/2015 | 6:34:03 PM
A smaller set of features is fine..
...provided Apple can deliver stable code. OS X Yosemite has not been its finest release in terms of stability.
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