Gadgets

The best iOS 9 features Apple didn’t mention

The bad news first: we don't know what the new iPhone is going to look like and we've no idea if the iPad Pro is fact or fiction. Sorry.

What we do know, however, is that Apple has squeezed a number of neat new functions into the latest iOS that they weren't able to talk about at this month's developer conference. As developer types are now having a good poke around with the new operating system ahead of the autumn's full launch, a crop of new finds has emerged.

From a new font to predictive touch features, this is what you can expect from your Apple gadgets when iOS 9 arrives.

A lower case keyboard

No, we don't know what took them so long, but Apple has finally seen the light and is adding lower case letters to its keyboard. No longer will you be faced with a split-second confusion trying to work out if you've engaged shift for a capital letter, only to type a lower case letter, curse, delete it and then punch in a capital.

It's the little things...

A new font

This one's for the design nerds.

When Apple unveiled its new Watch, there was a minor buzz created by its new, sleek typeface: San Francisco. The letters are slimmer than the current Neue Helvetica font, with fewer curves and taller profiles. When it rolls out across all iOS devices, it's going to be a minor change that adds up to a cleaner, prettier interface.

Safari will be able to block ads

The days of Safari pop-ups and cookies are numbered, thanks to a new, broader set of extensions to Apple's web browser. 

Revealed by Apple engineer Ricky Mondello, the new iOS 9 will allow developers to build extensions that cut out infuriating ads and screen-filling pop-ups. Great for smooth scrolling, not so good for the digital ad market. 

Power over vibrations

The iOS 9 is going to give Apple users a lot more control over their devices' individual settings - including turning off vibrations altogether. 

We can already predict the stories from the Apple Genius Bar concerning customers complaining about broken vibration units.

iCloud Drive, the Dropbox killer

Okay, so it's not a 'killer' app - but services like Dropbox are going to take a hefty blow if every Apple device now comes with its own pre-installed cloud storage app.

As well as being able to lob all your documents and photos into one neat floating storage space, the iCloud Drive is going to let you search through things stored on your iDevice in a manner much like Mac's Finder. Folders are back, baby!

A smarter iPhone screen

Apple isn't going to bring you that week-long battery you've been dreaming of - well, since phones got 'smart' - but they are making their devices smarter in order to extend the pitiful juice reserves. With the new iOS 9 installed, iPhones placed face down on tables, or nestled in the depths of your dark pocket won't bother lighting up the screen with a notification.

It'll still ding and vibrate, but iOS 9 is smart enough to realise that if a notification falls in the woods and nobody is there to see it, best save the battery percentage.

Options for your mute switch

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The iPhone is hardly awash with buttons - which makes it all the more surprising that Apple has decided to give the function of one of them over to its users. 

With the iOS 9, iPhone owners will be able to select whether they want the slider switch on the side of the phone to flick between muting or locking the screen rotation. Perhaps people aren't that annoyed with having to mash the 'volume down' button in order to silence their phone? Could we see more options added to the switch's function? Could it be used to summon our own Apple droid? Probably not.

Something called 'Predictive touch'

If Siri's knowledge of your exact whereabouts wasn't scary enough, the idea of your iPhone knowing where you're about to tap it should be enough to give you nightmares of an evil Apple AI taking over the world.

A feature spotted in the iOS 9 developer library documents details 'touch prediction' in the user interface kit. This probably means your phone will be smarter in recognising where you meant to job your finger when it was busy loading up graphics that weren't actually there - but it could point to some sort of freaky world in which your iPhone will recognise your unique touch typing technique, learning what your mistakes were and thus cutting out the errors you often make.