10 Exciting New Features Your iPhone Is Getting

Photo: Courtesy of Apple.
Your iPhone is about to get smarter, faster, and full of even more built-in features that help you get things done.

Apple showed off a handful of the best new features of iOS 9 at its Worldwide Developer Conference this week. The conference is targeted to app makers, but the public also gets a sneak peek at what we can expect when the next iPhone comes out in the fall.

Here are the 10 best upgrades to look forward to.

You Get Three Extra Hours Of Battery Life
Oh no, your battery's at 25%, and your phone has got to survive the night! A new Low Power mode shuts off unnecessary processes so that your battery can last for up to three extra hours.

Siri Can Identify Mystery Callers
If you get a phone call from a number that's not in your address book, Siri will do a quick search of your email and offer a possible identity for the mystery caller. She’ll also learn from your regular behaviors and anticipate your needs. Say “remind me about this,” and she’ll create a to-do list for whatever text message you were reading or website you were on. If it’s getting time to head to a meeting, she’ll serve up info about traffic conditions, so you won't be late (and, with a 40% reduction in word error, she'll be far less likely to mangle phrases).

You Can Track Your Period In The Health App
Apple’s Health app will track a bunch of new metrics, but chief among them is period tracking. Or, as Apple called it, “reproductive tracking.” The details are still scant: It could be as simple as menstrual- or ovulation-cycle monitoring, but if Apple follows the precedent it set with dietary tracking, it could also include things like basal body temperature or cervical mucus quality.
Photo: Courtesy of Apple.
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Multi-Tasking Is Way Easier
Right now, it’s a pain to flip back and forth between different apps on your iPad. In iOS 9, though, a feature called SlideOver lets you bring in Notes, Mail, or Messages with a swipe from the side of the screen, while a Split View lets you check out restaurants and a map of where they’re located, at the same time. A picture-in-picture mode lets you watch a video and shrinks it into a small pop-up if you decide to Google what other films that actor has been in.

Maps Now Includes Public Transit Directions
Apple has mapped out public transit lines for 20 cities globally: When you tap a station, you can see all the train, ferry, subway, and bus lines as well as departure times. You'll also get step-by-step directions and an estimate of how long the trip will take.

You Can Add Your Store Credit Cards To Apple Pay
Apple Pay securely stores your credit and debit card information, so you can check out with just a tap and a thumb press. If you’ve got a store credit card (hi, JCPenney) or a loyalty card, you can now add those, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Apple.
It's A Lot Faster To Search For Stuff
Currently, when you swipe downward on the iPhone screen to pull up Spotlight, all you get is a search bar. In iOS 9, that action gets more useful: It also pulls up your frequently used apps and contacts, links to nearby locations, and breaking news headlines.

Your iPhone Activity Is More Secure
Worried Apple is spying on your every activity? You shouldn't be (according to Apple, at least). The company says what you do on your device is anonymous — nothing is tied to your Apple ID or to any other Apple services. Your data will be even more secure on iOS 9, thanks to a six-digit passcode and two-factor authentication.

It Curates News Stories & Other Content
If you’re still struggling to find the perfect news reader for your iPhone, Apple’s trying its hand with a News app. It curates a collection of daily articles based on your interests and favorite publications. The pieces are laid out pretty, with scrolling text, large images, and animations designed specifically for either the iPhone or iPad. It’s launching with a bunch of partner publishers, too — including The New York Times, Condé Nast, and Politico.

Downloading The Software Is Simple
For many people, downloading iOS 8 was a huge ordeal. At 4.6 GB, many with 16 GB iPhones had to delete tons of apps and photos to make room for it. You won’t need to do this for iOS 9: Apple’s managed to pack it down to a 1.3 GB download.
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