Inside iOS 9: A More Intelligent OS With Proactive Suggestions and Siri Improvements

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iOS 9 focuses on intelligence and proactivity, giving iOS devices the tools to learn user habits and act on that information. In iOS 9, our iPhones and iPads can open up apps right when we need them, make recommendations on places we might like, and guide us through our daily lives through improvements to search and Siri.


Proactive Suggestions

Through a set of Proactive features, iOS 9 is able to offer up app suggestions and other information based on the way you use your iPhone or iPad. For example, if you often listen to music in the morning, iOS 9 will offer up the Music app on the lock screen when you plug in your headphones. If you always open the weather app to check what's going on outside, it might be presented as a suggestion each morning.

When heading home from work in the evening, iOS 9's Proactive features might bring up a map that includes traffic patterns, or tell you how long it will take to get home. When getting in the car, if you listen to a specific music app, it might open automatically when the car connects to Bluetooth.

Proactive suggestions are also available within apps. When creating an email or composing a message to a friend, iOS 9 will suggest people you typically include, making it easy to get things done fast. If you get an email with a flight reservation or restaurant confirmation, iOS 9 can suggest and then create a calendar event. With calendar events that include location, iOS 9 is able to assess traffic conditions and send a reminder when it thinks you should leave to make it on time.

Siri

Siri is also able to do a lot more in iOS 9 because the personal assistant has contextual awareness. For example, when asking Siri to "Remind me to do this" when looking at a request in the Messages app, Siri will understand what "This" refers to, providing the correct response. In the Reminders app, the Reminder created by Siri will link back to that original conversation, so the source is apparent.

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Siri is also more aware of location, so specific location-based reminders like "Call mom when I get in the car" are available. For photos and videos, Siri is able to perform time-based searches. Ask Siri to "Show my photos from Utah from last August" and images that fit the criteria will appear. Siri is able to search based on dates, location, and album titles.

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Siri Suggestions

Swiping right on the Home screen brings up a new Spotlight search interface that includes "Siri Suggestions." Siri Suggestions includes a list of people you speak with often, apps you might want to use depending on the time of day, nearby venues like restaurants and gas stations, and relevant news.

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Suggestions offered through this interface will change based on the time of day and each user's iOS usage habits. If you open Yelp at lunchtime, it might display the Yelp app at noon. If you watch Netflix at night, it might display the Netflix app when you get home from work.

Search

Search in iOS 9 includes an expanded list of sources, which are available whenever a text-based search is made or a voice-based search through Siri. Sports scores and schedules, weather forecasts, and stock prices are all available, as are simple calculations and conversions. A search for 15% of $25, for example, will bring up the correct result.

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Search extends to content within apps in iOS 9. When looking for a recipe, for example, you might search for "apple pie" to find apple pie recipes across several different cooking apps. Developers need to build support for search into their apps, so not all apps will show up. In the Search section of the Settings app, you can customize which apps will show up in search results.

With all of these new features, iOS 9 will learn more about usage habits over time to create a unique experience that's tailored towards the specific needs of each individual user. Proactive suggestions will improve as time goes on and the operating system gets used to the way you like to use your iPhone or iPad.

Top Rated Comments

Goldfrapp Avatar
70 months ago
Search from top and search from left is kinda pointless. Why not at least make them identical in functionality?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mainstreetmark Avatar
70 months ago

Siri Suggestions seems to be an utter disappointment at the moment, it only shows me those apps I have been using in the last couple of minutes, but never apps I use at particular times of the day or locations.

Give it a minute! That feature came out today. It hasn't had time to figure you out yet.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miknos Avatar
70 months ago
I would prefer to have only Siri/spotlight on the top (swipe down) instead of the left.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
plastixmith Avatar
70 months ago
Has anyone else noticed that search doesn't seem to bring up apps anymore? I used to use search to launch apps instead of flipping through screen after screen. Suggested apps is great for the ones I use predictably, but when I search for "Pages" the first hit used to be the app. Now it's a list of emails, followed by an obscure web site reference, followed by the Wikipedia article on the app. There's also an App Store suggestion, but not for the Apple App, but rather the "Yellow Pages Canada" app. So now I either have to flip through my phone's screens and folders looking for where I put that app, or launch it via Siri.

UPDATE: Nevermind. Looks like it just needed to index or something. Apps now show up as expected.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bkearney Avatar
70 months ago
Siri seems to be choosing only news from CNN, NYTimes, USAToday, and WashPost. I don't want news from ANY of these... how can I train Siri to find other sources?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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