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iOS 9 is now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users!

Apple has released iOS 9 today (Sept. 16) to the general public after months of beta testing, including for the first time, a public beta.

Now, the update is available to all. Design-wise, users won’t notice a huge difference from iOS 8, though numerous performance enhancements – particularly to the battery – and a few additional features make iOS 9 a pretty exciting upgrade for Apple users.

To upgrade to iOS 9 on your device, head to Settings then General and finally Software Update. The new update will be waiting here. iOS 9 is compatible with the iPhone 4s and later.

Users will only need 1.3 GB of free space to make the upgrade – down from the space-grabbing 4.58 GB needed for iOS 8. Those with 16 GB devices rejoice! Now, let’s take a look at what’s new:

iOS 9 features

A new native app – News: News is a brand new addition to iOS and acts as a news reader, pulling in content from various news sources including the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and even smaller blogs and publications. In fact, it’s open to all websites and presents content in Apple’s own format, which is highly designed and supports various layout options, including video or animation embedding. Read our article for more details on the News app: Goodbye Newsstand, Hello News.

The new News app

The new News app

Updates to native apps: After being overtaken by numerous third-parties, native apps like Notes and Reminders have been overhauled to match the progression made by other apps like Evernote. Notes now has further font and design options, and can include embedded objects like images, checklists, maps and loads more. Further Share Sheets support also lets users add to notes from within other apps.

Updates to Maps – Transit & Nearby: Apple has updated maps so that public transportation instructions are featured. In select cities, a new Transit view shows lines and stations for subways, buses, trains, and ferries on the map. Furthermore, a new Nearby mode can show users restaurants, shops and more that’s nearby on the map, bringing the app further in line, if not ahead of Google Maps.

Maps gets some significant updates

Maps gets some significant updates

Native iCloud Drive app: Users can now access all their iCloud files in one place from the home screen with a new built in app.

A (much) smarter Siri: Alongside general improvements to voice recognition and a wider search area, Siri is now proactive. Users can plug in a set of headphones and Siri will know to open the Music app and start playing. Siri features heavily within the updated Spotlight search too. When users go to search on their device, Siri will have already provided a variety of apps users might want to launch, or contacts they may wish to interact with.

Siri is much smarter in iOS 9

Siri is much smarter in iOS 9

Battery enhancements: Apple has worked on improving the efficiency of its OS so that the battery will last an extra hour before needing to recharge. There is also now a low power mode that iOS offers to activate at 20% battery. It turns off things like background app refresh and other non-essential activities to preserve battery life.

Security: Apple has launched the six-digit passcode to unlock devices. This will only activate when users go to change their passcode. Two-factor authentication will also now be present for those on Mac OS X (once the next OS X – El Capitan is released, that is) as well, meaning that anytime users sign in from a new device or browser, they’ll be prompted to input a code.

iPad – Multitasking / Productivity / Keyboard updates: There are also some iPad specific upgrades. Read our iOS 9 update for iPad for more information.

Finally, Android users will find it easier to switch from their device to Apple’s with a new app designed to make the process simpler.

Read more: iOS 9 will support even more features on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, due for release on the 25 September. Read more about Apple’s next-generation iPhones here.

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