Every year Apple not only releases a new device, but also a new operating system to go with it. This year that new operating system is iOS 9, and it was first introduced to the world at Apple’s WWDC earlier this month.
iOS 9 includes some major changes, such as getting rid of Newsstand and Passbook and replacing them with a brand new News app and a more all-encompassing Wallet app. But the most exciting part of iOS 9 isn’t these headline features – it’s what iOS 9 will do for your old iPhone.
Apple decided to include support for iPhones as far back as the 4S – a huge win for people who are milking every last month they can get out of their iPhone. But if just being included wasn’t enough, iPhone owners will find that iOS 9 will breathe new life into their aging devices. Here’s how:
Hassle-free update to iOS 9
The file size of the iOS 9 update will be a lot smaller than the last few were – to be precise, it is expected to be slimmed down from 4.6 GB to 1.3 GB. This means that it will be a lot easier to update to the latest version without having to go through iTunes. To make it even easier, if you’re still short on space despite the reduced size, Apple included a feature that will delete some apps, and then automatically reinstall them once the update is done to make sure you have enough room for the update.
An extra hour of Battery Life (at least!)
A bunch of behind-the-scenes improvements means that most iPhones will see an hour-long improvement in battery life, a lifesaver for older phones that have seen their battery life shrink over time. To stretch the battery even further, there is also a new low-power mode that will shut down unnecessary power-hungry processes to milk even more precious hours out of your battery.
More free space on your iPhone
iOS 9 introduces something called app thinning. This is a truly behind the scenes feature – you may not directly see it do anything, but it allows apps sizes will get smaller, meaning more free space on your phone. Essentially, app developers can section off app code that only relates to certain iPhone models, which will no longer be downloaded to your device if you don’t need it. For example, an iPhone 4S will not have to download app code relating to Touch ID, NFC, or other features that were introduced in newer iPhone models.
In the past iOS updates have been dreaded by users of older iPhones, so it’s refreshing to see Apple really making some strides towards making them a positive experience for everybody.
iOS 9 is available now as a Developer Beta – but if you want the best experience, it’s best to wait until the full release (most likely coming this September). In the meantime, you will at least be able to look forward to all of the good things coming to your device.