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Apple Announces iOS 9 – A Look at the Top 12 Differences Between iOS 9 and iOS 8!

Published: Jun 10, 2015  |   | 

iOS 9 vs iOS 8
Apple officially unveiled iOS 9 on Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2015 event in San Francisco. With a focus on enhancing user experience, iOS 9 has come out with a slew of new features that include Apple Maps with transit information, News app, redesigned Notes app, multitasking features for iPad and much more. iOS 9 also includes improved battery life and enhanced security. We have highlighted the key differences between iOS 9 and iOS 8, to help you understand what new things you will get to see in your Apple Gadget!


ios 9 SiriApple has given a more colorful look to Siri, its personal voice assistant feature. The new interface displays content in a much better way and has the capability to understand a wider range of requests then what iOS 8 could. You can instruct Siri to display photos taken at a specific place in a particular month. It can now even determine when you are in a car. Siri which was reactive in iOS 8 has now become proactive. It will learn your habits and likings over time. ‘Proactive’ is an assistant that not only aggregates data across Siri but also across Contacts, Calendar, Passbook and third-party apps, creating contextually aware real-time information. You will get map directions before a meeting, based on the current traffic conditions. There will be automated calendar entries from emails and messages as well. To put in a nutshell, Siri is getting a deeper integration with Apple’s own apps.  


ios 9 SpotlightThe Proactive and Siri has resulted in a revamped Spotlight Search, which works with Siri to give app suggestions, key contacts, location and time specific info and way more. You will even be able to see videos in your Spotlight search results, which was not available in iOS 8. Real time search has also been improvised with the capability to answer more number of questions as you type. Spotlight will also integrate with the third party apps, giving users almost endless possibilities!  

Battery Life

ios 9 Battery LifeiOS 8 lacked the battery saving mode, which has been brought in iOS 9. A “low power mode” has been introduced which will add extra three hours of usage when enabled. iOS 9 will also improve general performance by adding one more hour of usage.  

Apple Pay and Passbook

ios 9 Apple Pay and PassbookApple Pay has received a boost with iOS 9. Through Apple Pay in iOS 9, you will now be able to add store credit cards and rewards cards which will be in addition to bank debit and credit cards. Apple Pay on iOS 8 is compatible with only a few US Bank cards, but with iOS 9 the support has been extended to more providers like Discover. The Apple Pay service is also coming to the UK next month. Passbook’s name has now been changed to Wallet in iOS 9.  

Apple Maps

ios 9, Apple MapsApple Maps now handles more than 5 billion user requests per week (3.5x higher usage on iOS than “next leading mapping app”). iOS 9 will also add the much awaited Transit directions. Transit directions are initially coming to some selected cities in the US and China. Apple Map will also now show if any store, restaurant or bar supports Apple Pay in its search results.  


ios 9 NewsApple has introduced a new app for iOS 9, which is known as News and has been replaced by the ‘Newsstand’ app. It is actually Apple’s version of Flipboard, allowing users to pull articles from various sources, with the app getting updated continuously. News will even create a personalized feed called ‘For You’. You will be able to bookmark articles to read it later and discover other news sources or topics, new for you through “Explore” feature. You will get a “Favorites” area to store stuff of your choice in the app. News will initially be launched in the US, UK and Australia.  


ios 9 NotesNotes app has a new toolbar with formatting options. The Notes in iOS 9 will support drawing, integrated links and previews from Safari, embedded images, dedicated attachments view and more. You will be able to sketch, make checklists and add photos inside the app.  

App Switching

ios 9 App SwitchingiOS 8 had contact shortcuts to the multi-tasking pane, but the large app previews made it difficult to see the number of apps running. iOS 9 has improved app previews, which now appears as stacked cards. You can thus easily and quickly flip through open applications and also get a better view of them.  

Apple Music

ios 9 Apple MusicA new music app has been introduced with iOS 9. A part of the new Apple Music also is a 24-hour global radio station. The app also has a tab called “For You”, which shows the personalized playlists and albums of your choice. There’s a “New” tab, showing new albums & artists including the top charts.  


ios 9 Home KitWith the popularity of HomeKit devices, Apple is strengthening its IoT platform. In iOS 9, HomeKit will add support for window shades, motion sensors and security systems. HomeKit devices will be accessible via iCloud as well, allowing you to ‘log into your home’ from a web browser and control things like lighting, compatible appliances or even your front door.  


ios 9 Health KitWith the iOS 9 update, the iPhone’s Health app will be able to track a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation. Apple also announced other new HealthKit metrics as well like UV exposure and how often you are seated.  

iPad-only Features

ios 9 iPad only FeaturesApple showed off a few iOS 9 features that are only for iPad. The QuickType Keyboard is going to be introduced in iPad, which consists of more tools to the suggestion bars along with the access to the camera, attachments and formatting. It will also allow you to use two fingers on the keyboard to make it a track pad, helping you easily select the text you want. This was however a bit tricky in iOS 8. New multi-tasking features are also coming to iPad, which will allow you to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side, or in a picture-in-picture mode. This feature will help you to watch a video and also browse web, compose mail or use any other app. Whenever a new iOS version is released, the older Apple devices are left out with no update in sight. However, with iOS 9, all the devices that received the iOS 8 update will get the iOS 9 update too. iOS 9 update is coming out this autumn, most likely in September for free. But for the first time Apple will be launching a public beta this July, allowing users to sign up and try the latest OS before it gets officially launched. iOS 8 over-the-air (OTA) update was a 4.6GB download, causing space issues for many users. iOS 9 download will be just 1.3GB, thus being more manageable then iOS 8. Apple is clearly focused on making iOS 9 fast, efficient and light and giving users an enticing experience! Semaphore Software is a leading iPhone app development company,  delivering innovative, robust iPhone apps across various industry verticals. Get in touch with us through info@semaphore-software.com to connect to our iPhone app developers, efficient in building high-quality iPhone apps!