In the same way we're trained to anticipate a new iPhone in the fall, we're expecting Apple to drop a new version of its operating system at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, June 8 in San Francisco.
Though nothing is confirmed, there are a few rumors floating around forecasting what iOS 9 has in store. None of the gossip is particularly exciting, but updates to functionality features, like Siri, are promisingly practical enhancements to the OS. We've outlined some of the speculation below, and make sure to check back with CNET for all of the news coming out of WWDC once the fun starts.
A stronger Siri
Google recently announced some impressive updates to its Google Now feature and a compelling rumor from 9 to 5 Mac reveals Apple's expecting to follow suit. Code-named Proactive, this new service will provide you with timely, relevant information from apps like Calendar, Passbook, Contacts and other third-party apps.
Pulling data from several sources, you could get an automatic notification about traffic conditions when en route to an event scheduled in your calendar or, since Apple Maps will finally get transit directions (which have been sorely lacking in the app since its release) you could also get possible notifications on alternate public transit routes if there are potential delays.
The rumor also states that this new search functionality will be accessed by swiping your home screen all the way to the right (the same as how Spotlight search worked before iOS 8 moved it to the top).
According to some other rumors heard over at 9 to 5 Mac, a fresh new keyboard will make a debut. It will allegedly work in both portrait and landscape mode, but will offer a wider variety of useful buttons when in landscape. The shift key will also get a facelift, improving how it visually marcates whether it's in use or not (a problem a lot of people had with iOS 8). In anticipation for the iPhone 6S (presumably coming in the fall of this year) iOS 9 will additionally support Force Touch display with haptic feedback.
Better backward compatibility
One last rumor is that iOS 9 will be slimmed down to work on older devices. This means that iPhone 4S and iPad 2 users will actually be able to finally update their devices. When iOS 8 launched, the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 were both cleared for the update by Apple, but people later reported their older devices were running much slower with iOS 8.
We'll know more June 8
The sparse details surrounding iOS9 suggest that what's up Apple's sleeve is akin to a plain white T-shirt, instead of a flashy button-up -- like the massive overhaul that was iOS 7. Though the rumor mill isn't very exciting, it's to be expected considering the current state of affairs that indicates mobile operating systems have hit a plateau.
As previously mentioned, none of the rumors are confirmed and we'll have to wait until the keynote presentation at WWDC -- which usually highlights the biggest news on forthcoming updates -- on June 8. Check back with CNET for all of the information once the conference starts.