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Apple's iOS 9 rushes toward 11% adoption rate, researcher says

Launched Wednesday, the new software appears to be on one of every nine iOS devices, according to mobile analytics firm Mixpanel. How does that compare with the uptake of iOS 8?

iOS 9 adoption is higher than 10 percent, says one firm. But how does that compare with iOS 8? CNET

In just a day, the uptake for Apple's iOS 9 jumped to almost 11 percent, according to the latest stats from analytics firm Mixpanel.

Rolled out Wednesday across the world, Apple's latest mobile software reached an adoption rate of 10.9 percent as of Thursday morning, according to the firm's findings. Mixpanel bases its data on an analysis of mobile app usage, specifically the number of devices using the thousands of apps that it monitors. Its analysis can't provide a complete picture of all iOS devices and users, but it can serve as a good indicator.

Apple refreshes iOS, the software that powers iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices, every year with new features and refinements that it hopes will entice users to upgrade and will help it compete with Google's Android mobile operating system. Also important is stability. With iOS 9, Apple needs to avoid the sorts of bug problems that soured the launch of iOS 8 a year ago.

So is 11 percent a good start? Well, it's not quite as good as iOS 8 achieved out of the starting gate, according to Mixpanel's stats from last year. In September 2014, Mixpanel's data showed iOS 8 adoption at more than 14 percent less than 24 hours after it debuted.

Mixpanel's data differs from that of fellow mobile analytics firm Tapjoy, which has pegged iOS 9 adoption at slightly higher than 6 percent as of Thursday morning, according to a blog posted by Patrick Seybold, Tapjoy's vice president for communications and marketing partnerships. Tapjoy sees iOS 9 adoption at a slightly slower pace compared with that of iOS 8 and way behind that of iOS 7. Tapjoy bases its data on an analysis of more than 200 million unique iOS consumers per month.

"This slow adoption rate underscores the trending rule of thumb for upgrading to a new mobile operating system," Seybold said in his blog. "Unless there are must-have device-changing features in the OS, more and more consumers are waiting a little while for early, annoying bugs to be stamped out, and then upgrade once the OS has been more refined."

Cupertino, California-based Apple has not yet released its own figures on iOS 9 adoption.

The glitches that occurred with the initial versions of iOS 8 do show that may be wise not to rush. Users who wait at least a couple of days to upgrade can gauge the reaction to the new software and see if other people are bumping into trouble.

Users did run into some delays trying to snag iOS 9 on Wednesday, with Apple's servers apparently hiccuping under the heavy weight of all those downloads. But that's not unusual when so many users are trying to download the same software over the same period of time.

Beyond that, there don't seem to be major complaints popping up about iOS 9 bugs or technical issues, at least not yet. It will take a bit of time for most users who've downloaded it to try out every feature.

The latest iOS version includes improvements to the voice-activated Siri digital assistant, the Maps app, the Notes app and the search feature. Like Microsoft's Cortana, Siri can now remind you of calendar appointments. The Notes app now lets you create checklists, draw sketches and add attachments. And the Apple Maps app now has more mass-transit information, including schedules and subway station entrances for urban locales such as New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Mexico City and Beijing.

iOS 9 also promises better battery life with a new low-power mode that turns off certain bells and whistles when you run below a 20 percent battery charge. A new split-screen feature lets you run two apps side by side, but only if you're using the iPad Air 2 or later iPads. And Apple has added a new app called News, which aggregates different news sources and topics to help you keep up with the latest stories around the world.