Everything we know about Apple's next big iPhone update, iOS 9

Next week, Apple will tell us about its next big update for the iPhone and iPad.

Every year at its Worldwide Developer Conference, the company reveals all of the new features it’s planning to bring to iOS in the fall.

Although Apple hasn’t confirmed anything just yet, 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has spoken to several people familiar with the company’s plans for iOS 9. Here are the biggest additions we’re expecting to see based on his reports.

We may finally see Apple's much-rumoured Spotify killer.

Apple is reportedly working on a music streaming service of its own to compete directly with Spotify. Multiple reports, including those from Gurman, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times have suggested that it will be powered by Beats Music. A person familiar with Apple's plans previously told us that the company is talking to musicians to see if they're interested in curating their own streams on the service, too. The streaming service said to cost $US10 per month, and we may hear about it when Apple introduces iOS 9.

A smarter Siri is coming.

Apple is reportedly working on a new, smarter version of Siri that not only answers your questions, but also integrates with Apple's services such as Spotlight Search, Calendar, and Passbook, according to Gurman. It sounds like a much-needed answer to Google Now -- especially since Google just unveiled its Google Now on Tap personal assistant that can serve up information before you even ask for it.

Apple Maps will get a lot better.

Apple is adding new features to Apple Maps too, according to Gurman, including public transit directions for buses, trains, and subways. It's a much needed feature that's kept it far behind Google Maps and other navigation apps.

The app for controlling all of your HomeKit-enabled devices will appear in iOS 9.

Now that the first devices that work with HomeKit are available, we can expect to see Apple's Home app in iOS 9, according to Gurman. The app is said to be currently embedded in early builds for iOS 9, but there's a chance it won't be ready to show to the public. With the Home app, you'll be able to control all of your smart home devices from one place. Currently, you need to download the individual app for each accessory.

There might be a split-screen mode for the iPad.

With iOS 9, you might be able to run one app alongside another on the iPad, Gurman reports. It makes sense -- since the screen on an iPad is much larger than that of an iPhone, so you'd want to be able to see more information on it. This feature was rumoured to debut in iOS 8, but we have yet to see it.

Your iPhone and Mac might be able to intelligently distinguish between safe and unsafe Wi-Fi connections

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A new feature called 'Trusted Wi-Fi' could appear in iOS 9, Gurman writes. It sounds like this feature would let your iPhone or Mac automatically connect to routers that are safe and trustworthy. But, for those that are less secure -- like public networks -- it would employ a more heavily encrypted connection.

You'll be able to choose who can see read receipts in iMessage.

In iOS, you can turn on a feature called Read Receipts that alerts the sender of an iMessage when you've actually read their text. Now, Gurman reports that iOS 9 will let you choose exactly who can and cannot see when you've read their text messages.

Performance will be a lot smoother.

Back in February, Gurman reported that iOS 9 probably won't be a visual change. Instead, Apple is likely to focus on performance and stability. Apple will also reportedly keep the size of the update manageable so that iPhone users don't have to struggle with downloading the new software wirelessly like they did with iOS 8.

It will run nicely on older Apple products too, unlike previous versions of iOS.

Historically, newer versions of iOS have run poorly on older iPhones. But Apple may be looking to change that, according to Gurman, who reports devices as old as the iPhone 4s and first iPad mini should be able to run iOS 9 smoothly.

Expect new wallpapers and themes.

It sounds like there won't be too much of an aesthetic change. Still, Gurman says that the new version of iOS will come with a blue and green colour scheme by default, and new wallpapers will be included in the release.

Want to learn more about what Apple might be planning for its next iPhone?

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