There’s very little more frustrating than tapping on a smartphone screen, only to have it do absolutely nothing.
But Apple’s forthcoming iOS 9, the newest version of the operating system that runs iPhones and iPads, has a way to fix it: It’s going to guess where you’re going to put your fingers with a system called “touch prediction.”
I was first tipped off to the existence by Googler Adam Debreczeni, who found a reference to it in Apple’s developer documentation for iOS9:
Apple to reduce touch latency is predicting where users will move their fingers and are calling it “touch prediction.” That’s insane.
— Adam Debreczeni (@heyadam) June 9, 2015
Basically, if the iPhone can guess where you’re going to move your fingers, the app can start the processing just a millisecond earlier. To the user, it’s totally invisible, but it could result in faster apps.
Apple has had iOS 9 out to developers for just over a day at this point, so it remains to be seen if this is actually something that those who make apps will actually want to take advantage of. Still, it’s one of those things that point towards how much intelligence Apple is trying to bake into the future of the iPhone.