Your iPhone is going to get way smarter with iOS 9. An update announced at today’s WWDC conference includes improvements in Siri, search and context-aware features for iOS.
The iOS Proactive Assistant is an improvement to Siri, as well as a set of features that automatically load when you’re doing certain activities or arrive at certain locations and context-aware functionality.
For example, when you plug in your phone at the gym, it automatically loads up an energetic jams playlist. Or you can be reminded to get your coffee off the roof of your car when you get to it, because your phone knows when you’re getting to your car.
Siri is also getting smarter. You can use the natural language improvements from OS X to get better results. For example, you can ask Siri to show you photos from “Utah last August” and you’ll be taken directly into the Photos app.
The operating system will also be more context aware. Just like Google’s Now on Tap, iOS will know what you’re looking at so it can use that info in search results or Siri actions, like setting up a reminder.
This is all built on the back of improved on-device search. Developers can now deep-link to content within their apps so you’ll be led directly to the content you’re looking for. A search for potatoes will show you recipes from a cooking app and tapping that will lead directly to the page within the app. You can easily go back to the search results by tapping the top-left corner of the status bar.
All that search is done through a new screen. The search screen shows you suggestions for contacts and apps you may be looking for based on the time of day and other details the phone knows. You get to it by swiping to the left on the homescreen, just where Spotlight used to be before iOS 7.
These updates come without compromising privacy. Most functions are done on the device, and data sent out is anonymous.
iOS 9 is getting a public beta in July and will be shipping in the fall.