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Apple announces iOS 9, says Siri will become ‘proactive assistant’

Apple has announced iOS 9 at the company’s annual World Wide Developer Conference.

The upcoming operating system is packed with a host of new features, including big upgrades to Siri.

iOS 8 was a huge release. So we’re now looking forward to iOS 9,” explained Craig Federighi, Apple’s VP of software engineering, speaking at WWDC 2015.

He revealed that Apple wants to ‘elevate the foundations of the platform’ with iOS 9, and described how the new software would extend device battery life.

Details were light for the most part, but Federighi did speak extensively about updates to Siri.

Siri has quietly become incredibly popular,” he said, adding “It serves over a billion requests per week.”

Federighi described how Siri would now become a ‘Proactive Assistant’ with iOS 9, understanding context better than ever before.

For instance, you can now ask Siri to show you photos from a specific holiday you went on, or tell it to remind you to do something when you get into your car.

It can also understand what you’re looking at specifically at a given point, and resolve commands based around this.

If, for instance, someone sends you a text message about an event, you can ask Siri to remind you ‘about this’, which will set a reminder about the details in the SMS.

It also learns your habits. If you play music when you run in the morning for instance, it will start to suggest music whenever you plug in headphones in the early hours of the day.

Similarly, if you listen to audiobooks during your commute home, an evening headphones plug-in will suggest audiobook playback.

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Siri has also become much more similar to Google Now, offering up suggestions on people you might want to contact, apps you might want to launch based on recently downloaded apps and ones you tend to use at that time of day, breaking news, and relevant one-tap links to locations nearby.

You can also search for sports scores and videos on popular sites like YouTube and Vivo, and playback content directly from search results.

Federighi also revealed Apple now has “an API for search”, which will allow developers to create links through Siri to specific content.

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