Apple has released the first public beta of iOS 9 through its official Beta Program website. This gives iPhone and iPad owners the ability to test new features found in iOS 9 before Apple releases the final version later this year. First time users interested in installing the iOS 9 public beta can also sign up for the program through the Apple Beta Software Program website. All you need to join is a working Apple ID and supported device.
iOS 9 is less about new features and more about "enhancements" that will make using your iPhone and iPad even easier and better. Siri will be one of the beneficiaries of iOS 9 when the new OS is released this fall. Apple promises that the personal assistant will not only be faster and smarter, but more proactive. Users will be able to ask Siri to remind them to stop at a location they marked in Apple Maps when they get in their car, or to play a specific playlist when then they plug in their headphones.
There have been a lot of iOS 9 leaks over the last few days. So far we have learned that the new iOS will allegedly support older devices such as the iPhone 4s, add a new "Home" app for HomeKit intergration and finally bring transit directions to the Maps app. 9to5Mac sources have also confirmed today that the rumored iPhone 6s will feature the same Force Touch technology as the Apple Watch, MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
Apple is not only working on iOS 8.2, but the company released the first beta of iOS 8.3 to developers on Monday. Apple is also simultaneously working on iOS 8.4 and iOS 9.0, according to a report from 9to5Mac. iOS 8.0 was released on September 17, 2014, two days before the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple called it. "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the App Store," but the OS stumbled out of the gate shipping with a bug that caused issues for HealthKit-enabled apps. iOS 8.0.1 was released to fix the HealthKit related bug, but the update caused some users to lose access to their cellular data and Touch ID. iOS 8 finally got rolling a few days later with the release iOS 8.0.2.
iOS 8.1 was eventually released to add Apple Pay support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and iOS 8.1.3 launched a few weeks ago to improve stability and performance.
Apple seeded the fifth beta of iOS 8.2 on Feb. 2, 2015. The next major update is mostly focused on the Apple Watch. It will include Apple's WatchKit API for app developers and a few bug fixes. iOS 8.2 also reintroduces blood glucose tracking in the Health app. iOS 8.2 is expected to launch in late-March or early April before the release of the Apple Watch.