Apple iOS 9 software update for iPhone and iPad: When to download, what features you'll get - better battery life, smarter Siri and split screen

Lynsey Barber
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IOS 9 is like getting a new iPhone... almost (Source: Getty)

If you have an Apple device (and let's be honest, who hasn't), then get ready for your iPhone or iPad to look different and do some exciting new things by the end of the day.

The iOS 9 update lands today, and you'll be able to install it from 6pm in the UK, assuming everything goes to plan (last year's iOS 8 update did not go down well because of its bug-y nature).

Apple's nice enough to drop you a phone notification when it's ready to download - here's what you'll be getting with it... but be warned, since every iPhone owner in the world will receive it too, it could take some time to update and many people hang on until the next day.

All-new Siri

Siri will get a makeover, not only in the design department but in what it can do for you too.

The smarter Siri, which is also 40 per cent more accurate and 40 per cent faster according to Apple, will be more pro-active, telling you how certain information at certain times of the day because it knows what you've been looking at from experience.

It's also going to be able to remind you to do things at certain times - eg. remind me about to send that email when I get to work.

In addition to the smarter Siri, a better Spotlight search that trawls through almost everything, from photos to your calendar, makes finding what you're looking for quick and easy.

Battery life

Is there anything more important to iPhone owners? Probably not. So rejoice that Apple has been working on improving the battery by making tweaks so that the software runs more efficiently. For example, when you're phones face down, the screen won't light up when you get a notification.

That gives you one whole extra hour per charge. Enjoy.

Also enjoy the fact that the amount of size the update is smaller. A lot smaller. 1.3GB versus 4.58 GB for iOS 8, leaving much more room for the important things like productivity apps... and maybe selfies.

Essential app updates to Maps, News, Notes

Getting around just got a lot easier with iOS9. The maps app will now include transport information in certain cities - including London - that means it can give you estimated journey times taking into account train times and traffic, for example. Think Citymapper, if you're familiar with it.

Notes gets better with checklists and to-dos and the ability to add photos and sync across devices.

News hounds will be pleased, as will publishers. The new News app, replacing Newsstand, brings a Flipboard-style reading experience to the iPhone, curating news from various sources into one simple and rather pretty reading experience.

Split screen

If you spend time browsing your iPad and get rather flustered having to switch from app to app, no longer will that happen. A split screen function (three, in fact, which work in different ways) will let you multitask to your hearts content, even letting you watch videos while doing something else in the background.

And finally...

Visually, the design will differ slightly thanks to a new font (it matches the one found on the Apple Watch) and will be several smaller changes to explore too, such as notifications appearing in chronological order. While this latest overhaul is nowhere not exactly radical, it delivers some changes - most notably battery life - that are sure to make you more productive and life a little easier.

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