Apple has a new version of its iPhone and iPad software coming this fall: iOS 9. It’s not so much a visual makeover, though, as a cerebral one. Apple has infused its mobile devices with ‘proactive’ powers, meaning voice assistant Siri will watch your actions and make suggestions – for instance, offering up your favourite music player app when you plug in headphones, adding events from your email to your calendar automatically and even looking up phone numbers you don’t recognise while they’re calling you. Almost all of this data stays on your handset, meaning privacy intrusion and data breaches are less likely. Peace of mind and a turbo boosted iPhone? Bring it on!
Windows 10 is here
Microsoft has a new version of its desktop operating system that it’s keen for you to try – in fact it’s giving it away for free. Windows 10, which launched in July, will be a free upgrade for any devices running Windows 7 or higher, meaning there’s no excuse not to check it out. The new version brings back the Start button as well as universal app support, meaning more apps will run across desktop, tablet and phone. Coolest of all is a new feature called Continuum, which shifts the user interface if there is a keyboard attached or not – plug a Windows Phone into a screen, pair with a keyboard and it can become something resembling a full power PC.
What is the Nintendo NX?
Although Nintendo has said it won’t reveal any more plans about its new games console, codenamed NX, until 2016, that hasn’t stopped reporters from speculating. A recent report from Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper, suggested that Nintendo’s new device would run Android, only for the company to deny the report soon afterwards. Nintendo has denied reports before, only for them to turn out to be accurate. The move would make sense too, since Nintendo has struggled to get developers for its unsuccessful Wii U. By tapping into Android it could gain access to thousands of games – perhaps the idea of playing Mario on a Nintendo phone isn’t far-fetched after all.
Not to be outdone by Apple, Google is rolling out (another) brand new version of its smartphone operating system Android, dubbed Android M. While the previous update, 5.0 ‘Lollipop’, was a visual upgrade. M is more about under-the-hood tweaks: bug fixes, simplified volume controls, support for contactless payments. Google has also pledged to improve battery life, with M using a feature called Doze to conserve much more power while in standby mode. We’ll know more about M later this year.