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iOS 9 Code Reveals a Bright Future for iPad, Apple TV

iOS 9 future keyboard

No sooner had the iOS 9 beta become available last Monday than developers began downloading and deconstructing it. By looking at the beta mobile operating system, developer Steven Troughton-Smith — who’s known for his in-depth dissection of iOS betas — found some tantalizing glimpses of what should be coming from Apple soon.

Within the code, Troughton-Smith noticed that the Apple TV is mentioned in two important application development frameworks in iOS — UIKit and GameKit. These two frameworks are used for user interface controls and multiplayer gaming, respectively, on iPhones and iPads. The inclusion of Apple TV in the frameworks points to a possible App Store and games for the set-top box, perhaps a new model to be announced alongside a long-rumored subscription TV service.

Troughton-Smith also found a larger iPad keyboard (see image at top) that includes the new iOS 9 shortcut bar, tab and caps lock keys, and a top row that features the characters usually typed with a shift key on the number row of the keyboard — things like the ampersand, percent sign, and exclamation point. This keyboard code is tied to a “much larger heretofore unseen iPad screen size,” which may lend credence to persistent rumors about a 12.9-inch iPad model.

In addition to the possibility of new hardware, the developer also notes that the iOS 9 Photos app has added support for ordering photo products like calendars and photo books. That’s not as exciting as the possibility of an “iPad Pro,” but at least shows that Apple is working to make the Photos app consistent across both OS X and iOS.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Contributing Author
Steve has been writing about Apple products since 1986, starting on a bulletin board system, creating the first of his many Apple-related websites in 1994, joining the staff of The Unofficial Apple Weblog in 2008, and founding Apple World Today in 2015. He’s semi-retired, loves to camp and take photos, and is an FAA-licensed drone pilot.
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  • Great article. For those who live outside US like me, you can access Netflix, Hulu and similar media stations on your Apple TV by using UnoTelly or similar tools.

  • Apple always develops a new hardware product in conjunction with each OS…even if it’s not a totally new product…Yosemite/iMac 5K retina, iOS 8/iPhone 6/6+.

    This time around, perhaps iOS 9 is being built in conjunction with a larger iPad (no it won’t be called “pro”), as the iPhone 6’s are in an “improvement” cycle, not a new form factor cycle. OS X…Perhaps we’ll see an update to the Mac Pro with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity? Or, perhaps it’s being developed with MacBook Pro with new Intel chip that’ll be ready later this year in mind.

    “The inclusion of Apple TV in the frameworks points to a possible App Store and games for the set-top box, perhaps a new model to be announced alongside a long-rumored subscription TV service.”

    As long as people understand that the current generation Apple TV will not be doing an app store, this would only point to a new Apple TV, not the current one. Keep in mind, the current Apple TV has a SINGLE core A5 chip. It’s designed to do what it does and not any more. HomeKit works with it, but, no games, sorry, but, the ATV3 is just a set-top streaming box. It would take more horsepower to do gaming with it.