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.