Apple has unveiled iOS 9, previewing the mobile operating system for new iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.
In the upcoming release, Apple promises iOS devices become more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri features.
It's also looking to competitor Microsoft whose Windows 8.1 software is capable running apps side by side.
"New multitasking features designed specifically for iPad allow you to work with two apps simultaneously side-by-side," Apple said in a press release. "Or with the new Picture-in-Picture feature, to keep watching a video while browsing the web, composing email or using any other app."
Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said iOS 9 was packed with more intelligence throughout, and delivered big updates to the apps customers use most.
"Maps supports public transit, a redesigned Notes app provides great new ways to capture ideas, and a beautiful News app delivers content that's personalised to your interests," he said. "With our new iPad features, users can take advantage of the power of iPad, working in two apps at the same time with Split View, Slide Over or Picture-in-Picture."
With a simple swipe, Apple boasted, the new Slide Over feature lets you simultaneously work in a second app without leaving the first. And with a quick tap, you can access the new Split View feature so you can work in two apps at the same time, side-by-side.
Siri features an all-new design in iOS 9, contextual reminders and new ways to search photos and videos, Apple said.
In iOS 9, Maps adds support for metropolitan transit systems and schedules, and subway station entrances and exits are precisely mapped, providing every step of your trip, which is useful for Kiwis travelling overseas. When you plan your trip, Maps can offer a combination of trains, subways, buses and walking, and with the new Nearby feature, quickly see what's around by searching for food, drinks, shopping and more.
New features of the completely redesigned Notes app include the ability to draw a quick sketch using your finger, easily create checklists to keep track of your to-dos, or snap a photo directly in a note. Easily save important items to your notes directly from other apps, and keep them in sync across all your enabled devices with iCloud®.
The News app delivers a reading experience that combines the rich, immersive design of a print magazine with the interactivity of digital media. News can learn your interests and suggest relevant content that's easily shareable with friends or saved for later. News delivers the best articles from a variety of publishers and over one million topics to help you personalise your reading experience, all presented in an elegant, uncluttered design. News is powered by the new Apple News Format, a digital publishing format supporting custom typography, galleries, audio, video and interactive animations, allowing publishers like Condé Nast, ESPN and The New York Times to create beautiful editorial layouts for iOS users.
Apple claimed iOS 9 refinements included battery optimisation that provided a typical user with an additional hour of battery life, and a low-power mode to help further extend battery life. Software updates require less space to install and an Install Later feature can perform updates to your device when it's not in use. Enhanced security features in iOS 9 keep your devices and Apple ID secure by strengthening the passcode that protects your devices and improving two-factor authentication by building it directly into iOS, making it harder for others to gain unauthorised access to your Apple ID.