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Monitor your battery percentage from Notification Center on iOS 9

A quick swipe from the top of your iOS device can now show you battery life for Bluetooth-connected devices.

Ever notice the battery meter placed next to the Bluetooth icon when you connect compatible accessories to your iOS device? That meter is a handy indicator of just how much juice the accessory has left, but it’s not all that precise. So with iOS 9, Apple is taking it one step further and adding an exact percentage.

Apple now provides a battery widget to the Today panel that shows your iOS device’s exact battery percentage, along with any connected accessories.

This means you no longer have to guess how much of a charge your wireless headphones have before heading out on a run.

Adding the widget is easy. Swipe down from the top of your iOS device’s screen, making sure the Today panel is selected. Scroll to the bottom of the list, tap on the Edit button. Find the Battery listing and tap on the + sign.

The addition of a battery widget may not be a headlining feature, but it’s one that refines the experience just enough to be a welcome addition to iOS.

iPhone 6S May Lack Killer Feature

Apple’s iPhone 6S may not offer the necessary features to draw in enough buyers to boost fourth-quarter sales, according to the crystal ball of KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Little interest in the next iPhone’s purported Force Touch feature combined with weak demand in China could sink iPhone sales in the fourth quarter, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Reportedly slated for the iPhone 6S, Force Touch makes the screen pressure-sensitive so it responds to how you press on the surface and is already in use on the the MacBook and Apple Watch. But Force Touch has failed to generate much excitement among MacBook and Apple Watch owners, Kuo said in an investors note picked up on Tuesday by Taiwanese news site Apple Daily. So Force Touch may not be “the most significant change to the iPhone’s interface to date” that the analyst claimed it would be in an April report, according to Kuo’s latest opinion.

Expected to be released in September, the next iPhone comes in an “off-year” for Apple. That means the new handset will likely offer a few enhancements and one significant new feature. But this year’s phone won’t be considered a major upgrade as was last year’s big-screened iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. If Force Touch doesn’t prove to be a killer feature for the new iPhone, existing iPhone users may see little reason to upgrade. That could push overall iPhone sales down in the fourth quarter, according to Kuo.

Another factor that Kuo believes will hurt fourth-quarter iPhone sales is China. Still the world’s largest smartphone market, China is seeing weaker demand for mobile phones as the market has become more saturated. Apple has been hit by the downturn, losing its spot as the No. 1 smartphone seller in China and now in third place behind local vendors Xiaomi and Huawei, according to research firm Canalys. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged that China could see some “speed bumps” because of economic woes.

With no real killer feature for the new iPhone and sluggish demand in China, Kuo said that iPhone sales in the fourth quarter could fall to between 65 million and 75 million. If that forecast isn’t on the higher side, then sales would actually drop below the record 74.5 million iPhones reported in the same quarter in 2014. That would mark the first time that quarterly iPhone sales dropped on a year-to-year basis.
Nothing definitive is known about the next iPhone at this point. Apple is expected to stick with the same screen sizes introduced last year — one iPhone with a 4.8-inch screen and a larger edition with a 5.5-inch display. Kuo has suggested that the new phones will be powered by the Samsung-produced A9 processor, the successor to the current A8 chip. Combine that with 2GB of RAM, and the next iPhones would offer a hefty bump in power and speed over the iPhone 6.

Apple will hold a launch event on September 9 in which it’s expected to unveil its new iPhone lineup.

iPad Mini 4 may offer split-view mode to display two apps side-by-side

The next iPad Mini could let you view and run two apps side-by-side, according to a resource file from the Safari 9 browser in Apple’s upcoming El Capitan operating system.

Equipped with iOS 9, Apple’s next iPad Mini may offer a split-screen feature that will already work on the iPad Air 2.

Demoing iOS 9 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple showed off a new split-view feature that would allow you to run two apps at the same time side-by-side. Apple put a damper on the news by saying that only the current iPad Air 2 with the upcoming iOS 9 would offer the feature because of its beefier A8X processor and extra memory. But a resource file related to the next Safari browser suggests that the iPad Mini 4 may also tap into such a feature, according to 9to5Mac.

Apple needs to give people a reason to buy new iPads. Demand for tablets in general has been dropping, and Apple has been caught in the downturn. For the second quarter of 2015 ended June 30, the iPad’s market share fell to 24.5 percent from 27.7 percent in the same quarter last year, research firm International Data Corporation reported in late July. More consumers are opting for bigger-screened smartphones instead of tablets. Others are holding onto their tablets longer, seeing little reason to buy a new one. And many families are sharing a single tablet rather than buying one for each member of the household. Released in October, last year’s iPad Mini 3 offered no major upgrades beyond support for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. So Apple has to find a new gimmick to sell its next Mini.

The resource file from Apple’s upcoming OS X El Capitan’s Safari 9 browser lists split-view support for the iPad Mini. Further, a website testing tool in El Capitan allows developers to simulate an iPad Mini 3 using Safari in split-view mode (though the Mini 3 won’t support the feature). Based on the resource file and the testing tool, the split-view mode could pop up in the next iPad Mini, 9to5Mac said.
Split-view mode on an iPad is definitely a useful feature as it would allow you to run more than one app at the same time, just as you can on a Windows 10 tablet. The feature is ideal for the iPad 2, which sports a screen size of 9.7 inches diagonally. But running two apps side-by-side on an iPad Mini, which has a screen size of just 7.9 inches, may be less satisfying and more cumbersome. At this point, however, Apple may be testing the feature to see how user-friendly it would be on the Mini. A larger iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen has also been rumored to be in development. That big a tablet would definitely take advantage of a split-view mode.

Apple will hold a launch event on Wednesday, September 9, in which it’s expected to unveil its new iPhone lineup. But the company will also reportedly demo its new iPads, according to a report from Buzzfeed. If true, that would mark a change from Apple’s usual strategy of unveiling its latest iPads at a separate event in October.

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