Apple’s latest operating system has a range of features, from camera updates to better security

- Follow Ed Baig and Jefferson Graham on Twitter: @edbaig and @jeffersong­raham. USA TODAY Edward C. Baig and Jefferson Graham

A new version of Apple’s mobile operating system out Wednesday promises to take much less space than previous editions, a salve for folks worried about an upgrade playing havoc with their iPhones and iPads.

The new iOS 9 software, which Apple will release Wednesday, is only 1.4 gigabytes — down from the whopping 4.6 GB of the previous iOS update, which took up one-third of the entry-level 16 GB iPhone’s space.

Apple updates its operating system every fall, offering its army of more than 1 billion mobile device owners some new features without having to buy a new iPhone or iPad.

The marquee features on the upcoming iPhone 6S: 3D Touch shortcuts and improved camera, including 4K video recording, will not come to older iPhone owners using the new iOS.

New features iPhone owners from the 4S and up can look forward to:

Notes. The app for jotting down reminders gets a refresh. Now you can add pictures, maps and sketches.

Low power mode. Save battery time with this feature, which promises to add another hour or so without having to plug it in.

Proactive search. Apple promises informatio­n based on your location and app preference before you actively search for such things. How? Siri knows all.

Better security. To get there, Apple is upping the passcode digital requiremen­t to six digits, up from 4. Your passcode will be tougher to crack, Apple says.

News app. Apple’s answer to third-party apps delivers customized news on topics of interest, from a variety of outlets, including CNN, ESPN, The New York

Times, Sports Illustrate­d, and Vanity Fair. Presumably the News app gets smarter about what you read over time.

Better multitaski­ng on the iPad Air 2. The iPad Air 2 has gotten special treatment with the iOS 9 upgrade, starting with a pic- ture-in-picture mode that lets you keep a video running in a small window that you drag around the screen while you’re separately engaged in some other app. There’s also a new split view on Air 2 that lets you display two apps simultaneo­usly. Older iPads haven’t gotten such features; the guess is that new models, such as the larger iPad Pro, will.

Apple traditiona­lly releases the new software in the morning, and folks complain about bottleneck­s. Downloads should go faster later in the day.

The new iOS 9 software is only 1.4 gigabytes, down from the whopping 4.6 GB of the previous update.

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