Well the big day finally arrived and it most certainly did not disappoint! Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage with a keynote address to kick off the start of Appleâ€™s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and just as expected both Jobs and his fellow Apple big wigs proceeded to walk and talk us all through the many, many new features of the forthcoming iOS 5. The iOS 5 beta release, which is available now to developers, includes over 200 new features that will be available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users this fall, including Notification Center, iMessage, PC Free and Newsstand.
Letâ€™s take a look at each of those main components in turn a little more closely. First up we have Notification Center, which gives iOS 5 users a way of accessing all their notifications all in one place, be they text message, missed calls, calendar alerts, or app alerts, for example. The notifications will arrive briefly at the top of the screen without interrupting you in what youâ€™re doing. Just one swipe will give you access to all your notifications, and a tap will take you to the app for more detail. Notifications will also appear on the lock screen.
Next up, Newsstand, which is basically a virtual bookshelf displaying the covers of all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions in one place. Sounds a bit like Flipboard!
Safari will also be upgraded in iOS 5, with new features including Safari Reader to enable you to easily scroll and read through a story, Reading List, which will save articles for you to read later in all your iOS devices, and Tabbed Browsing.
Twitter integration is another major feature of iOS 5, proving many of the rumours of the last few days to be completely accurate. What this essentially means is that you will be able to sign in once and then tweet directly from all your Twitter-enabled apps, including Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps.
iMessage is what many people are calling Appleâ€™s version of BlackBerry Messenger. It brings the functionality of iPhone messaging to all of your iOS devices. iMessage will be built right into the Messages app, and will enable you to easily send text messages, photos, videos or contact information to a person or group on other iOS 5 devices of Wi-Fi or 3G. iMessages will be automatically pushed to all your iOS 5 devices.
Reminders is another new app, designed to help you to manage your tasks, including setting time or location-based reminder alerts, priorities and due dates, so that you can be reminded of a task as its deadline approaches or when you arrive or depart a location.
Camera and Photos will also have new features, including instant access to the camera right from the lock screen.
And finally, last, but most certainly not least, we have PC Free, whereby iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box with no computer required. Just as predicted, software updates will be delivered over the air.
Phew! So thatâ€™s the good news! The bad news is, we canâ€™t get our hand on it until the fall!
Source: Apple, WWDC 2011 liveblog: Steve Jobs talks iOS 5, OS X Lion, iCloud and more! -- Engadget