WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

Summary: One of the bigger mysteries before Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote at WWDC 2011on Monday was the expected unveiling of iOS 5. Here's what it really is.

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One of the bigger mysteries before Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote at WWDC 2011on Monday was the expected unveiling of iOS 5. Here's what it really is.

Mac OS X isn't the only Apple operating system getting a major refresh. iOS 5 will feature over 200 new features - most notably a new notification interface. Rather than just popping up (way too frequently) like text messages, notifications such as missed calls, texts, emails and other app messages will pop up either at the top of the display (much like the blue bar when tethering or the green bar when in the middle of a call), and also collected in its own menu that can also show up on the lock screen. However, it already has a lot of critics saying it looks rather "Droid-esque."

The most surprising feature revealed during the keynote was iMessage, a new real-time messaging service that lets iOS users send texts, photos and videos to other iOS users over Wi-Fi and 3G. Recipients are notified of incoming messages using the new aforementioned push notification system, which sends the message to all of the owner's iOS devices. Much like BlackBerry Messenger, iOS users can receive delivery and read receipts. It's not clear whether or not this service will be completely free of charge (like the BBM system) or if it will fall under the data plan allotment when sent via 3G.

The iBookstore is also getting a partner-of-sorts in the form of the Newsstand. It's curious that this app didn't exist before considering how popular the iPad is for reading magazines, but it's certainly better late than never. It's fairly straightforward: users can purchase magazines and newspapers directly from the app (just like the iBookstore), and the issues will be downloaded and kept in one place.

As predicted, Twitter is making a huge appearance on iOS 5 with several new integrated features, seen foremost in Camera. Users can just take a photo and tweet the picture directly from the app. (Just another way for Twitter cut out the third-party developers...) Twitter members can also send article links directly from Safari as well as locations from Maps.

Mail is possibly getting the most revisions across Apple's platforms. The iOS 5 version will offer rich-text formatting, a built-in dictionary, the ability to drag addresses between To:/CC:/BCC:, search throughout entire messages (not just the subject lines), and S/MIME security. The iPad edition will also get a nifty new virtual keyboard layout for more thumb-friendly typing.

Other rather basic new features include a reading list on Safari (that can sync among multiple devices), a reminders function that syncs with iCal and (finally) a camera button on the lock screen to take photos semi-instantly.

Scott Forstall, Apple's SVP of iOS software, also touted the supremacy of iOS among mobile operating systems (meaning both tablets and smartphones) by citing an April comScore report that saw Apple win 44 percent of the mobile operating system share. (Not to be confused with the smartphone share numbers that saw Android on top domestically by the end of April.)

By the numbers:

  • Over 25 million iPads have been sold since the original 2010 launch
  • More than 15 billion songs have been sold via iTunes Music Store - making Apple the biggest retailer of music worldwide
  • 14 billion apps have been downloaded from App Store (including 90,000 just for the iPad)
  • iBookstore has seen 130 million e-book downloads
  • Apple has paid out over $2.5 billion to developers
  • There are more than 225 million accounts with credit cards and one-touch purchase power

The developer preview is available immediately, and the full-fledged iOS 5 update will roll out this fall for the iPhone 3GS/4, iPad and iPad 2, and the third and fourth generation of iPod touch. Getting the upgrade will be easier to come by now that Apple will finally be offering over-the-air software updates. The cord-cutting process also allows iOS users to create and delete calendars and mailboxes directly on the device - not just on a PC.

Related coverage on ZDNet:

Topics: iOS, Apple, Apps, iPhone, iPad, Mobile OS, Mobility, Operating Systems, Tablets

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67 comments
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  • *CRINGE*

    As an iTunes customer, I [b]really[/b] wish they wouldn't brag about how many credit cards #'s they have in their db.

    as far as the iTunes song purchases? apps downloaded? etc... Go nuts! rub it in MS' and Google's face (although, are you sure about that 90k apps for the iPad figure??)

    But, Apple, [i]please[/i] don't put a target on your back (and consequently ours) by throwing out how many CC #'s you're holding.
    UrNotPayingAttention
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @chmod 777

      Yeah I almost feel like that should not be allowed for a PCI/DSS compliant merchant...
      snoop0x7b
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @chmod 777
      jacanzdnet
      • I am sure it is 90 million...that would be an average of 4 per I pad

        @jacanzdnet
        jacanzdnet
    • re: <em>cringe</em>

      @chmod 777

      Nice handle!
      PassingWind
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @chmod 777 I thought the 90K apps for iPad was strange as well. I think what she meant was, included in the 14 billion were downloads of the 90K apps that are specific to the iPad, not that only 90K apps were downloaded for the iPad.
      non-biased
  • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

    This is ridiculous they are taking all the new features of other OS and making it seem like it is something new. The notification is old (Droid), taking a picture without unlocking the phone old (Windows Phone 7), ebooks old (Google "Galaxy S2" & Windows Phone 7), iMessenger old (Balackberry Messenger), Twitter Integration like Facebook in WP7. It is just ridiculous that they cannot come up with anything that is their besides the new history feature in OSX.

    Even the 200 new features that they are talking about seems to be inspired by the 500 new features that is coming in Windows Phone Mango. WOW I can't wait to see the video..
    dhaoracle87
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @dhaoracle87

      Exactly. I can't wait to see the fanboys talk about this. lol. /s
      Zedox
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @dhaoracle87 <br>Could not agree more. Can't wait for the iWheel and subsequent iCar - but then again very little Apple has ever done was innovation - it's all been packaging and promotion. So at least they are sticking to what they know, and clearly do very well - take others ideas and package them for consumption by the Apple legion.
      nigebj
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @nigebj No doubt. I loved that Android device I had before I bought the original iPhone. Innovators, those Google guys. So cool they came up with all this great stuff first and all by themselves. /s
        Appanage
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @Appanage

        What, you mean like, actual notifications, decent task switching, and any sort of freedom? Oh yeah, the iPhone totally had that, you dick.
        murph.j
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @murph.j@...[b]Oh yeah, the iPhone totally had that, you dick.[/b]

        Pot, meet kettle. BTW sorry to burst your bubble there Nancy but iOS DOES already have actual notifcations and decent task switching... dick.
        athynz
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @dhaoracle87 I still think this makes a more rounded OS. I am not an Apple fan buy any means, I won't buy into it, but just because it's been done elsewhere, doesn't meant they shouldn't do it. Everyone else is flamed for stealing from Apple (/rolls eyes) it's about time people see they are doing the same. (...as is typical of Apple)
      parabyte
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @parabyte It's just the ABAers coming out of the woodwork like roaches. What they conveniently forget is that Android is a direct copy of iOS and WP7 is a copy of the Mac OS by proxy (WP7 being loosely based on Windows 7 which is a direct "decendant" of the original Windows 1x OS which was a direct copy of the original Mac OS).

        Personally I like Windows 7 and my iPhone... and my rooted Nook Color but it's fun stirring up the ABAers and frothing at the mouth rabid fanbois...
        athynz
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @dhaoracle87

      It's funny that when these features were missing from iOS, everyone was slating Apple whilst pointing to other devices.

      Now that Apple has integrated these features (on user demand), Apple still gets slated. Nobody at Apple claimed to have invented these, they just didn't mention that they took these features from established "others".
      sip01
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @sip01 Exactly, the haters are now getting pissed because Apple is checking items off their talking points list :-)
        non-biased
    • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

      @dhaoracle87

      At the time you read this IOS 5 is already antiquated. A true fruit of labor is on the horizon. I can?t wait to get me some Mango!
      Rob.sharp
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @rob.sharp@... Same here, my next phone will be a Mango
        pepe-el-Toro
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @rob.sharp@... I hope it is good, but it doesn't exist any more than iOS 5 at this point.
        Appanage
      • RE: WWDC 2011: Apple iOS 5 integrates Twitter, sports new notification menu

        @rob.sharp@...
        I eat three mangos everyday that they are available at my local fruit shop -- helps me to crap more than once every two or three days (which I believe is the UK average).
        sip01