WWDC 2011: iOS 5

Here are some interesting facts that were shared during today’s WWDC 2011 keynote for iOS 5.

  • Notification Center: Aggregates all notifications and swiped down from the top. Similar to Android but prettier. Also on the lock-screen with direct access (swipe across) to that event/app.
  • Newsstand: Newspapers, magazines, etc. when purchased are automatically downloaded and placed into Newsstand, which looks like a newspaper stand and similar to iBooks.
  • Twitter: Single sign-on, Twitter credentials can be shared with any app. Twitter-based automatic contact updates.
  • Safari: Has 64% of mobile web browser market. Not surprising since the iPhone and the iPad are both extremely popular and both use Mobile Safari. Android has 27%. Safari Reader comes to Mobile Safari. This will be hard for Readability or Instapaper. Reading List is another feature, like Read It Later. Tabbed browsing. Tweet Sheet, which is a common control for Twitter is integrated.
  • Reminders: You can assign location to the to-do-list. For example you can set it up so that when you leave a place you need to do something. Syncs across all devices and with iCal.
  • Camera Updates: There is a camera button on the lock screen. Tap it and you’re ready to snap a photo. The iPhone 4 will soon overtake the Nikon D90 to be the most popular camera on Flickr. This might not be all that important as I think Flickr is experiencing a decline, slow but certain. Use the volume-up button to take a picture! I love this. Tap-hold the photo and exposure settings are optimized for that spot. Similar to Camera+ but a little less elegant. Basic edits can be done right then and there.
  • Mail: Indentation control, rich text formatting, draggable addresses (from To:, Cc: From:, etc.), search entire message, flag messages, S/MIME, built-in dictionary (tap word, click “Define” and you get the definition).
  • Split-able keyboard: Typing on the iPad in portrait mode can be a bit of a stretch, so now you can grab the keyboard with your thumbs, go up, and it splits into two. Excellent.
  • PC Free: The cables are cut. Some folks that buy iPhones don’t have a computer (or might even get rid of it precisely because of the iPhone.) You can setup and activate the iPhone without tethering to a PC. OTA (Over The Air) software updates. Now this is going to take a lot of data and time to get if the updates are as big as the ones we’ve been getting. I hope Apple breaks it up into little chunks. Ah yes, the updates will be delta-updates, only the stuff that’s changed.
  • Game Center: More than 100,000 games and entertainment titles in the App Store. 50 million Game Center users in 9 months. Xbox Live has 30 million users, and has taken 8 years. Achievement points, friend discovery, friends of friends, game discovery, turn-based games.
  • iMessage: A new messaging service between iOS users. Supports iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and lets you send text messages, photos, videos, contacts, group messaging with delivery receipts, read receipts, real-time typing notification. I think I’m still going to stick with KaKaoTalk for free text messaging to anyone in the world.
  • AirPlay Mirroring: You can mirror your iPad to a TV, wirelessly.
  • A new multi-tasking gesture to flick between apps.
  • Supports iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, iPad 2, 3rd/4th Gen iPod touch. And will be available in the fall. That feels such a long time from now.

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