iOS 5 was announced today and given a release date of “this fall”. While many may be saying “why such a long wait?”, you have to realize that this is the biggest change in the short history of the OS. Let Apple take it’s time in releasing the new version, work out any kinks it may have and then release it to eager customers worldwide. The new features are a great evolution, from notifications to single sign-on Twitter integration. Twitter has become such an integral part of mobile life, and Apple has embraced it and made it an integral part of the next iOS version. Better late than never!
Now, in my opinion, Notification Center is the change iOS users have wanted for quite some time, and today the dream is now a reality. I switched from Blackberry OS to webOS to iOS in the past three years, so I have seen quite a variety of notification systems, with webOS being the best by far. Notifications are part of what makes a smartphone smart, across all forms of messaging and social networks, and saying good riddance to iOS modal notification boxes will make for a much more streamlined user experience, allowing user to be notified without stopping what they are doing to tap “close” or “view”. The simple act of swiping down shows all of your notifications in one spot so you don’t have to open and close an app just to get rid of the number counter on the right of the app icon. I’m loving it!
If notifications don’t excite you (and for many they don’t), try not being excited about OTA updates! Apple has been known for mobile devices that still require Mac or PC syncing. Coming this fall that will be a thing of the past, a past that will free you of countless 30 pin connectors for everything. When I was a webOS user I got used to OTA updates and the cloud-based Palm Profile which backed my device up daily. When I switched to iOS I said goodbye to the cloud and hello to a more wired life. Soon that will change both for me and the millions of iOS users, who will be able to bask in the glory of a truly mobile experience, only plugging in to charge their device. Trust me, you’ll love it!
Lastly, there is iMessage, a service that I did not expect to be announced. Here is, for the lack of a better term, Apple’s BBM (It was nice knowing you RIM!). A messaging platform exclusively for iOS users is huge! With one the largest user base, this service in my opinion is a guaranteed success, connecting millions of users across all iOS devices.
Those were just a few of the announcements from today’s event, but are the ones I think will be a big hit for Apple and a joy for users both old and new! Apple is evolving and embracing the ” post-pc era” they have been talking about for a while. Now we wait, knowing that an awesome iOS experience is on its way!