WWDC 2011 Part 1: iOS 5, iCloud, Mac OSX Lion.

Today, at the long awaited WWDC 2011, Apple announced the few new rumored softwares of the year!

Before the WWDC started, there are already various rumors revolving around the iCloud and iOS 5.

There are many new features in both the Lion OS and iOS 5. Without further ado, let’s get it out point by point about the new products.

Mac Lion

Mac OSX Lion

This time round, there will be no disc available for Mac OSX Lion, like its previous versions of OSX do. In order for users to get their hands on Lion, users will be required to download their copy from the Mac App Store. This also meant that it will be harder for hackers to hackintosh Mac OS on their PC. A really smart move by Apple. The price of OSX Lion this time round will be at a measly cheap price of $29.99 USD, compared to previous versions of OSX which can cost up to $129 USD. 

With this new version of Lion, there are lots and lots of improvements.  There’s over 250 upgrades for the new upgrade, but the few key upgrades are as follow:

Full Screen Mode: With more focus on gestures support now, applications can now run in full screen mode.  With all the scrollbars removed, it made the whole screen much more pleasant to work with.

Gesture Support:  Multi-Touch gestures are now even more integrated into Lion

Mission Control: It shows you a expose(tabbed) view of all the applications that are running on the background. Multitasking with nice visual.  Also, widgets are displayed in the upper left corner, and the dock is now visible at all times.

LaunchPad: With the combination of simple gestures, LaunchPad allows you to launch your apps much more quickier. Apps downloaded all goes onto your LaunchPad.

Resume, Auto-Save, and Versioning: Lion features the ability for any application to resume right where you left off, even after it’s been closed..  In a demo using Pages, documents were automatically autosaved, and allowed the user to “lock” the current version or revert to an older version of the same document. With this feature, it almost eliminates the need to even worrying about saving anymore.

Airdrop: Apple’s attempt to make the thumb drive obsolete comes in the form of ‘AirDrop’ a new Wi-Fi based filesharing service to use between nearby Macs running Lion. There’s no set-up, the Mac with AirDrop turned on, automatically discovers other Macs, and allows users to send files quickly and easily back and forth. Apple adds that the transfers fully encrypted.

Mail: The Mac mail application finally gets a much needed update. “With searching now we have new search suggestions. Mail recognizes whether that’s a person or a subject… select one it becomes a search token.” This statement alone garnered wild applause. The new layout also hides the redundant FWD, CCC, RE, and other useless info that can overwhelm lengthy email chains.

My views: A very smart move by Apple to counter hackintosh PC. However, in the computer world, it will sooner or later be cracked. Just takes a longer time. Was impressed by their mission control and Airdrop though. 

iOS 5:

The most anticipated talk of the whole WWDC – iOS 5. Rumors had revealed that Apple had hired a prominent jailbreak developer who developed a tweak “MobileNotifier” –  a awesome notification system, to help with the notifications system of iOS 5. What do we have in store for us in iOS 5? Let’s find out!

Apple announced that there will be more then 200 new features in iOS 5. On the WWDC, Apple announced the 10 key features of iOS 5.

Notifications:

In the past, notifications will hinder what you are doing on your iDevice. If you are playing games, you will have to exit your app to attend to your notifications, and then, back to your game. If was very irritating. Now, with the notifications, there will be a nice bar on top of every app whenever theres notifications, and you can ignore it and attend to it later. Also, theres a unified notifications where you can view all the notifications that you missed. You can even enable some widgets on the notification center, mainly stocks and weather. To access the notification center, just drag down the screen from the status bar.

In the lockscreen mode, users can also view their notifications. They can then drag the icon just like how you would unlock your phone, and it will bring you right into the app that pushes the notifications.

My views: The notifications is not a let down. It finally listened to their customers and gave us a improved notifications! However, I just cant help, but feel that it looked a lot like the android notifications system. Even the gestures are the same. Good work on the notifications though! Gotta be using it alot!

Newstand:

Now with a unified app for all the subscriptions of magazines that you have. It will have automatic background download of the latest magazine episodes, giving the users a seamlessly convenient experience. Wake up in the morning and have the magazine already on your iphone ready for viewing.

My views: A very nice feature for those who read newspaper/magazines everyday. However, in Singapore, there’s no newspaper/magazines I know of that is integrated with iDevice and their subscription service. Would love to have it on my phone though. This way, I would actually read newspaper.  

Twitter Integration:

With iOS 5, twitter will be deeply integrated within the OS. Whenever you take a picture, you can just tweet it away, right within the photos app! You can even include location in your tweet. All from the photos app. Apple also noted that it will be a 1 time login to twitter within the settings app. Now, users can tweet away!


My views: Good step by Apple to introduce more social elements into the OS. However, they should note that there are more facebook users then twitter. Wouldnt it be better with facebook? However, this should be very exciting to all the avid tweeters out there.

Safari:

 iOS 5 Safari introduces the tabbed browsing. More importantly, theres also a reader browser within the Safari app.
The safari tab looks gorgeous on the iPad. You can now format your webpage to the reader format for easier reading. Its just a touch away. There also a reading list where you can save a page to read later. This will definitely be a good news for users who do a lot of reading on their devices.

My views: I’m very excited about the tabbed browsing. The multiple pages on iPhone is quite annoying, have to switch in between the pages is a pain in the ass. And also, its nice to have the reader within the browser to format it into mobile reading. Reading list works just like instapaper though. 

Reminders:

With the reminders, you will never miss a todo again! You can even enable the reminders to push you notifications when you arrived at the location! Sync with iCal too, its really a joyous addition!

My views: I love the concept where the reminder app alert you when you reach the location. However, the geo location service must be enable. This might be a tax on the battery life.

Camera:

You can now do photo editing directly after taking the picture. You do photo enhancements and red eyes remover.

Now, you can also pinch to zoom in, instead of tap and drag. Best yet, you can now press the volume up button to take a picture!

On the lockscreen, you can double tap the home button, and there will be a button beside the slide to unlock bar where you will be taken to the photos app immediately. It will bypass your keylock, but all photos will be hidden untill you key in your passcode.

My views: Now, I can take a photo without unlocking the phone and go through the process of finding my camera app icon. I couldnt be any happier.

Mail: 

You can now include rich text formating(e.g. bold,italiac) and also indentation. Hold on the BBC and CC and you will be able to move the emails. No more retyping of email.

Split Screen Keyboard:

Only available on iPad, allows you to have the keyboard split into 2 half, which makes it easier for users which type with both thumbs.

PC-Free Activation and OTA Updates:


iDevices now no longer have to connect to iTunes in order for it to be activated and be used. You can now use it out of the box. With OTA(Over The Air) updates, you can update your device firmware without you be near your PC/Mac. Delta updates allows you to just download the updated system files, and not the whole operating system like previously.

My views: With this OTA updates, no more worrying about downloading huge files! Only updated files will be downloaded! I LIKE!

Game Center:

Now with the ability to add pictures to your profile on GameCenter, and also find recommended friends and games.

Games that you find of interest in GameCenter will be able to download in GameCenter. No more exiting out of GameCenter to access AppStore to purchase the game.

My views: It will be much convenient with the GameCenter in app downloads. However, it will be better if there’s GameCenter messaging. 

iMessage:

You will now be able to chat with all the IOS device users just like normal messaging. So what if iPad and iPod touch users do not have messaging? With iMessage, you will be able to chat with them through Wifi/3G. Supports group chat, multimedia messaging, receipts.

My views: Looks totally like BBM. However, will users use if rather WhatsApp? With WhatsApp available on the iOS, blackberry,Android and on Ova, will users be using this service?

 

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