iOS 5: What To Expect

Well, today was pretty wild with lots of unexpected surprises. Now, I wrote this article about 4 days ago but never published it, I’ve changed some details (like when I thought iOS 5 would be previewed) in light of new information. So enjoy!

So, about the new features, what can we expect? Apple has added lots of things that everyone wanted since the beginning and then some. Features that range from cut, copy, and paste to MMS, multitasking, home screen wallpapers, video recording, an App Store, and so much more. So what can we expect to see in 2011 from iOS 5?

The first and foremost feature that I expect to see is an updated notifications system. The notification system Apple uses is fine, if you are on the device all the time, but it’s not fine when you want to watch a movie or if you get multiple push notifications from applications (such as LEI Mobile 5). It just doesn’t work anymore. Apple needs to incorporate a new notifications system and get with the times.

One option is to use a “drag down status bar” method like Android and WebOS use. These are extremely effective and can be placed into iOS with an Apple-twist. Apple hired engineers from Palm/HP’s WebOS platform and purchased a developer’s company who specialized in new ways to show notifications on the device. So expect to see updated notifications.

The second major thing that we should see, an updated lock screen. As with a new  notifications system, I believe that we will see a lock screen that has a lot more information at it so that we don’t have to unlock the phone in order to see what messages or notifications we have had since the iPhone was turned off.

So, notification system improvements are something that Apple has to add in order to remain competitive.

The third major thing that we should expect to see is more cloud-based computing to be in iOS. We should expect Apple to announce more cloud features, as well as a revamped MobileMe, at their upcoming keynote. We should see a way to stream your iTunes library as well as wireless syncing capabilities via your Apple ID.

Your Apple ID will be used for EVERYTHING, so get used to it. Lion has a lot of Apple ID integration, so expect iOS 5 to make it all a seamless experience to stream your iTunes library to your iOS device.

The fourth feature that we should see is a way to upload files to the phone, even files that the phone can’t read and then be able to share them with other iOS devices via local Wi-Fi or via Apple’s servers, using your Apple ID.

Lion has a feature called AirDrop and I really expect to see this in iOS 5 as well. AirDrop will let you share files with other computers running Mac OS X Lion but I think it will also include iOS users and it will all work seamlessly.

A fifth feature that could happen, no sources have said anything, this is purely me thinking out loud (as well as the other features that I have mentioned) but we could see over-the-air updating. Impossible? Not at all. Apple TV already has this capability and it’s already in iOS.

I noticed the folder that Apple TV uses to do it’s over-the-air updates A couple years back in an iOS 3 build. This would mean that Apple has wanted to do this for a while now, but iOS 5 could finally be the place to do it.

If you have updated your Apple TV (2nd generation) then you know how fast and seamless it is. Why is it so fast? Doesn’t it need to download the 4-700MB file?! Nope. Apple TV downloads the patches instead of just downloading the entire .ipsw file. This is a lot more bandwidth and space effective for a mobile device.

Oh, there is just 1 more thing… This is in regards to Apple TV. I expect to see an SDK for Apple TV at the event as well. We are hoping that Apple opens up the developer APIs for us developers so we can make some TV applications.

Hell, who knows, maybe Apple will even make e Apple TV. A gaming system like the references in iOS 4.3 suggested…

I’m sure Apple has a lot more features, tweaks, and the like in the works, but this is what I believe to be the main things that you will see at Apple’s WWDC 2011 keynote.

More to come…

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