Scott Forstall has just taken the WWDC 2011 stage and details about the changes and improvements in iOS 5 are flowing thick and fast.
– Firstly, stats. Scott notes that Apple has so far sold 200 million iOS devices, with more than 25 million of those being iPads. There have been 14 billion downloads from the App Store, tallying over $2.5 billion paid out in revenue to app developers. The iTunes Store isn’t doing badly, either, with 15 billion songs sold.
– And the first new feature: an overhaul of notifications. At last! A new Notification Center aggregates all your, well, notifications into one and is accessible by swiping down a menu from the top of the screen. Yes, just like Android. Small X buttons alongside each note allow you to dismiss it, though there’s no “clear all” option for the more decisive among us. Notifications are also making their way onto the lockscreen, where swiping across a text message takes you right into it. A little something like Samsung’s TouchWiz implementation.
– Newsstand is a new place to house all your magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
– Twitter integration is also coming to iOS 5, with a single sign-in allowing a multitude of apps to make use of your Twitter credentials. That includes the Camera and Photos programs, finally letting you tweet images out directly from your galleries.
– Safari Reader is a new browser feature that will strip out distractions and present the text of a webpage with no other excess content. Accessible via a button next to the address bar. Also added to the iOS browser is a Reading List, which does what the name suggests by accumulating a list of pages you want to read later. Accessible on multiple devices. Tabbed browsing is making a debut in v5.0 as well, which is sure to be a boon for iPad users.
– Reminders is another self-descriptive feature. This one’s intelligent enough to remind you to do things based on your location. It’ll sync across devices and with your calendar.
– Yay, there’s now a camera button right on your lockscreen! The volume-up button is also doubling up as a physical shutter button when in the camera app. Pinch-to-zoom is said to be available right in the app, while holding your finger down on a particular area will lock down exposure to optimize the shot for its particular lighting. Some new in-device editing options have also been added, including cropping, rotation, red-eye reduction, and a one-click enhance option.
– A new split keyboard has also been shown off in iOS 5.
– Headline feature: PC Free! No more cables required for syncing. Now we’re talking.