Image via Favim (Source unknown)
Thank you Apple, by formally introducing OS X lion to the world you've finally given me opportunity to use the image above.
So today Steve Jobs (amongst others.) took to the stage in San Fran' to talk about OS X Lion, iOS 5, and the new iCloud. Pretty exciting stuff! Although I'm going to make my focus the new features in iOS 5. I'm sure OS X Lion has many sexy features, and at a $29.99 upgrade price its going to be a no brainer for any Intel Mac owner, but iOS 5 is my area of, expertise? Interest? Both? Either? It's going to be a long summer, as iOS 5 isn't due out to consumers till the awesomely vague 'Fall', but there is plenty to get excited about.
Of all the areas of iOS that suck the most, notifications is probably at the top of the list. In iOS 5, they will be much much improved. An unobtrusive bar at the top, no more popups to interrupt whatever you are doing. And a lock screen that actually displays useful information. Any notifications that you might have received, a swipe opens the relevant app. (Eerily similar to lock screens on Jailbroken devices running MobileNotifier.)
Image via This Is My Next
Twitter is getting integrated right into the OS, and it wouldn't surprise me if that sees an influx of new people using Twitter. You'll be able to share photos and post them to Twitter right from within the camera app or the photo album. Tweet buttons are also getting added to make sharing weblinks easier from safari, locations from Maps, and videos from YouTube. I'm assuming those buttons wont appear if you haven't activated Twitter from within the settings, but if they do, yes, I'd expect to see an influx of Twitter users
The camera app is also getting some improvements. There's a camera shortcut on the new improved lockscreen. Pushing the button takes you straight to the camera app, even if you haven't unlocked your phone you can still take a new picture, and without opening up your other photos to prying eyes. (Hopefully this will avoid those 'Just give me a second to unlock, oh, moments passed' scenarios.) You can take pictures with the volume up button, exposure and focus lock are being added, and there's basic editing built in; Cropping, red eye removal and 'quick enhance'. The latter of which seems to add a post process HDR/exposure correction type feature. There's also pinch to zoom, which is damn cool on the phones that already have this (the Samsung Galaxy S amongst others.) but which in my opinion is next to useless. Digital zoom is just digital zoom, I'd much rather crop later.
iMessage is where RIM see their big draw in BBM made less of a big draw, and where the developers of Whatsapp, Pingchat, and Liveprofile start to panic. Its Apples own messaging client. All you'd expect, texts, pictures, video, group chat, all with delivery, read, and typing notifications, and its all securely encrypted. Yes, its true that many of those apps are cross platform, but I can see myself using Whatsapp much less when the official Apple equivalent comes along. And oh yes, it's available on ALL iDevices, so you can start a conversation on your iPhone, and carry it on on your iPad or iPad touch.
Image via This Is My Next
From a personal and professional level, I'm also excited to see that iDevices will no longer have to be activated with iTunes. Out of the box now, a new user is greeted with a helpful 'connect to iTunes prompt. But in iOS 5, a welcome screen. At the moment anyone upgrading from an old iPhone to a new, mainly due to the micro sim, goes home from the store with an new iPhone they can't use yet, and an old iPhone whose SIM card is about to go dead at any moment. This is far from ideal if you need to be contacted in the time it takes you to get home and get your new device up and running. And when you do get you're shiny new iOS 5 device home, you'll be able to sync it wirelessly with iTunes, no more having to remember to sync or backup. (Looking at you Mrs.)
There was some other little bits. Dictionary available iOS wide, so any app can use it. (Although whether that is available if you don't have autocorrect enabled remains to be seen.) And a new reminder service, which is location aware. No idea what sort of effect that will have on battery life but its pretty sweet in theory. Dozy commuters can presumably make sure they never miss their stop again.