This year's WWDC keynote saw no new hardware announcements and instead it was iOS that took center stage. Apple unveiled the next major release, iOS 5, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, which packs over 200 new features or say they say.
The greatest new feature of iOS 5 is the notification area, which comes to replace the annoying pop-ups. Taking a leaf of Google's Android book, the company has added a dedicated screen that you open by pulling from the top of the screen downwards. It contains all your notifications and if you click one of them it takes you to the app responsible for it.
Clicking on the X icon on the right removes the notification. We didn't see an Android-like button for clearing all notifications, or quick radio settings (i.e. Wi-Fi, GPS or Bluetooth toggles) though. By the way the Notification center, as Apple likes to call it, also features stock updates and weather information. Also visually, it looks like quite a ripoff of David Ashman's popular LockInfo app available as an unofficial tweak from Cydia. But is Apple running out of fresh ideas?
Next came Twitter integration, which covers Contacts, Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube and Maps. You can now Tweet from all those apps and your contacts are automatically synced with their Twitter accounts. It's a rather strange move from Apple adding Twitter integration, when fans have been asking for Facebook for what seems like ages. makes us wonder if perhaps there's some grudge going on between the two companies.
The company is also launching the iMessage service, which is basically an IM client built-in right into the Message app. It supports sending texts, photos, videos, contacts to both single users and groups over encrypted connection. And yes, this time it works over both Wi-Fi and 3G from the start.
Reminders were also unveiled, bringing all your to-dos together and allowing you to set-up, well, reminders. The good news is that the app is location aware so it can now remind you of events based on where you are. It’s nothing that you couldn't achieve with an app anyway, but it's always better when things come built-in (for free!).