Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Apple Announcement Roundup Part 1/3

As a precursor, it did take me a day to fully understand a majority of the things announced at WWDC '11.

iOS 5
 As expected, iOS 5 was announced at WWDC, bringing a slew of new features to the boards. Apple did exactly what was speculated, and revamped the entire notification system. When I say revamped, I mean they just copied Android. If you have ever used an Android device, you know that all the events on your device are stored at the top in the drop down menu. Any time you receive a message, it can be read on the drop down menu. Tapping on it takes you to the application (messages, mail, etc.). The difference between the iPhone and iPad version though is the iPhone version has weather and stocks, which is odd because you would think with the larger screen the iPad would get the same, if not more. 

In addition, Apple introduced iMessages. Essentially, this is Black Berry Messaging for iDevices. If you own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can message another iDevice owner over wifi or 3G. And it is free of SMS since iPod users don't have SMS. This means that, hypothetically, if all your friends had iDevices, you could own an iPhone and message them with out having to pay for a SMS data plan. Also, when you first send a text to someone, your device will check and see if the number you are texting is an iDevice with iMessages. If it is, your send button will turn blue, and your contact for that person will update so you know that he/she owns an iDevice. If not, the send button is green, and nothing is updated in the contacts.

Apple didn't stop there though, they went further with the new Reminders application. Reminders is a simple little to-do list application. It allows you to add to-dos, check them off, and update them. They are also synced with Outlook, iCal, and iCloud (which will be talked about later). You can even set locations for each to-do, so you know where you have to go to get the reminder done.

Apple also jumped on the social networking trend by adding full Twitter integration into iOS 5. You can add as many accounts as you want, and it fully integrated into the new messaging system, as well as all the applications. This makes it easy to tweet photos, information, and more at the tap of a screen. You can also add your location if you want. 

But wait, there's more! Apple has added the ability to take a picture from your lock screen. This is suppose to save the user time when getting his/her camera ready. However, as far as I can tell this circumvents the reason you have a lock screen. If you activate the camera, it unlocks the device, therefore undoing the purpose of having the lock screen, which is to keep your device locked. A nifty addition they added to the camera was the ability to take pictures by pressing the volume buttons. This is suppose to make it easier to take pictures, as before the only way was to tap on the screen. Another feature added was minimal ways to edit your pictures. You can crop, and remove read eye from with the application.

Post PC Activation.
Other additions include the ability to use Reader in Safari, and the ability to utilize the new Reading List within Safari. Reading list allows you to add a page to a list which you can then "read later". Plus, there is also the ability to activate your device without having to connect to iTunes. As it is now said, "We live in a post PC world, where not everyone owns a PC." For this reason, you can now activate your device out the box, and have it ready to go in minutes without having to sync and connect to iTunes. Also, there was the addition of rich text formatting for mail, wireless mirroring for iPads to TV, Wireless syncing, and a Game Center update which allows pictures to be added to your friends, as well as in app game purchases.

This post is part of a three part update so that all the parts of the event can be covered. 


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