WWDC: iOS 5 new features

At WWDC, big news for me, as an iPhone app developer, was iOS 5. First, they announced that 200 million iOS devices have been sold! Here's what's new:

Notification Center addresses the concern many users had. Just swipe down at anytime and see all missed calls, text messages, stocks, weather and app notificactions. And notifications will no longer interrupt your app!

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The lockscreen is improved too, with notifications directly on the screen and you can go instantly to that notice's app by swiping right.

If you like iBooks and wish you could read magazines and newspapers using such a bookstore, there is Newsstand! You initially purchase them from a new periodicals section In the app store, and then you can run the Newsstand app, similar to iBooks. What's nice is it downloads the latest issue in the background, automatically so you get the new issue of a newspaper when you wake up!

Twitter is integrated with single sign on. For example, the camera and safari apps can add the option to share via twitter.

Safari adds tabbed browsing which is a great addition! This will make it a lot easier to switch between sites. And the Safari Reader option displays the contents of several web pages as one easy to read scrolling page!

Geolocation reminders is a new feature, so you can have your iPhone remind you to do something based upon your location!

There is a new lockscreen shortcut to the camera, so you can quickly take a picture! And the tap tap tap folks will be amused to know you can now use the volume up button as a shutter release! Other features include editing like redeye adjustment!

The iPad can now use a virtual split keyboard in portrait mode, for typing with your thumbs!

Apple is also introducing their own more sophisticated messaging platform called iMessage that works with all iOS devices (in fact all of your iOS devices will get the notices simultaneously) and over wifi and 3G so you can avoid SMS fees!

Next, the best thing perhaps and what got the loudest roar of support... The iOS device will work out of the box, independent of a PC or Mac, and software updates will be done over the air, transmitting only the delta or changes from your current OS and the new one! You can now use your device without being tethered to a computer for installation and updates! You can also sync media wirelessly with iTunes, and AirPlay can mirror wirelessly from your iPad 2!

iOS 5 will be available in the Fall. Now if we can get some new hardware to run it in, perhaps the roars will get louder!

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.