Apple announces iOS 5.0

Today at the annual WWDC event, Steve Jobs took the stage to announce the new flagship of software suites for Mac and iDevices. Apple recently announced the upcoming iOS 5.0 firmware, but today it finally unveiled what the company has been working on for over a year now.

The company announced that to date, they have had more than 14 billion downloads, with over 90,000 iPad apps. They have paid developers more than $2.5 billion dollars so far.

Apple started off the new feature list with notifications. Apple has removed the old notification popup system for a more inline notification system, making it less annoying when you're watching a video or playing a game. The 'notification center' will act similar to Android, where your menu swipes down, revealing alerts for all of your phone, messages, emails and more. The notification center is even on your lock screen too.

The lock screen has received a major update, allowing for notifications from apps, messages, and even listening to voice mail without having to slide to unlock the phone.

iOS 5.0 also comes with 'Newsstand', a new subscription-based application that has a ton of newspaper and magazine companies on board, including New York Times, SF Chronicle, Daily Telegraph, and more.

Apple introduced a new Twitter integration for iOS 5.0, making it easier for users to post photos, maps, articles from Safari and attachments with a new 'Tweet' option.

Safari also received a number of updates, including the new reader button for your documents. Safari in iOS 5.0 now comes with a "reading list" feature, so you can come back and read a bookmarked page later, without saving it to your bookmarks.

Next up, mobile Safari now comes with tabs! No more annoying stacked option menu, but now it's located under your toolbar bookmark menu.

The camera app finally received a much deserved update, to include some of the new updates from Apple. First up, is a camera button shortcut on your lockscreen, making it easier to quickly take a picture of events that just can't wait. If the moment can't wait that long, you can use your volume up button to take pictures now, bypassing your lockscreen - but don't worry, your existing photos will be secure. Apple also included a photo touch-up app.

Apple is once again updating their mail app, adding new search, flag and spam and security options. There is even a built-in dictionary option, prompting the user with a popup when they click the "define" option.

If you've ever typed on the iPad, you may notice that reaching the keys in the middle can sometimes be difficult. Apple has now changed up the layout of the keyboard. There will not be two floating keyboards on either side, allowing you to just type with your thumbs while holding it firmly in your hands.

iOS 5.0 now does wireless syncing with iTunes. You'll be able to finally ditch the cable (other than charging) and sync and receive updates directly on your device, without having to connect to your PC or Mac.

The Game Center also is now more social network friendly, to make sharing and playing games with friends easier.

Last up, Apple introduced iMessage. The new instant messaging service allows any iDevice (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) to communicate with each other. The new application is very similar to the SMS application, but is completely free. Similar to BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), the application allows you and your friends to instant message one another, from anywhere in the world, without the added roaming charges. iMessage requires WiFi or 3G to send and receive.

iOS 5.0 beta will be made available later today for the following iDevices:

  • iPhone 4 (GSM and CDMA)
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)
  • iPad 2 (GSM, CDMA and WiFi)
  • iPad (GSM and WiFi)
  • Apple TV 2G

iOS 5.0 will ship this fall to consumers.

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