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iOS 5 Notification Center

The rumor mill has been busy the past few days trying to predict exactly what Apple had up its sleeve for iOS 5 at WWDC, but today CEO Steve Jobs made it all nice and official. First up is something that I'm sure many iOS users have strong feelings about: notifications. Included in iOS 5 will be the Notification Center, which will allow users to access all of their alerts by swiping down from the top of your device, similar to Android's notification shade. The notifications will be divided up by app, and weather and stock information will also be displayed in the Notification Center. Notifications will also be shown below the clock on the device's lock screen and can be accessed individually from there.

Newsstand will make its debut in iOS 5 and will give users a central place to download and store subscriptions to physical media like magazines and newspapers.

Another big feature of iOS 5 will be a deeply integrated Twitter experience. Once logged in to Twitter, users will find the service integrated into many of the iOS core apps, like Camera, Photos, and Safari. Twitter's also being integrated into Contacts, allowing users to have a contact's photo automatically updated.

Safari will be getting several enhancements in iOS 5, one of the biggest of which is tabbed browsing. The feature is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, making browsing on your iOS device a bit more like a modern browser on your desktop/laptop. Another new feature is Reader, which will reformat the page you're viewing and strip out unnecessary elements to make it easier to read. Safari will also be getting a feature called Reading List, which will allow you to save a story to read at a later time.

Reminders is a new addition to the iOS landscape and appears to be Apple's take on the to-do list. You can sync your Reminders across various iOS devices, and the app is also capable of reminding you to do something on your list based on location.

Folks that love to take photos will be excited to see that Apple's included a shortcut to the Camera app on the iOS lock screen, which is accessible even if you have a passcode set. If you do have a passcode, Apple says you won't get access to anything else on the phone using this method to access the camera. Once inside the Camera app, users can pinch-to-zoom, hold a finger on a particular area of the image to lock the exposure, and even use the Volume Up button on the device's side as a physical camera key. There's also some basic photo editing features, like cropping and red eye reduction, included in iOS 5.

Mail addicts will be glad to see that the iOS 5 Mail app is getting some love in the form of message flagging, the ability to search that will include all of the contents of your messages, rich text formatting, and indenting. iPad users will also be getting a new split keyboard that should make typing with your thumbs a more bearable process.

Apple's also made the setup/syncing process easier in iOS 5. When an iOS device is first booted up, users will no longer need to worry about connecting it to iTunes before they can dive in and enjoy the product. Activation will now occur on the device, and software updates will now take place over the air. To make OTA updates possible, Apple will only make you download the changes that the update brings rather than the whole OS, which can often be 500-600MB in size. Device sync over WiFi will also be present in iOS 5.

Following up on a rumor from this morning, Apple also introduced iMessage at WWDC. The service will work for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and will allow users to send text, photos, videos, and contacts over 3G and WiFi. Everything sent will be encrypted, and iMessage will also include delivery and read receipts and will even allow to to see when your messaging partner is typing. Sounds very BBM-like, no?

So there you have it, iOS users. iOS 5 will be rolling out this fall to the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2, and the third and fourth-gen iPod touches. What do you all think of the latest major iOS revision?

New Version of iOS Includes Notification Center, iMessage, Newsstand, Twitter Integration Among 200 New Features

Available to iPhone, iPad & iPod touch Users This Fall

SAN FRANCISCO?June 6, 2011?Apple® today previewed iOS 5, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members. The iOS 5 beta release includes over 200 new features that will be available to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users this fall. New iOS 5 features include: Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box and get software updates over the air with no computer required.

“iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Perhaps iOS 5’s paramount feature is that it’s built to seamlessly work with iCloud in the Post PC revolution that Apple is leading.”

With iOS 5 and iCloud®, you just enter your Apple ID and password and iCloud will seamlessly integrate with your apps to automatically and wirelessly keep all of your mail, contacts, calendars, photos, apps, books, music and more, up-to-date across all your devices without ever having to connect to a computer.

Notification Center provides iOS 5 users with an innovative way to easily access all notifications?text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts and more, all in one place, from anywhere in iOS 5. When they arrive, notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen without interrupting what you’re doing. With one swipe you can see all your notifications, and a simple tap will take you right to its app for more detail. Notifications also appear on the lock screen, with the ability to be taken to the notifying app with just one swipe.

Newsstand is a beautiful, easy-to-organize bookshelf displaying the covers of all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions in one place. A new section of the App Store™ features just subscription titles, and allows users to quickly find the most popular newspapers and magazines in the world. If subscribed to, new issues appear in the Newsstand and are updated automatically in the background so you always have the latest issue and the most recent cover art.

Safari is the world’s most popular mobile browser, and with iOS 5 it’s now even better. New features include Safari® Reader, which gets all the clutter out of the way and sets the right font size on a web page, so you can easily scroll and read through a story; Reading List, so you can save articles to read later and they automatically show up on all your iOS devices; and Tabbed Browsing, which makes it easy to flip between multiple web pages on iPad.

iOS 5 includes built-in Twitter integration, so you can sign in once and then tweet directly from all your Twitter-enabled apps, including Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps with a single tap. New APIs give third party developers the ability to take advantage of the single sign-on capability for their own iOS 5 apps.

iMessage in iOS 5 brings the functionality of iPhone messaging to all of your iOS devices?iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Built right into the Messages app, iMessage allows you to easily send text messages, photos, videos or contact information to a person or a group on other iOS 5 devices over Wi-Fi or 3G. iMessages are automatically pushed to all your iOS 5 devices, making it easy to maintain one conversation across your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iMessage also features delivery and read receipts, typing indication and secure end-to-end encryption.

The new Reminders app helps you manage your tasks; create and group related tasks together; and set time or location-based reminder alerts, priorities and due dates, so you can be reminded of a task as its deadline approaches, or when you arrive or depart a given location. Reminders can also be viewed in iCal® and Outlook and are updated automatically.

New features in the Camera and Photos apps give you instant access to the camera right from the lock screen, and you can use the volume-up button to quickly snap a photo. Optional grid lines help line up your shot and a simple tap locks focus and exposure on one subject. The new Photos app lets you crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye, and organize your photos into albums right on your device to share them on the go.

With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box with no computer required, and iOS software updates are delivered over the air and installed with just a tap. Wi-Fi Sync in iOS 5 transfers and backs up your content securely over SSL and wirelessly syncs purchased content from your device to your iTunes® library.

Additional new features in iOS 5 include:

Game Center, now with the ability to add photos to your profile, purchase new games from within the Game Center app and easier ways to find friends and new games;
Mail enhancements which include the ability to compose messages using draggable addresses, and a new formatting bar with bold, italics, underline and indention controls;
AirPlay® Mirroring to wirelessly display everything you do on your iPad 2 right on your HDTV through Apple TV®; and
a system-wide split keyboard to make it even easier to type on your iPad.
Availability
The iOS 5 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (fourth generation) and iPod touch (third generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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