WWDC 2011: Recap of Announcements

WWDC 2011

Apple held the WWDC event at San Francisco a couple of days ago which we all know by now. But what do these announcements mean to us?

Well, firstly the announcement of Mac OS X Lion. Though it’s not as major as the announcement of iOS 5, it is something that nobody can disregard. Macbooks and iMacs are widely used all over the globe, so this basically means good news for them. With Mac OS X (10.7), Apple has tweaked the trackpad and gesture controls a bit. New features like two finger scrolling, pinch to zoom and more have been implemented into the OS. Apparently, there are about 250 new features coming to Mac OS X Lion, out of which, few were explained and demonstrated. And surprisingly, the Mac OS X Lion will cost only $29.99, which is a good $100 less from the Snow Leopard (10.6).

Another major announcement from the WWDC was iCloud. This basically changes the way data is stored or managed on iOS, though you need not necessarily have an iOS device to make use of iCloud. It seamlessly syncs with PCs and Macs as well, so no issues there.

Let us explain what iCloud basically does. Well, iCloud stores your data on the cloud, irrespective of what it is. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? You can store absolutely anything on the cloud, be it music, photos or documents. Syncing is the core of iCloud as it syncs with all your iOS devices. Say you have an iPad and you upload music on iCloud, the same will then be pushed to your other iOS devices as well.

Also with regard to music, you may download music from iTunes and add it to the cloud and then access it from your other iOS devices free of cost, which is a great feature, the same goes with books. Photos however will not be the same as music, 1000 of your latest uploads will be stored on Apple’s servers for a limited period of 30 days in a service called Photo Stream, users will have to find for an alternative location for the picture within the time frame.

iOS 5(2)

Now let’s move on to iOS 5. The iOS 5 apparently is the best iOS yet. And there are reasons to explain that. Well, the company has sold about 25 million units of the iPad so far, which they rightfully brag about. And with iOS 5, things will only get better for the Cupertino based giant. Let’s start off with the notifications system of iOS 5. Well, iOS has not had such a great notification system to start off with. But that will certainly change this time with the implementation of a new feature called “Notification Center” which apparently is a one stop access to all your notifications. The latest notifications will be displayed in a bar, you may swipe to select the notification that you’re interested to see.

With iOS 5 users will receive OTA updates, so users will receive updates on the go rather than having to connect the device to a computer so as to get updates. A couple of other things have changed with iOS 5. For example, the Twitter support. Now users will have to make a one-time sign in to the social networking site and just forget about it. Twitter will be seamlessly integrated into applications (mostly native iOS apps) like Camera, Photos etc so that you can share content fairly easily. The camera app has also seen some improvements. Now users can pinch to zoom while in the camera app. Well this is basically a cosmetic change but a welcome addition nonetheless. A couple of camera shortcuts have been enabled on iOS 5. Pressing the volume up button will now enable the camera button and a camera shortcut has been provided on the lock screen, so that users never miss a moment. The iOS 5 platform will be launched during fall and will support iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch (3rd Gen and further) and iPad/iPad 2.

And now some updates related to the Safari web browser. Safari is iOS’ default web browser, and it has been around since quite some time, so it was high time Apple made some tweaks to that as well. Users on Safari can now experience tabbed browsing like desktop browsers. Also, some of you might know about the Reader feature on the Safari browser. Well, that feature is enabled on the iOS 5 browser now, which makes it easier for users to enable a reader friendly feature for poorly formatted texts in websites.

Mail has considerably changed in iOS now, with a new layout of keyboard being shown off. This basically is a split keyboard which splits right in the middle to make it easier for excessive typers who use their thumbs.

iMessage is a relatively old concept first implemented by BlackBerry with the BlackBerry Messenger. This feature basically, lets you share photos, music, docs with other connected iOS devices. Handy feature this.

Well, these announcements are really exciting, especially the announcement of iOS 5 and iCloud. Apple has given a treat to its users by the above announcements; it was however a bit disappointing that Apple couldn’t unveil the iPhone (4S or 5) this time around. Let’s hope Apple takes care of that soon, it is expected that the next iPhone could be announced later in the year.


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