Apple unveils OS update and new cloud service, but no new iPhone, at developer conference
Apple has used its world wide developer conference in San Francisco to unveil the latest vesion of its iOS mobile operating system and a new suite of cloud services allowing users to sync up media and data between Apple devices.
iOS 5 includes over-the-air updates, a centralised Notification Centre (pictured), a new iMessenger system to communicate between Apple devices and a digital magazine and newspaper store and organiser called NewsStand.
Apple said the operating system update will be made available this autumn, but there was no mention of when the next iPhone will be launched.
The Notification Centre will display an unobtrusive notification at the top of the screen and users can pull down a bar displaying all notification by swiping down from the top of the screen. Notifications will also be displayed on the handset’s lock screen.
iMessenger will work very much like the BlackBerry Messenger system, allowing users to send texts, photos and other messages between Apple devices without eating into tariff allowances.
NewsStand will offer the long-awaited magazine subscriptions in one location, and autmatically download new issues in the background.
Apple is billing the over-the-air updates as “PC free”. The updates will work over 3G and Wi-Fi, and will allow users to activate new iPhones without connecting to a computer for the first time.
IOS 5 will also support the iCloud service, allowing users to sync media, apps, contacts, calenders and other data across Apple devices automatically and for free.
It also includes a subscription service costing $29.99 called iTunes Match, which will match tunes on an Apple device not purchased via iTunes with a 256 Kbps version from the iTunes library.
“iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Centre, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs”, said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who made only his second official appearance of the year at the event.
“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.”