Happy Monday! How about starting this week off right with some big news from Apple?
Steve Jobs took the stage at the 2011 WWDC conference today with a jam packed agenda, including the big reveal of Lion, iOS 5, and the new iCloud service. This is a BIG post, so bear with me!
OS X Lion
And finally, the big official reveal of OS X Lion. If you were there for the sneak peek we got back in October, nothing here will be a surprise to you.
- Full-screen apps should be pretty cool, featuring a new control in the upper-right to go full and a swipe to go between apps.
- Mission Control promises to unify Expose and Spaces. You can see all of the documents/apps you’re working on and put all your Spaces on top of your screen and widgets on the upper-left. Mission control also allows multi-touch gestures, so you can go through your apps “like a deck of cards.” I’m excited to actually get my hands on this stuff and see how it all really works–kind of hard to do it justice without seeing it.
- Multi-Touch trackpads now come standard on all notebooks “all with an incredible, physical realism that’s never been possible in a PC operating system before.”
- Resume allows you to relaunch an app and arrive right where you left off with things just the way you left them–window placement, spaces, highlighted text–everything. Pretty awesome.
- Mac App Store is now built into Lion and includes in-app purchases, push notifications, and a built-in sandboxing mode to boost security.
- Auto Save should be helpful for all of us with permanent bad luck. Lion will now save your document for you without any work from you. You can prevent Auto Save from happening or revert to how the document was when you first opened it.
- Versions comes hand in hand with Auto Save, allowing you to view all the versions of your document, switch between them, copy/paste between them, etc.
- AirDrop is perhaps my favorite feature of Lion. At least for now before I see how cool everything else is. AirDrop allows you to share things wirelessly with those around you, replacing thumb drives for those inter-office files.
- Mail also got a facelift in Lion with several new features and a new look. The coolest feature is the new searching that will recognize if you’re searching for a person or a subject. You can also create rules based on your searches. Sweet.
The best part is that Lion will only be available in the App Store, making it “the easiest upgrade ever.”It’s a 4GB download and only $29.99. You can get your hands on it “sometime soon” in July.
Apple also revealed iOS 5 for its 200 million iOS devices sold so far.
- Notifications in iOS will no longer be those annoying blue pop-ups–iOS 5 features a notification center that will aggregate all of your notifications. You just swipe from the top and you’ll get a big list of all your push notifications, including weather and stocks! They claim this is unobtrusive so you’ll no longer have to interrupt your game or YouTube video for a stupid text message from your mom. The notification center is on the lock screen as well, and you can slide across any of them to go straight to that app.
- Newsstandis a new feature that’s pretty much iBooks for all of your newspaper/magazine subscriptions. Meh. Nothing too exciting here.
- Twitter is now easier to use on iOS devices. Just go to Settings, add your deets, and you’re up and running for Twitter. It’s even integrated with apps like Camera and Photos.
- Safari Reader is a little button at the top of the screen that allows you to read a story on a website without all the extra junk. Convenient. It also allows you to send the text of a story in an email and provides a Reading List where you can mark stories to read later.
- Tabbed browsing FINALLY comes to Safari. Rejoice!
- Remindersis just that–a bunch of reminders. You can stores lists of things, assign a reminder to an important date, assign a location, etc. This will sync across devices with iCal.
- Camera updates on iOS 5 include a camera button on the lock screen AND the ability to take a picture using the volume up button–what?! Crazy! You can also tap a part of a photo to set the exposure settings and optimize that portion of the image. Lastly, you can now edit your photos directly on your iDevice. (I’ll stick with Hipstamatic and Toy Camera, thank you!)
- Mail now features rich-text formatting, draggable addresses, flagging, and the ability to search the entire message. There’s also a built-in dictionary that all apps from the app store can use. (English majors rejoice!)
- PC Free is the way to be–iOS 5 finally brings wireless synching. This is EASILY my favorite announcement of the day. Maybe. Software updates are also wireless.
- Game Center has a few new features, including the ability to download games directly from the Game Center.
- iMessage is a new messaging service between all iOS users, meaning messaging between iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone. You can send texts, photos, videos, contacts, and group messages. It also comes with real-time typing notification. This also works over WiFi OR 3G, which is splendid.
These are just a few of the 200+ new features coming in iOS 5. Holy moly. The big bummer of the day is…we’re not getting it until fall. Wah wah.
Here’s something we’ve all been hearing about for awhile now and wondering just what exactly it would turn out to be. Well, according to Steve, it’s something that demotes the PC and the Mac and allows you to keep all of your content everywhere all the time–basically, your life is now in a “cloud.”
iCloud creates a digital hub that’s in the “cloud.” All of the devices talk to the cloud at any time, and iCloud uploads it, stores it, and pushes it to all your devices. According to Steve, “Everything happens automatically and there’s nothing new to learn. It just all works.”
You can sync and share your calendars, get a @me.com account that’s synched across devices, sync your music, photos, apps, videos etc.
Additionally, you can use the new iCloud button to propagate purchased apps across all devices. Same with iBooks. The best part is that iTunes works in the cloud. YES! Now anything you purchase in iTunes can be downloaded to ANY of your devices at no additional charge. Finally.
iCloud comes to us with iOS 5 this fall.
And the best part. IT IS FREE. RIP, MobileMe. It’s been real.
Whew. We made it! What do you think? Are you pumped for Lion? iOS 5? iCloud? What are you most excited about?