Apple announces iOS5

At today's WWDC keynote, Apple announced its new mobile OS, iOS5 - but no new iPhone.

It wasn't entirely a surprise, and the 200+ new features with the new OS are meaty enough to more than whet an appetite for iPhone 5, pipped to land in 'fall' sometime.


Notification Center
iPhones and iPads will now sport a pull-down notifications menu showing new events - texts, messages, alerts - like Android phones.


Apple users can now message each other for free over the internet - just like BlackBerry's BBM app. It only works with other iOS5 devices, and if you own more than one, you'll be able to pick up conversations where you left off on each device.


Think iBooks, but with newspapers and magazines. Users will be able to download from thousands of globals 'zines and papers. If you're thinking this sounds rather like the Reader Hub on Samsung's Galaxy range of phones, you'd be rather correct.


Twitter integration
This goes deeper than Facebook, which currently only syncs friends with your contacts book. Sign into Twitter once, and you'll be able to send photos to Twitter when the camera or gallery, share videos in YouTube, links in Maps and tweet from the Safari browser.


Better camera
The camera can now be opened direct from the lock screen, while grid lines, pinch to zoom gestures and touch-focus help you get that perfect shot. A 'real' shutter button is also finally a reality, with the volume rocker getting reassigned to snap photos while the camera app is running. There are also new post-production tools allowing you to crop, rotate, enhance and organise photos into albums.

Tabbed browsing
On iPad, the Safari browser finally now features tabbed browsing. On all iOS devices, the Reading List tab lets you save articles to read later, synced across all iOS5 devices.


These are the main new features, but the list also includes tons of tweaks to almost every aspect of the software, with rich text in Mail, multitasking gestures on the iPad, and - finally - freedom from iTunes. Yes, you can finally activate your iDevice sans PC, and sync content wirelessly rather than via USB.

iOS5 is available to developers now and will launch in fall, when it'll be available to iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and up - and of course on the new iPhone 5.

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