I spent lunch today at my desk reading engadget’s liveblog of the 2011 WWDC with bated breath, hoping for an iPhone hardware update. I could feel my heart pound with each auto-refresh of my browser. Unfortunately, an iPhone update was not on the agenda today, which I kind of expected from reading the rumors. But I’m not too upset because the features included in the upcoming release of iOS 5 easily filled the void left in my heart by an absent iPhone update.
iOS 5, which is due out this Fall, has over 200 new features. Many of these new features could almost eliminate my desire to jailbreak my iDevices. Here are some of the updates I look forward to the most:
No longer shall my game of Angry Birds be intrusively interrupted every time my friends check into foursquare. Or, when I’m watching a video and get a call and choose to ignore it, no longer will my video be interrupted (again) by a voice mail alert from the call I just ignored. With the Notification Center, all alerts appear at the top of the screen, allowing you to keep working (or playing) with zero interruption. You can respond to the notification by tapping the alert or you can ignore it and the alert will go away. Notification Center also conveniently groups all of your notifications in one place that can be accessed by simply swiping down from the top of the screen (which is currently how I access sbsettings). Notifications can also be displayed on the lock screen.
I can finally stop using the Calendar app as my to-do reminder! Reminders lets you create an organized to-do list and can be set to alert you with a reminder at a specific time and date. Reminders can also be set to alert you based on location. So when I’m at Frickers with the boys and my wife wants me to call her when I leave (which I always remember to do right as I’m pulling into my driveway), I can set Reminders to alert me when I’ve left the restaurant. If I ever experience long-term anterograde amnesia, Reminders would probably prove to be very useful.
My favorite updates to the Camera app are the ability to access the camera from the lock screen and the ability to snap a picture using the up-volume button. Both of these features will eliminate my need for 2 different jailbreak apps I use: Snappy, which allows me to access the camera from the lock screen and SnapTap, which enables the volume buttons to snap pictures. The Camera app update will also include grid lines, pinch to zoom, autofocus and autoexposure features as well.
I love the iPhone. Absolutely love it. I loved the iPhone when I first got a 3GS, and I loved it even more when I upgraded to 4. I believe the iPhone is the single greatest consumer electronic device ever. There are, however, a few things about the iPhone (as well as the iPod Touch and iPad) that make me livid. The inability to create and mange photo albums on the iDevice itself is one of them. The iOS 5 update to the Photos app changes that. The new features in Photos not only includes the ability to create and manage albums on the iDevice, it also includes a photo editor that lets you crop, enhance, rotate and remove red-eye from within the Photos app itself.
These are just a few of the great features coming with iOS 5. iCloud will also be included which will automatically sync music, photo’s, apps and other content across all devices without any effort from the user. This is the first time an iOS update has been worth unjailbreaking my iPhone for. The only other thing on my wish list is the ability read the entire podcast titles in iTunes on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple doesn’t mention this feature but maybe it’s such a small change they didn’t feel the need to bring attention to it (at least that’s what I’m telling myself until Fall, because I’m the king of wishful thinking).
Be sure to check out Apple.com for more detail on what’s in store with iOS 5.