Apple Reveals 200 New Features With iOS 5 At WWDC

Big news from Apple today, and tons of it. The company used their annual Worldwide Developer's Conference today to talk about a ton of upcoming software changes, and of course, the next build of iOS was one major topic of conversation. The new version of iOS, simply called iOS 5, is slated to be a monumental update over iOS 4. The company previewed it today, and provided a beta copy to developers, which includes some 200 new features that'll be available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in the fall. That'll likely coincide with the launch of the next iPhone, but of course that's just speculation for now.

Of those 200 new features, only a handful are likely to make themselves known to the masses. There's the Notification Center, an new way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. There's also a new feature called "PC Free," where by iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box and get software updates over the air with no computer required.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, was at the keynote, and had a few things to say about the happenings: "iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs. 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."

Apple's taking a few notes from Google's Android OS here; users of iOS 5 will just enter their Apple ID and password, and then iCloud will integrate and push down their apps automatically in order to keep their mail, contacts, calendars, photos, apps, books, music and more, up-to-date across all your devices without ever having to connect to a computer. Furthermore, iOS 5 includes built-in Twitter integration, so you can sign in once and then tweet directly from all your Twitter-enabled apps, including Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps with a single tap. New APIs give third party developers the ability to take advantage of the single sign-on capability for their own iOS 5 apps.

The iOS 5 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (fourth generation) and iPod touch (third generation) this fall, but some features may not be available across all devices. Looks like Google (and HP, and RIM) has their work cut out!