Yesterday was Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). This is generally where Apple announces their new iOS and OS X related stuff and this year I must say they didn’t disappoint. I’ll just link to Engadget’s liveblog coverage as it gives the entire WWDC keynote.
First let me say I’m glad that Apple has finally decided to improve the way notifications are handled in iOS. Instead of those damned popup boxes that interrupt whatever you’re doing Apple is going to use the notification system they ripped off from Android. Basically when a notification comes in a little message will appear at the top of your screen and swiping your finger down from the top of the screen will bring down a full list of notifications. The one improvement Apple has added to Google’s system is the fact notifications will also appear on the lock screen so there is no need to unlock the phone to see what messages you have waiting for you. Overall I think this will fix the primary usability complain I’ve had with iOS for ages now.
Apple also announced iCloud, their new revision of
.mac MobileMe. First Apple has finally done away with the stupid annual $99.00 fee which means I will actually try and possibly use this service (I could never justify spending money on something Google offered for free). iCloud also looks to expand greatly on MobileMe’s feature set by adding the ability for your iOS apps to store data on Apple’s servers allowing for back ups and syncing.
Speaking of things that no longer require tethering to iTunes for, Apple has also finally started work on freeing iOS devices from iTunes. Starting with iOS 5 devices will be able to sync and backup via WiFi instead of requiring you to physically plug your device into a computer running iTunes. I’m a huge fan of this as it may allow me to backup my device via WiFi remotely by using a VPN connection. Currently if you’re away from the system you use to backup your iOS device you’re kind of fucked should you need to do a backup and restore. It seems Apple is taking the best features from their competitors and integrating them into iOS and honestly it’s about damned time some of the features were added.
The last announcement that really got my attention was OS X Lion (10.7). Lion is being released next month via the Mac App Store (I’m assuming disk versions will be available as well) for $29.99 for the standard client version and $49.99 for the server version. This is big news as the server version previously costs a fuck ton of money (about ten times what Apple is now asking) and now will be affordable to most people. With a price like that I will actually upgrade my little Mac Mini server instead of letting it sit at 10.6 for the entirety of its life.
Overall I’m actually exciting about the announcements at this year’s WWDC and look forward to the release of iOS 5 and OS X Lion.