Apple's iOS 5 is absolutely packed with new features. In the Keynote, they covered a dozen major new features, but mention that there are over 200 in all, including 1500 New APIs for developers.
Before getting to them, Apple was sure to mention some impressive stats about the success of iOS, including stats that iOS is now 44% of the mobile OS market, making it number one. Apple has paid developers $2.5 Billion to-date for their applications, 14 Billion apps have been downloaded by 200 million iDevices, including 25 million iPads sold in just over a year of existence.
Without further ado, here are the new features:
The new User Interface stacks all current notifications in a single logo. Notification Center lets you swipe down from within an app and see all of your current notifications in one place. No more cluttered springboard. This includes email, SMS, missed calls and voicemail. Notifications are now visible on the lockscreen, it actually looks a bit like the LockScreenInfo cydia tweak.
It's now easier for publications to bring their magazines and news to iOS with Newsstand. The UI is very similar to iBooks. Apple showed images of Magazine covers from GQ, Esquire, and Elle. Newspapers mentioned included the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. Newsstand will be standalone app, but function much like a folder, revealing all of your downloaded publications.
As rumored, Twitter is deeply integrated into iOS 5. Applications can natively post directly to twitter. For more info check out the entire breakdown of Twitter in iOS 5 here
Safari is more robust in iOS 5. The most notable feature is tabbed browsing, with windows that can be moved to-and-from with quickness and ease.
iOS makes it easy for you to jot down small bits of information in an efficient and user friendly way with Reminders. You can assign contacts, dates, and locations to better serve that annoyingly forgetful noggin. Reminders can also be grouped into lists or categories. The reminders sync across all your iOS devices, and of course, with iCal.
A camera button has been added to the lockscreen to allow for quick access. The volume-up bottom now allows you to take pictures. And there's no need to enter the passcode before flashing the shot, but your pictures stay protected. Photos can also be edited directly on the device, allowing users to crop, rotate, and even eliminate red-eye just moments after the shot is taken.
Apple has added Rich Text Formatting for mail in iOS. It also allows users to control indentation, and users can now drag address to other sections, i.e. dragging a contact from "To:" to "BCC:" Messages can be flagged for later reading. Apple also adds in a built-in dictionary, and advanced security features.
The keyboard can now be split in half on the iPad, allowing for easier thumb-messaging for those who are so inclined.
PC-Free Activation and OTA Updates:
In a widely expected move, iOS devices will no longer have to be tethered to a computer to activate and update. Users will now be able update over the air. The updates will be 'Delta Updates' meaning only the changed info will be downloaded, not the entire operating system as it is currently.
Game Center has been enhanced in iOS with new Friend discovery and Game discovery features. Users can find 'friends of friends' and find out the games they're playing as well.
: Apple unveiled their own flavor of OS-wide messaging (like BBM), called iMessage. iOS 5 will allow iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches to seamlessly communicate. Users can send text, photo, video, contacts, and can even message groups. Also included are delivery receipts, read receipts, and typing notification (that sounds a whole lot like BBM to me). Conversations work across all your devices, start it on your iPhone, and pick up where you left off on your iPad. It works on both Wi-Fi and 3G.
Apple also mentioned towards the end of the iOS presentation that allows your iPad Screen to wirelessly mirror itself on your HDTV with an 2nd Gen Apple TV. If you ask me, it sounds like the HDMI out that Apple released just a few short months ago is obsolete.
iOS 5 will be available for users "This Fall." The SDK is available to developers today.