The wait is finally over, as Apple finally let the cat out of the bag and detailed its software products. I’m talking about iOS 5, OS X Lion and iCloud. The first of them was rumored for a while now and two of the speculations that concern it came true: revamped notification system and Twitter integration.
As far as OS X Lion is concerned, the new platform is supposed to launch in July with a $29.99 price tag and including no less than 250 new features. The Mac App Store will be your only source to get this OS, that also comes with 3,000 new developer APIs. Lion relies on new multitouch gestures, such as momentum scrolling, tapping and pinching to zoom and swiping to turn pages or switch between apps.
Gestures will be used thanks to multitouch trackpads on Macbooks or Apple’s Magic trackpad on desktops. OS X Lion also packs a Mission Control feature, a hybrid between Expose, full screen apps, Dashboard and Spaces. The result is a bird’s eye view of everything that’s going on while using your computer.
Moving on, it was time for iOS 5 to finally see the light of day, albeit as a preview, with the final software being launched this Fall. The iPhone 3GS and follow-ups will support this new OS, that integrates Twitter into its main sections, like Camera and Photos for example. Also, notifications have been made similar to the ones in Android, accessible through a swipe down menu with a list of things going on at the moment.
There’s also a portion for notifications in the lockscreen, that allows you to swipe across a text message to go into it. The same lockscreen also integrates a camera button and speaking of which, the volume up button not acts as the shutter release key when taking a picture. Finally, you will be able to sync your iPhone and iPad without cables, relying on a wireless connection.
Another important feat is iMessage, a messaging service for iOS users, that includes delivery and read receipts among others. Steve Jobs ended the conference with the unveiling of iCloud, a service that stores about 5GB of content, contacts, app data, music, videos and whatnot in the cloud. There’s also a Photo Stream section, some sort of omnipresent gallery available on your Apple TV, OS X device, iOS units and Windows Phone, also through the cloud.
Music Match is another interesting new service, that goes for $25 per year and looks into your music library, turning your ripped tunes into 256Kbps AAC files, free of DRM. Too bad that no new iPhone or iPad made it to the meeting today, else it would have been much more interesting, especially if we’d have skipped the slow moving Lion OS presentation. However, it’s always nice to get to know a new iOS, especially if you’ve been an Apple fan for long.