By June 6, 2011

Apple’s WWDC 2011 Keynote – Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 & iCloud!

aad5a0db-65ac-4843-ab05-b38644fe43f1_400-11Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference has kicked off with a keynote presentation and what a keynote it was! We saw Mac OS X Lion, all the brand new features that will be in iOS 5 when it comes out later this year and we saw the full details of Apple’s iCloud that has been rumoured since time began (well almost).

Read on for everything announced by Steve Jobs and the team over at Apple!


Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

The first section of the keynote was all about the Mac and OS X Lion. Phil Schiller who is giving this section of the keynote, quoted John Paczkowski: “the Mac is kicking ass!” while he ran down the number of Apple’s desktop OS: 28% growth since last year and the Mac takes up 27% of notebook sales.

Once the boring part had finished, we jumped into several demos including Mission Control which is unification of Expose and Spaces, gestures, Air Drop (a peer to peer file sharing utility) and some really cool video effects in Photo Booth that made they demo guy eyes way to big! They also demoed less interesting features such as gestures, auto-save and some Mac App store news.

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There wasn’t any new features (which I predicted), only a recap of what we were told at the specific OS X Lion presentation back in October 2010, however, we were told that 10.7 Lion will be available for download only from the Mac App Store in July for $30.


iOS 5

The numbers was the topic of the start of iOS section of this keynote: iOS devices take up 44% of the mobile install base, 25 million app stores and they announced that Apple has payed developers $2,500,000,000 (thats 2 and a half Billion dollars!)


Notifications was the first thing that Scott Forstall talked about and they have been completely redesigned. All of your notifications are located in the imaginatively named Notification Center (wrongly spelt may I add). You access it by swiping down from the top of the screen and you are greeted by a interface that looks remarkably like Android’s implementation.

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Notifications are not the only things that reside in the Notification Center as the name would suggest, animated widgets are also located in this pull down bar. Live stock quotes, and weather were the ones shown but it wasn’t clear if developers could make their own and if users can customise which widgets they want to see.

Notifications also continue through to the lock screen, where you can swipe at the notification present and it automatically launches the app, straight from the homescreen.


Apple has also gotten rid of the annoying pop ups, replacing them with a subtle bar at the top of the screen that you can drag down and address easily.


Newsstand was the agenda. Think iBooks, but change books to magazines and newspapers that automatically download in the background. As soon as the new issue is available, it is on your device and you are ready to roll!

I thought Twitter integration would never happen but it hasn’t been the first time I’ve been wrong. There is a specific section in the settings where you can enter your username and password and from then, any Twitter app installed on the device can ask for the credentials; making it much easier for those who continually change their Twitter client. Twitter is also intergrated fully into the OS: you can upload pictures straight from the photo app and you can also tweet videos from youtube, web pages from Safari and maps too. There is also some integration with contacts: if a contact has a twitter photo, the contact photo is automatically updated.


Next up is Safari. Reader and Reading List are the two new features seen in the latest version of the “best mobile browser”. Reader has been ported from the desktop version and this automatically reformats web pages for better reading, whereas Reading List is Apple’s version of Read It Later. Tabbed browsing has also been added to Safari, so you don’t have to go a different screen to see the pages open – they are all right there.


Apple has put quite a large amount of developers with the introduction of Reminders. This app lets you create notes and lists and schedule them to notify you when it reaches a certain time, date or even location!


The camera app also gained some welcome improvements such as a faster load time, the ability to use the volume button on iPhone 4 as shutter button and pinch-to-zoom. There is also a basic photo editor included in iOS 5 but we didn’t see much of this feature. 


The email app got rich text formatting, indentation control, the ability to flag emails, draggable addresses, the ability to search the entire message but not just those emails stored locally, but also on the server and as usual, there is better enterprise support with this new version of iOS.

There is also a new keyboard on the iPad that is specifically for thumb typing that moves up and down the screen depended where your thumbs are. A system-wide dictionary has also been incorperated into iOS 5.


Apple has now fully embraced a PC Free world as when you open the box you had connect to the iTunes but that was this morning. From now own, when you open the box, you only need to sign in with you Apple ID and you are ready to go; A true post pc world! Software updates and backups to iTunes and iCloud (more on this later) are also included to make iOS devices not need the cord.



Game center got a small refresh in the scheme of things including game recommendations, inline game downloads and avatars!

iMessage is the final nail in the almost closed coffin that is the Blackberry (Sorry James!) as Apple has a cross device messaging service. The BBM clone enables messaging of text, photos, videos, contacts and also has group messaging between the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It has delivery and read receipts, a typing indication, can go over 3G + Wi-Fi, it is pushed to all devices and it is sent securely.


This fantastic software update will be available today as a developer preview but unfortunately, it will ship to all of the current iOS devices this Autumn.



Steve Jobs retook the helm for the last bit of this keynote to show of iCloud, Apple’s response to Google and Amazon2s offering. They have kicked MobileMe out the door, rebranding the current Mail, Calendar and Contacts apps under the new moniker but they are also adding Apps, iBooks, Documents (Pages, Keynote, Numbers), Photos, and iTunes to this service.


Apps, iBooks and Documents are relatively simple as you can access these from multiple devices without having to sync them yourself; They appear everywhere without you doing a single thing!

Photo stream is the name that Apple blessed their photo syncing service and it looks great so far. Lets say you took a photo on your iPhone and you wanted to show it off on your iPad, you would previously have connect it to iTunes or email it across but no longer! As soon as you take a photo it uploads it to iCloud and pushes it down to all of your devices. The 1000 most recent photos are stored on iOS devices as they more often than not take up a lot of space on your device. However, you can permanently if you just simply move it to another album.


Last but certainly not least, we have iTunes in the Cloud. Firstly, songs you have previously bought on iTunes are kept in the cloud so on you numerous devices, you can see your songs and you then can download the music from the server again at no extra cost. Also, any new songs that you purchase from iTunes gets pushed down to all of your devices (up to 10 in fact) – eliminating syncing even further!


But of course there is the famous “one more thing.” This time it turned out to be a product called iTunes Match. This is Apple’s service that scans your music that you2ve ripped off CDs/pirated and upgrades them to 256kbps AAC and make them available to you in the cloud for download. This part isn’t free however, it will cost $24.99 a year (no word on the price in Sterling) but it may be worth it to you, if you have a large enough library. Oh and there are no storage limits, you can have as many songs you want for the flat price of $24.99!


iCloud is fully free (aside from iTunes Match) and this gets you 5GB of storage but only for Contacts and mail – apps, books and photos do not count. The developer build is available right now and iCloud is launching with it so go get it if you are able.


Well WWDC is over for another year and what a keynote it has been. I feel like this has been the biggest announcement(s) ever since the original iPhone back in 2007; I really do. Now, will this pry me away from my Android phone? Lets wait and see what the new iPhone is like first shall we?


Posted by: Patrick



Posted in: News

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