Apple will present the next major release of its iOS mobile operating system at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, with major changes including the addition of widgets and a completely new notification system.
TechCrunch editor MG Siegler broke the “big news” of “completely revamped notifications and widgets” coming to the next iOS, rumored to be revealed June 6th at the WWDC in San Francisco. It has long been speculated that Apple has been working on improving the notifications system in iOS, since the hiring of Rich Dellinger in June 2010. Dellinger was the lead architect that designed the fantastic notification system used Palm’s WebOS system, now owned by HP.
Apple has been filing numerous patents of late, a number of which have centered on widgets for touchscreen devices such as the iPhone and iPad. The widgets, like those on other mobile operating systems, would stay “always in sync”, and can provide the user with information about the weather, messages and more.
It’s clear that Apple has large plans for whatever it’s launching at WWDC – be it software or hardware-related. Sources have been claiming that Apple’s media relations team is hard at work pressing journalists from many different countries to make the pilgrimage to San Francisco to cover the conference, as “the software announcements will be huge.” It’s largely believed that Apple will be covering the next iOS – dubbed iOS 5 – in great detail to make up for the lack of a new iPhone launch, which many believe will take place in September, or in 2012.
The report by TechCrunch also alluded to a number of other Apple-related announcements expected at the event. Apple’s “iCloud” service may be announced, which is expected to bring cloud storage for iOS and Mac OS X. In March of this year, TechCrunch reported that cloud-based features of iOS 5 may not launch until this fall, but these might be shown off at WWDC as well.
Sources have also suggested that although Apple sealed a licensing deal with Nuance, there will be no additional voice control features added to the next iOS release. Siegler added his own comments to this rumor, stating “That’s odd since it’s perhaps the most obvious usage, but apparently, in the builds of iOS 5 currently being tested, the little-used feature hasn’t changed at all, we hear.” The report noted that it’s possible that Nuance technology may one day be added to iOS, but rumors point to the deal being struck for “bigger things more core to the OS than that one feature.”
In February, the Wall Street Journal broke a story that Apple was hard at work to integrate “voice navigation” into the next iOS, while the New York Times speculated that Apple is working to enhance voice commands as some users dislike the iPhone’s virtual keyboard.