WWDC – iOS 5 and OS X Lion

At their recent keynote Apple announced a bundle of neat new features for both Lion and the next version of iOS. We went through the entire presentation and pulled out the top features that were unveiled and organized them — all for you!

iOS 5

Notifications Center

The notifications center is an overhaul to the way notifications work in iOS. Notifications now appear on a bar at the top of the screen that can be dragged down into an expanded view. This expanded view incorporates notifications from all apps, including text messages and emails. (Quite a bit like how they deal with notifications on Android) Additionally, notifications are now incorporated into the lock screen. This allows you to swipe the name of a notification on your lock screen and be sent directly into that app.


The newsstand is Apple’s new subscription service for iDevices. You can subscribe to a participating magazine or newspaper and new issues are automatically downloaded in the background. It will work offline and will sync across all your devices. Think of it as iPeriodicals.


Another feature of iOS that is getting an overhaul is Safari. The two main features that are being introduced are Safari reader and tabs. Tabbed browsing is relatively self-explanitory and a long time coming, but a new feature, Safari Reader is able to take an online article and pull the text and images relevant to an article and save it to view later. It also appears it may be able to pull multiple page articles into one continuous document.

Twitter Integration

Apple released a new feature which will allow you to enter your twitter information once, and allow it to be utilized by any compatible app. It is of course optional and an app will ask for your permission before accessing your twitter. For instance, you can take a picture with the Camera app and then click the tweet button and it will automatically upload it to your twitter feed.


iMessage is a new BlackBerry Messenger-like feature for iOS. It is a messaging center that allows you to message your friends on their iOS devices. It works over Wi-Fi and 3G and syncs between all your iOS devices. You can send text, photos, videos, and even contacts. It also supports the ability to group chat with other users.

Wireless Sync

Another important feature that Apple released was the ability to sync your iDevice wirelessly. You won’t ever need to plug it into a computer again!! (Unless that is how you charge your personal device) Setting up your device can be done wirelessly and updates are also wireless. When it updates it will only download what has changed since the last time you update as to reduce download sizes.

These are some of the main new features of iOS 5. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is some of the main features. Others include, a camera button on the lock screen, shutter button instead of a volume button, reminder system, and iCloud integration. iOS 5 is slated for release this fall and will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and 4, iPod 3rd and 4th generation, and iPad 1 and 2.

OS X Lion

Mission Control

Mission control is a new feature in Lion that combines both expose and spaces. It is fully integrated with multitouch gestures. It also can provide you with an overview of every window of every application open on your mac. Moreover, it provides an easy way to switch between full screen applications. Speaking of which…

Full Screen Applications

Lion includes a new feature that allows you to put compatible applications into a full screen mode. This way they can take full use of the available screen real-estate. This is a nice way to clean up your screen when surfing the web or checking your mail. Mission control is fully integrated so you can switch between multiple full screen applications.

Resume/Auto save

The Resume and Versioning feature also comes with Lion: Resume allows you to reopen an application and begin right where you left off. This feature ties in with another new feature Apple has released which is auto saving. This means that you will no longer have to remember to save your document every few minutes when you are working on it, Lion will do it for you. Auto saving can be turned off by clicking on the document title and choosing a different option.


Another new feature Apple has released is Versions. This allows you to go back through the history of a document, using a time machine like interface, and view previous versions. Say you deleted a picture in one of the previous versions of a document and you want it back? Well now you can just drag it from the earlier draft into the new document you are working on.


Launchpad is an iOS-like aggregator for all applications on your computer. You can create groups of applications, much in the same way you can on iOS, and launchpad is also easily controlled by multitouch gestures. A four fingered pinch now brings up the menu, and you can swipe your way through applications to your hearts content.

You may recognize many of these features from iOS. This is because it appears that one of Apple’s main goals with Lion is to bring user interface elements that worked on their portable devices and apply them to Macs. And, again, there are many other features of Lion not covered in this overview, like the newly released API’s, App store integration, and more, but this is a quick look at some of the more interesting features coming to Lion.

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