Today is Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company is expected to launch iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion and iCloud.
Mac OS X Lion
The company says there are now 54 million Mac users, globally. Growth has beaten the market for 5 years now, "thanks to products like MacBook Air."
Notebooks like Air, Pro are now 73 percent of all Apple PC sales.
With OS X Lion, Apple has added 250 new features including: Multitouch Gestures (momentum scrolling, multitouch taps, pinch to zoom); Full Screen Apps (quick control to toggle apps to FS); Mission Control ("a single unified interface accessible via a gesture that offers a bird's eye view of whats going on at your Mac.") Launchpad, Resume and Autosave are now added, like iOS.
Best of all, the download will only be 4GB and cost just $30.
Apple says there are now over 200 million iOS 5 devices, with iOS being the top mobile operating system on the market (44% share).
25 million iPads have been sold since launch in 2010. iTunes hits 15 billion downloads, top retailer for music in the world.
iOS 5 Beta will be released for Apple TV, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4 CDMA, iPod Touch 3Gen, iPod Touch 4Gen and all iPad models.
The iBookstore has 6 major publishers now, with 130 million books. The App Store has hit 425,000 apps and 90,000 native iPad apps. 14 billion app downloads and $2.5 billion paid out to developers.
iOS 5 will have 1500 new APIs and 200 new features: New notification center including swipe down from top to pull list of events (just like Android) for missed calls, weather, mail, alerts, etc. Push notifications will be more subtle, on top of screen not in center. Can see notifications on lock screen. Tap on notification to go directly to app. News Stand adds mags/newspaper subscriptions in one place.
Twitter has been integrated, with single signon for Twiiter in every app. Camera has Tweet option and Twitter is integrated into Maps and browser.
Safari adds new Reader and Reading List. Tabbed browsing being added for iPad.
Reminders: iOS adding events/to-do list reminders, which will use GPS for location.
Camera icon is updated, and can be accessed from lock screen. Use volume buttons to take the pic. Can edit photos from within gallery. The Mail app has been updated to include rich text formatting, bold/italic/underline, flagging and search as well as support for S/MIME for enterprise users.
iPad also gets thumb keyboard, if you drag keyboard it splits and repositions to make for easier thumb typing.
iOS 5 is also finally PC-free, meaning you no longer need to connect the devices to the computer to setup. All updates are OTA now, as well. No more need for iTunes.
Death To BlackBerry
Apple has launched iMessage, "the best messaging app out there." The service works between iOS customers, iPad/Touch/Phone just like BlackBerry Messenger. The service can send texts, photos, videos all sent with encryption and pushed to all iOS devices. Group messaging, typing indication, delivery receipts and more now standard.
Steve Jobs has introduced the iCloud service, which will be completely free, killing off MobileMe.
Take a picture or add music to the iCloud, it is synced to all other iDevices instantly and automatically. "It just works." Contacts, Calendar and Mail, Apps, iBooks all synced to all devices.
You can backup everything wirelessly to the cloud via Wi-Fi, including app data and device settings.
Similar to Google Docs is "Documents in the Cloud." Work on Pages, Notes, Numbers and continue on other devices.
Photo Stream allows you to take photos on iPhone, share them on iPad without needing to move them. Auto-uploaded to Cloud and synced to Mac, iOS devices.
iTunes in the Cloud available also, for free. Buy an app on iPhone, its on iPad instantly.
Everyone gets their very own Data Center. No sharing.
"One More Thing...": If you have thousands of songs you have ripped yourself, you can get that music on your devices. For $25 a year, you can take all that music, upload it, Apple will convert it to 256kbps AAC DRM-free for you.