Improvements to the OS which drives the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch include the long-awaited notifications revamp with the introduction of Notification Center, a centralised place for all notifications received. Forstall also announced that iOS 5 will employ over-the-air updates, meaning you no longer need to plug your iPhone or iPad into a PC to perform a software update.
Other features include iMessage, an iOS-to-iOS instant messaging service; an iPad app devoted to digital edition subscriptions called Newsstand and big updates to the iOS Mail app (including rich text formatting, flagging and the S/MIME encrypted protocol).
The list doesn’t stop there, however and Apple have also managed to add deep Twitter integration into the new iOS release. With a single sign-in to Twitter, many of Apple’s apps (including Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps) are now Twitter-ready, allowing users to Tweet pictures, webpages or locations with less taps than ever.
The Camera has also been improved upon, with instant access from the lock screen and the ability to use the “volume up” button to take pictures. There’s also a big Safari update (incorporating a Reader and visible tabbed browsing), Game Centre updates and of course integration with the newly announced iCloud.
The full list of improvements is huge – way too much for us to fit into a news story here – so stay tuned for our full article exploring the full set of features and knock-on effects of Apple’s recent announcements. If you’re a paying ($99/year) Apple developer you can already get your hands on the beta, which is live on Apple’s developer site right now.