Apple’s Scott Forstall, SVP of iOS software, took to the WWDC stage this evening (or afternoon, as it was in California) to show off some of the new features in iOS 5. But before that, he treated us to some numbers, and – love or hate Apple – they’re pretty friggin’ impressive.
To date Apple has sold over 200 million iOS devices, making it the number one mobile operating system with 44% of the market. Of course, that includes the iPad. Incidentally, a whopping 25 million iPads have been sold in the past 14 months. Holy crap.
Over 15 billion songs have been sold through iTunes, making it the world’s number one music retailer, with a further 130 million downloads from the iBookstore.
Finally, there have been over 14 billion apps downloaded from the App Store, with developers raking in $2.5 billion.
With the audience suitably wowed, Scott went on to discuss the top 10 new features in iOS 5. Let’s do it.
- Notifications. As expected, the new notifications system is a lot like Android’s, with a pull-down menu at the top. You can also see notifications on the lock screen, and swipe particular items (a text message, for example) to go straight to that app.
- Newsstand. All your magazine and news subscriptions are displayed in one place, which looks a lot like – you guessed it – a newsstand. New issues are available to read offline.
- Twitter. No surprises here either. Deeper Twitter integration with contacts, photos and Maps.
- Safari. Will have a new Reader View, which cuts out all the nonsense on webpages and simply displays the text. There’ll also be tabbed browsing with “lightning fast” switching.
- Reminders. Fancy new reminder stuff integrated with the Calendar. You can also set reminders specific to location.
- Camera. You can leap straight into taking photos, even if you have a passcode. And – at last – you can use the Volume Up button to take pictures. You can edit pictures too, including crop and rotate.
- Mail. Indentation control, rich text formatting, draggable addresses (between fields), search entire messages and flag messages.
- PC Free. No more having to connect to iTunes to activate new devices. OTA software updates.
- Game Center. Apple is pushing the social element, with friends’ friends’ scores, and friend and game recommendations.
- iMessage. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Includes delivery reports, read receipts and typing indication (to let you know your friend is typing).
So those are the big 10 of over 200 new features in iOS 5. You’ll also be able to mirror your iPad contents with your TV wirelessly, sync your iTunes library over Wi-Fi, and there’ll be new gestures to flick between apps.
Developers can get their hands on the iOS 5 SDK today, with us consumer types getting a slice of the action in the autumn. It’ll be compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPads 1 & 2, and third and fourth gen iPod touches.