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Apple rumored to add widgets, revamped notifications to iOS 5

post #1 of 114
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Apple will unveil a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 5, at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, featuring widgets and a revamped notification system, a new report claims.

The news was part of a brief inclusion in a story at TechCrunch about the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. Author MG Siegler characterized the "big news" for iOS as "completely revamped notifications and widgets."

Signs of an improved notifications first cropped up last June, when Apple hired the designer who created the notification system for Palm's webOS. And Apple, through patent filings, has shown interest in creating always-in-sync widgets for touchscreen devices.

Sources also told the site that Apple is pushing journalists to come to this year' show because "the software announcements will be huge." Apple's big changes with iOS 5 are expected to make up for the anticipated lack of hardware to be shown off at this year's event.

The report also presumed that Apple will make announcements related to cloud storage for both iOS and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The site previously reported in March that Apple may not release a cloud-based iOS 5 until this fall.

Sources also reportedly indicated that the new licensing deal with Nuance for voice recognition will not play a part in the "Voice Control" feature of Apple's mobile operating system.

"That's odd since it's perhaps the most obvious usage," Siegler wrote. "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 Nuance technology could eventually make its way into iOS Voice Control, but relayed a rumor that the licensing deal is meant for "bigger things more core to the OS than that one feature."

Back in February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was working on "voice navigation" technology for the next major update to iOS. And another report from The New York Times claimed that Apple would enhance operation of iOS devices through voice commands because some users dislike using a virtual keyboard.
post #2 of 114
There had better be more to it than just this stuff, or it had better blow people away, or Apple risks looking like they're playing catch-up to Android circa 2009.
post #3 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

There had better be more to it than just this stuff, or it had better blow people away, or Apple risks looking like they're playing catch-up to Android circa 2009.

That would be true wrt to Widgets, but not notifications. Android also has poorly implemented notifications (not as bad as iOS though). Wrt notifications, they are playing catchup with WebOS.

But I agree. These are necessary and important changes, but it will be highly disappointing if these changes and Voice integration are the headlining features.

While Android is still a usage clusterf***, as far as features, with Google Wallet, its well past iOS. iOS5 needs to be huge, to match up.
post #4 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

There had better be more to it than just this stuff, or it had better blow people away, or Apple risks looking like they're playing catch-up to Android circa 2009.

I think there will be at least "100 new features"

Re Android circa 2009 - really? Rose tinted much?
post #5 of 114
Its about time so I applaud this move. I like the idea of widgets on the front and only getting at apps when I want to.
post #6 of 114
For the first time, I'm content to just wait and see what Apple reveals. Most other years there was a laundry list of items for them to add. Today there's only a handful I can find that would be useful to me. Hoping they'll show off something I didn't know I needed but that will be indispensable to my future workflow.
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post #7 of 114
it's about time.
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post #8 of 114
Hope this is true. Love my iP4, but really miss the widgets feature (as well as voice controls...especially those) of my old Droid.
post #9 of 114
Whatever is new iniOS 5, you can bet that about half of the people here will whine about it.
post #10 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

That would be true wrt to Widgets, but not notifications. Android also has poorly implemented notifications (not as bad as iOS though). Wrt notifications, they are playing catchup with WebOS.

Different strokes. I just went from iOS to Android and I'm very happy with how the notifications work. I like how, if it's a text or IM, the message non-intrusively appears in the notification bar. If I miss that, the list of icons shows exactly what alerts are waiting, and being able to pull down the tray to access them at any time is fantastic.

The Pre handles it well too, no doubt, but it is a little intrusive, though it does provide immediate access to several options, which is nice.
post #11 of 114
Finally. I could say something about copying Android. But that's stupid. Anything that improves the user experience should be applauded. Widgets are immensely useful. There's always tons of iPhone users that ridicule the concept (odd....because I find it useful on my Mac too). But I'm sure they'll rave about it when they finally get them.

I'm really curious to see how Apple does notifications. How do people not find the correct setup supremely annoying? But I trust Apple has a well executed solution in the works. And I'm hoping to see it.

One thing I'd like to see (on Android and iOS) is more use of the lock screen. I love how Windows Phone 7 pops up appointments or notifications on the lock screen. And though this is all over the place on Android, I would love to see more development with regards to another notification tool: the multi-colour LED. On my Nexus One, it's in the trackball and certain apps take advantage of it. Facebook for example glows blue when I get a FB message. But oddly, enough Google has left it as generic white for SMS, E-Mail, GMail, GTalk. I find this feature extremely useful (if well handled). And I trust most iPhone users would too if apps properly take advantage of it.
post #12 of 114
I think iOS getting new notifications falls into the 'duh!' category.

it's absolutely ridiculous to say iOS has to catch up to Android**, but it's pretty much universally acknowledged that iOS's notification system is the worst of the bunch.

**I've seen nothing on Android that impresses me much. About the only thing I wish iPhone had was a good, free built-in Garmin-like directions app like what's built into Android. But other than that; you talk to most Android users (normal folks, not the tech-hacker types) and they all still have iPhone envy.
post #13 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Its about time so I applaud this move. I like the idea of widgets on the front and only getting at apps when I want to.

I disagree. Widgets are arguably only minimally more useful than a regular app and even then only for apps that display information streams. If the widgets in iOS are (as rumoured), on what is now the spotlight screen, they will have even less utility than the Android ones.

I can't personally think of a single use for widgets for me and I'm sure a large portion of iOS users are in the same boat. If they somehow make them visible on the lock screen, then *maybe* a weather widget might be useful, but other than that I can't think of anything.

I'm more interested in whatever integration features iOS 5 can offer as this is an area where it is seriously behind the other platforms. iOS is technically "behind" in widgets, but it's just a tickbox feature that Android has and iOS doesn't IMO. It's not a real, useful part of the OS design that Apple could be considered seriously lacking whereas integration of notifications and displays into the lock screen is clearly a useful and much wanted feature.

More than all of this, I'm really quite bored with the iPhone altogether and my focus is on the iPad now where the real innovation can perhaps occur. I'd like to see announcements at the WWDC of some serious productivity apps for iOS. An improved version of Pages at the very least, hopefully integrated not only into the cloud, but into Lion as well.

The ball has moved as they say. Widgets are really not that important in the big picture.
post #14 of 114
Quote:
There had better be more to it than just this stuff, or it had better blow people away, or Apple risks looking like they're playing catch-up to Android circa 2009.

I loathe Google/Android in every way possible, but I have to agree with this. There better be more.

If the next iPhone isn't bigger than what's rumored (iPhone 4S), then it'll be like the iPad 1.5 that was just released. (Of course I'm referring to iPad 2...).

Apple needs something big software-wise this year. They created all this mobile hoopla and they are indeed the best and most polished, but Android has crept up in overall features, and I can't stand that.

Go AAPL.
post #15 of 114
Nobody is close to Apple in terms of usability, ease of use, integration, etc. Yet every year, people come out of the woodwork to explain how Apple needs something big or they're doomed.
post #16 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias03 View Post


If the next iPhone isn't bigger than what's rumored (iPhone 4S), then it'll be like the iPad 1.5 that was just released. (Of course I'm referring to iPad 2...).


... and we all know about the huge failure called iPad 2.
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post #17 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias03 View Post

I loathe Google/Android in every way possible, but I have to agree with this. There better be more.

If the next iPhone isn't bigger than what's rumored (iPhone 4S), then it'll be like the iPad 1.5 that was just released. (Of course I'm referring to iPad 2...).

Apple needs something big software-wise this year. They created all this mobile hoopla and they are indeed the best and most polished, but Android has crept up in overall features, and I can't stand that.

Go AAPL.

I think apple could stand to patch some holes (obviously notifications) but to say they need something major is not really accurate. Apple is doing quite well for themselves, with their customers largely pleased with their products. Also, you hardly seem credible ragging on the iPad 2, it was a major upgrade to a first gen product, I don't see anything that was a .5 about it, way smaller, faster and more polish to the great ideas that were the iPad 1. Name me a product that underwent a better revision a mere 12 months after being initially released? I think you're setting expectations so high you'll never be pleased with what's actually released.
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post #18 of 114
I think I'm thr only one who thinks it'd be awesome of Apple ported the Dashboard app for OS X to iOS for the iPad. The overlay and effects would be stellar, not to mention a quick access to information inside an app (if it were access from the taskbar, for example) would be pretty awesome.
post #19 of 114
I honestly hope they don't do widgets. iOS doesn't need to be any more cluttered than it is now. Mostly I want better file management.
post #20 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I can't personally think of a single use for widgets for me and I'm sure a large portion of iOS users are in the same boat.

I've only had my Android for a week, and have already found several widgets that I have to be very useful. Chief among them is the Power Control panel, allowing instant access to enable or disable Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, and screen brightness.

The Google Calendar app shows me all of my upcoming appointments without having to seek them out. The Facebook one is nice for a quick social-media update while performing other tasks. Sticky Notes allow me to plop reminders and shopping lists right onto the main screen, and the Flickster one keeps me up to date on what movies are out and their critical reception.

Basically, it enables information to come to me than requiring me to go to it. I've already used my Android far more than my iPhone simply because of how easy everything is to access.
post #21 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Nobody is close to Apple in terms of usability, ease of use, integration, etc. Yet every year, people come out of the woodwork to explain how Apple needs something big or they're doomed.

I wouldn't necessarily say it has to be big, but a few changes to a UI that's been mostly identical since 2007.
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post #22 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple will unveil a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 5, at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, featuring widgets and a revamped notification system, a new report claims. . .

Sources also reportedly indicated that the new licensing deal with Nuance for voice recognition will not play a part in the "Voice Control" feature of Apple's mobile operating system.

"That's odd since it's perhaps the most obvious usage," Siegler wrote. "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 Nuance technology could eventually make its way into iOS Voice Control, but relayed a rumor that the licensing deal is meant for "bigger things more core to the OS than that one feature."

Back in February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was working on "voice navigation" technology for the next major update to iOS. And another report from The New York Times claimed that Apple would enhance operation of iOS devices through voice commands because some users dislike using a virtual keyboard.

TechCrunch did an article on what to expect from the Nuance partnership back on May 9th. Sounds completely plausible to me:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/09/app...a-center-deal/
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post #23 of 114
Here are 10 features that I would like to see...

1. New cool finger gestures
2. Widgets a la OS X.
3. Seamless iCloud integration (audio, video, pictures, custom data etc...)
4. Updated and feature rich mapping application based on new Apple backend.
5. New voice search based on artificial intelligence & Siri+Nuance technology in the backend.
6. A whole new Web development framework based on html5 + WebObjects + Cocoa.
7. Handwriting recognition using patented stylus or fingers.
8. Revamped Apple applications suites (more advanced features with new gestures)
9. Cloud based printing support
10. NFC to support a variety of ID and Payment systems.

If feature 4 & 5 are implemented in both iOS and Mac OS, they could be a Google killer.

Time will tell.
post #24 of 114
I'm just hoping for information sharing to be streamlined across the whole OS. If I come across an address in ANY app, I should be able to open it in ANY other app I want to (Maps, GPS, Local Search, anything)...
post #25 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Its about time so I applaud this move. I like the idea of widgets on the front and only getting at apps when I want to.

Buy a WP7 or android phone then. I really really like it on my phone, but unless Apple overhall their interface it will just be an inferior version.
post #26 of 114
I would rather see Apple change their rules to allow more customization through Apps. It's simply ridiculous that we can't get number blocking features unless we jailbreak.
post #27 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I honestly hope they don't do widgets. iOS doesn't need to be any more cluttered than it is now. Mostly I want better file management.

I agree. And with the file management they also need a micro SD card slot in future versions of iPad. I've often wanted to transfer large files with collegues and I don't want to go through a network. Also, storage for video and photos and the ability to transfer those videos and photos easily would be nice. Apple could make it operate like an external drive and not allow itunes to play music or videos from it. An SD slot is so useful, Apple should figure out how to make it happen while maintaining their same business model.
post #28 of 114
Perhaps the lock screen could swipe between different states as the springboard does, so you could have a weather forecast 'widget' (most useful for me as I cycle/run a lot), missed calls/emails/sms, quick access to power saving settings, like wifi 3g bt, etc (although this is starting to get a little nerdy). More a nice to have but these are the types of things I would be interested in.

The only time I find the notifications system irritating is when I've missed multiple texts. Because then I have to burrow through the Os to get to the messaging to read my messages. Why the lock screen can't just queue the notifications so I can read my texts without unlocking the device just doesn't make sense. However, I don't have push notifications turned on so maybe I don't suffer the shortcomings of notifications so much.
post #29 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

I think I'm thr only one who thinks it'd be awesome of Apple ported the Dashboard app for OS X to iOS for the iPad.

If Apple is serious about iCloud, your personal widgets settings should be synced between iPad, iPhone, and OS X devices (but of course customizable for a particular device).

I predict we will start to see a lot of things between iOS and OSX look alike and be synced. What makes the iPad and iPhone so successful in business is Active Sync. Without it, Apple wouldn't be selling anything in the corporate realm.

Moving to the cloud is all about having your information available and synced on multiple devices.
post #30 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I honestly hope they don't do widgets. iOS doesn't need to be any more cluttered than it is now. Mostly I want better file management.

Widgets are useful from within any application. If you are using a word processor or a reading a book or web page would you prefer to exit the application to launch a dictionary to check the meaning of a word or would you rather have a widget?

What about widgets for a calendar, calculator, weather etc...

Widgets make a lot of sense. You don't have to use them if you don't want to.

For example, many people don't know yet about the 4 or 5 finger multi tasking gestures on the iPad today. But they're there... quietly...

Time will tell.
post #31 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

If feature 4 & 5 are implemented in both iOS and Mac OS, they could be a Google killer.

Nothing Apple could do would kill Android. Apple produces products for the mid level and high end markets. It makes no attempt to compete in the market for piece of shit devices. Android is free. It will always be the OS of choice for POS devices.

A lot of people think Apple killed Symbian. I would argue that Google did. Some people were surprised when Nokia joined with Microsoft instead of Google. It didn't surprise me at all. I think Nokia recognized who their real devil was and didn't want to facilitate them, even if it meant putting Apple in a stronger position. I can't wait to see if Nokia-MS can take on Android. I'm sure HP will join the fray with webOS. Its going to be a blood bath in the low end market.

At some point, a winner may emerge from the low end market (and it won't be Apple because Apple won't compete). When development slows the low end market may take over the high end market (it usually does with electronics). I'm sure I'll make a boat load of money off my Apple stock before that happens. However, if Apple wants to take over the whole market (which so far they say they don't) they will have to sell to the low end market. How could it be any other way?
post #32 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Widgets are useful from within any application. If you are using a word processor or a reading a book or web page would you prefer to exit the application to launch a dictionary to check the meaning of a word or would you rather have a widget?

on a desktop OS it might make sense for some (I never saw the point but to each their own) but what exactly would the difference between a widget and an application be? How would launching a dictionary widget differ from launching a dictionary app in iOS to warrent a dsitinction?

Now customization of the lock screen, wifi sync, improved notifications (at least the ability to see some sort of history), better and more ubiquitous voice control - those are things that I get interested in. Some abitrary classification of lightweight app in an OS that is already composed of lightweight and fast launching/switching apps just seems like daft pedantism running amok.
post #33 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I honestly hope they don't do widgets. iOS doesn't need to be any more cluttered than it is now. Mostly I want better file management.

"Additional clutter" is no reason to exclude useful new features to an OS or application. Good UI design makes useful features apparent without the interface looking like a clusterf***.

If iOS 5 actually does not support the iPhone 3GS, I would like to see Apple redesign the home screen to take better advantage of the additional horsepower and display resolution.
post #34 of 114
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Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Another Foxconn worker has committed suicide.

"I'll take Tasteless and irrelevant exploitation of human tragedy to make my own weak political statement for $500, Alex"

post #35 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

However, if Apple wants to take over the whole market (which so far they say they don't) they will have to sell to the low end market. How could it be any other way?

Like the iPod they will move lower after they have taken over the high end, then the middle. Heck, they $50 3Gs is quite a steal, and the iPod touch is a pretty amazing deal. If their cloud stuff takes off, I could see lower capacity and cheaper devices moving into the low end - and then some!

As for low end in tablets, Apple is already there!
post #36 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Widgets are useful from within any application. If you are using a word processor or a reading a book or web page would you prefer to exit the application to launch a dictionary to check the meaning of a word or would you rather have a widget?

What about widgets for a calendar, calculator, weather etc...

Widgets make a lot of sense. You don't have to use them if you don't want to.

For example, many people don't know yet about the 4 or 5 finger multi tasking gestures on the iPad today. But they're there... quietly...

Time will tell.

So you're saying they'd operate like Dashboard in an overlay or something? I was thinking of Android-like widgets where they'd be on the home screen. I'm not sure if that would work either. There's definitely a need for simple universal tools on the iPad at least.
post #37 of 114
Do not need widgets, but notifications should improve. App launcher is a perfect concept, I don't need rain and windshield wipers eating up my battery and taking up half the screen.
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post #38 of 114
One feature of notification that I want for the next iPhone, is a visible notification, when the screen is off, about missed calls, received SMSs and so forth. This can easily be done in several ways, either by showing such information on dim (but readable) screen, or by some lights in small holes that are turned on when such events occur.
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post #39 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

I think there will be at least "100 new features"

Re Android circa 2009 - really? Rose tinted much?

How many of those new features will be useful to everyday users and how many will be things that only developers have any use for? As an end user, I don't care about the hundreds of things a developer can do when I'm still getting interrupted playing a game every time someone texts.

As for me having rose-tinted glasses, you should check my posting history. I hate Google and refuse to support anything with their name on it (other than YouTube...). My problem is it pisses me off to see them leaping ahead of Apple in a field Apple damn near created. I want Apple to succeed and I want them to wow me, but they seem to be content with going along at a snail's pace and being left behind.
post #40 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

Different strokes. I just went from iOS to Android and I'm very happy with how the notifications work. I like how, if it's a text or IM, the message non-intrusively appears in the notification bar. If I miss that, the list of icons shows exactly what alerts are waiting, and being able to pull down the tray to access them at any time is fantastic.

The Pre handles it well too, no doubt, but it is a little intrusive, though it does provide immediate access to several options, which is nice.

I used to have a Pre and I didn't like the notifications much with it. The screen was so small, I'd often hit an icon I didn't mean to hit on the notification area at the bottom of the screen.
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