Apple rumored to add widgets, revamped notifications to iOS 5

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 115
    guch20guch20 Posts: 173member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 115
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 826member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 115
    stuffestuffe Posts: 392member
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 115
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,774member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 115
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 115
    29922992 Posts: 202member
    it's about time.
  • Reply 7 of 115
    freshmakerfreshmaker Posts: 532member
    Hope this is true. Love my iP4, but really miss the widgets feature (as well as voice controls...especially those) of my old Droid.
  • Reply 8 of 115
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member
    Whatever is new iniOS 5, you can bet that about half of the people here will whine about it.
  • Reply 9 of 115
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 115
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 115
    _rick_v__rick_v_ Posts: 142member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 115
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 115
    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.

  • Reply 14 of 115
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 115
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 115
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 115
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 115
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 115
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 115
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    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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