Apple’s big annual conference, WWDC, is nearly here, and whilst it starts at 6pm UK time, rumours of what the software update for both the iPhone and iPad persist; here is our pick of the best of them.
iOS 5 and iCloud
Probably the most likely rumour since the notion of a second iPad, this year should see Apple announce, and expand, their cloud offering.
Already officially named iCloud, the service looks set to offer all sorts of streaming goodness, allowing you to store files, music and other media in the internet ether, and be able to connect to it anywhere. (As long as there’s signal or WiFi.)
The next version of iOS looks set to integrate this very heavily, with the ability to back-up anything stored on your phone, or on your iTunes/ iCloud account. Expect the sort of music streaming features found on Spotify and Google music, but also expect Apple to add a little of their own Google magic.
New Notifications on the new iOS
It looks like the much-maligned notification system- something that Android does pretty damn well, will get a boost in the new version.
The sneak pic you can see here is how the updates are rumoured to look. It appeared last night, showing a Twitter notification just below the reception/ battery status bar.
Given that Apple recently hired the guy responsible for a hacked notification system on the iPhone, it can’t be far-off. If proved true, we’re interested in seeing what happens when you tap on the notification bar. Will it send you straight to a Twitter client? Straight to a list of notifications? Will the bar scroll all unread notifications? Guess we’ll have to wait a few more hours to see.
Apple gets widgety
Another thing that Apple rival Android can claim; widgets are a half-way house between apps and icons, allowing you to display updated information without the bloat of running it. Recombu favourites include HTC’s Weather app, with its embedded clock, and social media widgets that are able to collate feeds from your Twitter and FaceBook accounts.
This is one of the more out-there rumours, given Apple’s track record for refined minimalism in its hardware and software. But if anyone can make widgets fit their design ethos, it’s Apple.
GSM Arena suggests this could just be integrated into the new notification system, with icons showing more data- which track is cued on the iPod or the weather icon representing today’s forecast.
New iOS to bring true multitasking
Earlier this year, Recombu reported on several leaked videos, showing a new multitasking system where running apps could be viewed in a 3×3 grid, and tapping on one would launch it. Although the phone has been debunked, with people pointing out it was running some intial developer icons, and was probably a third-party attempt at a multitasking solution.
Proper multitasking could also prove to be a strain on the current iPhone processor, although this new iOS will definately be found in more powerful phones in the future.
Another almost dead cert; greater Twitter integration in iPhones and iPads. Expect the sort of features found in Sony Ericsson’s recent Xperia-FaceBook tie-in. You should be able to share pictures, links, dare we say app links, with your army of Twitter followers, and a notification system similar to what we touched on earlier.
Even Robert Scoble is expecting it, and he knows his tech onions, though he does like the Twitter- a lot.
iOS 5 to bring automatic app updates?
As long as it doesn’t do it over our 3G signal, we love the idea of our apps getting automatic updates. It’s often something we forget to do, despite the app store icon screaming the number of updates at us.
This one comes for MacRumors, where one of their attentive readers who spotted this extra line in the app update section of iTunes; “…if your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync.”
Sadly , the wording has already disappeared. It may up again by tomorrow, mind.
iPhone 3GS to be retired?
It’s had a good run, but expect the 3GS to miss out on the new features offered in iOS 5. Perhaps the processor isn’t up to it, or perhaps just Apple wanting people to upgrade, we’ll be sad to see the 3GS get put out to fallow.
We’ll be reporting on what Apple unveils later today, but we hope there will also be ‘one more thing’ from Jobs, otherwise we’ll be sulking Tuesday morning.