Apple unveils iOS 5 and "cuts the cord"

At Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) which kicked off earlier today in San Francisco, Apple publicly announced iOS 5 - the next major revision of the operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch which is due out this fall.  Over 200 new features are promised.  One of the key new features from my perspective is the ability to "cut the USB cord" for connectivity to a Mac or PC.   Presently, in order to activate a new device, upgrade the OS or sync media, a USB cable and connectivity to a PC/Mac via iTunes is required.  With iOS 5, this will no longer be required - updates can be made over the air (e.g. wi-fi and cellular).  Other enhancements planed:

  • Overhauled notification service
  • iCloud (music, documents, photos, mail, calendar, and contacts)
  • iMessage (advanced IM,/SMS)
  • Safari - tabbed browsing, reading list
  • Newsstand
  • Twitter
  • Reminders (to-do lists)
  • Mail (e.g rich text formatting)
From my perspective, iOS represents a significant leap forward in an already crowded mobile space with Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft and HP fighting tooth and nail for market share.   No word on a new iPhone handset (e.g. iPhone 5) but the event runs through Friday so an announcement later this week is possible.