It was a big, big week in the mobile world, as Steve Jobs and company showed off iOS 5.0 and iCloud at the WWDC 2011 keynote. While we didn’t see a new iPhone, the features in this update of the operating system should breathe new life into the iPhone 4 and 3GS handsets out there and it will likely land on new hardware in the Fall. This also brought up a big discussion about whether we’re truly in a “post-PC” era. Motorola and Sprint didn’t want to be left out of the fun this week, as it showed off some new Android hardware.
Let go through this week in mobile news, friends.
Apple iOS 5.0, iCloud
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company’s products are the brains of its machines but the software is the soul, so we got a good look at what will lurk deep inside the next iPhone (as well as existing iPhones and iPads). Apple iOS 5.0 promises to bring more than 200 new features to users and while many of these may seem “borrowed” from other platforms, you know Apple will give these enough unique polish to make it stand out.
The biggest thing may be the revamped notification system, which now operates like the Android platform because you can do a swipe-down to see all your notifications. Things won’t pop up in the middle of the screen to annoy you and kill your work flow. You can also see notifications on your lock screen now and dive directly into the associated app.
The iMessage service could help save on SMS fees, as this BBM clone lets iOS users communicate with each other via text, videos or photos for free. We can also look forward to an integrated Twitter experience, improved Camera app with photo editing, a boosted browser and more.
Perhaps the most important thing that will come out of this announcement is the iCloud system, which is essentially a Dropbox for the masses. Instead of acting like just a hard drive in the cloud, iCloud will be an active online repository for your information. For example, the Photo Stream app will let you keep all of your photos you take with your iOS device in sync on your other devices without having to do anything. This will also work with documents, apps, music and more.
Are we really in a “post-pc era?”
All of the iOS talk inevitably will lead to the iPad and the idea that we’re in a “post-PC” world. Of course, if you ask our own Simon Sage, he’ll tell you that’s nonsense. In a thoughtful piece this week, he spoke out about how the tablet revolution may never truly replace the power and performance of more traditional forms of computing.
There are a few obvious reasons to doubt the transition like a well-entrenched installed base of laptop and netbook users that have no real need for another computer. Price point is another; you can get a decent netbook for $250 while tablet computers are $400 minimum. Functionality is also limited by the form factor, like missing physical keyboards and input ports (full-sized USB and SD, for example), and battery life that doesn’t last more than a day. Although the horsepower is improving, top-end PCs still vastly outperform the best tablets currently available.
He dives extensively into why he doesn’t think tablets have the right stuff to truly replace real computers and you should definitely give it a read and let him know if you agree with him or tell him why he’s wrong.
Motorola, Sprint intro Photon 4G, Triumph
Sprint and Motorola renewed its relationship this week by announcing the Photon 4G and the Triumph for Virgin Mobile. The Photon 4G will sport a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, qHD 4.3-inch screen, 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, front-facing camera, support for WiMax and it will launch later this summer with Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a customized user interface. It looks like Sprint fans are going to have a nice selection of high-end Android phones with this and the upcoming EVO 3D.
The Motorola Trimph is bringing some hardcore hardware to the prepaid market, as this non-contract phone will have a 4.1-inch screen, 5-megapixel camera and Android 2.2 Froyo. It very much reminds me of the original Droid (or as I call it, “Droooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiddddddddd”). Look for both of these to land in a few months and you know we’ll give you the straight scoop on these hot new handsets.
News in 60 seconds
- A BlackBerry with QNX is already in the works.
- AT&T is providing WiFi in New York parks.
- Sprint will soon roll out shared data plans.
- Check out our Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 review.
- HP TouchPad goes on sale July 1. Are you going to get one?
- Nokia’s CTO is gone. Is the ship sinking?
Wrap it up
It has been a busy and wild week but the pace isn’t going to ease up just because the weather is nicer outside. We have some big things coming next week and some fun stories on tap. Also, be on the lookout for some awesome giveaways (hint: one phone on each carrier) and continue to hit IntoMobile over the weekend. Follow us on Twitter @IntoMobile and feel free to follow me too, @marinperez.
Didn’t I say Mavs in 6?