We don’t know about you, but personally we are more excited about the next version of iOS than we are the next version of the iPhone. The iPhone 4 is fairly adequate and meets most of our needs, but iOS has a lot of room for improvement. WWDC 2011 is just around the corner and we know that Apple will be announcing iOS 5 there so here is a round-up of the current rumors surrounding the next version of iOS.
One of our favorite rumors about iOS 5 is Twitter integration. Sources are claiming that the introduction of Twitter’s own photo service is a precursor to Twitter being integrated into iOS 5. Now that Twitter offers their own photo service it would be easy to have a photo sharing option on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Users could upload their own photos to the microblogging service using new iOS 5 integration.
Another good rumor is about enhancements to voice recognition in iOS 5. These new enhancements are rumored to use Nuance’s voice recognition technology which will be completely integrated into iOS 5. If the integration is as complete as we suspect it will be then simply tapping an existing standard iOS text field will result in your favorite iDevice reading it back to you. Here’s a concept video produced by Janmike34 from YouTube:
If you recall Apple purchased a company called Siri in April 2010 and according to Steve Job’s at the time this was so that Apple could acquire Siri’s artificial intelligence technology. Nuance was the company that powered the speech recognition features in Siri’s own apps. So don’t be surprised that Apple is doing the same thing.
We welcome the rumor that Apple will continue to use Google’s mapping services in iOS 5 even though they purchased a company called Placebase in 2009. However, we are hoping that Maps app in iOS 5 will see some improvements like traffic reporting and turn-by-turn GPS mapping.
No More iPhone 3GS Support
Unfortunately it looks like iPhone 3GS users will be iOS orphans since rumors say that the iPhone 3GS platform will not support iOS 5. This isn’t unexpected since Apple tends to support only the most recent iPhone device and it’s predecessor. So the imminent release of the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 spells doom for iPhone 3GS users.
New Notification System and Widgets
Apple’s current iOS notification system was highly anticipated by developers before the advent of multitasking in iOS 4. It works, but is far from perfect. A lot of people think there is a lot of room for improvement and those improvements may be coming in iOS 5. Apple is rumored to be planning to roll out a completely revamped notifications system and a new feature — widgets. Widgets would give users quick access to specific information without having to launch an app dedicated to that task. This would function similar to Dashboard widgets in Mac OS X that give users on that platform quick access to stock, weather, or other at-a-glance information.
Here’s one proof-of-concept demonstrating a method of implementing widgets in iOS by Jan-Michael Cart:
We’ll be updating this post with additional rumors about iOS 5. in the meantime, if you have any iOS 5 rumors to share please post them in a comment.