Report Confirms iOS 5 Will Revamp Notifications And Introduce Widgets



When Apple debuts iOS 5 at June’s WWDC, it will indeed feature Nuance voice recognition tech… but counter-intuitively, it won’t be baked into iOS’s existing Voice Control feature. If that disappoints you, though, we hope this will be a consolation: iOS 5 will radically re-imagine iOS’s sketchy notifications system, as well as add widgets to the mix.

Sayeth Techcrunch:

The second bit of information we have heard is about iOS5 itself. First of all, while we’ve been leading the reports of Nuance technology being fully baked into iOS 5, one place we’ve heard it won’t be used (at least not yet) is Voice Control. That’s odd since it’s perhaps the most obvious usage. But apparently, in the builds of iOS 5 currently being tested, the little-used feature hasn’t changed at all, we hear.

That could obviously change before the release (which is still likely months away, even though it will be previewed at WWDC), but apparently the Nuance technology is meant for bigger things more core to the OS than that one feature.

The other big news for iOS5 — and yes, I’ve completely buried the lede here, thanks for reading! — two things: completely revamped notifications and widgets.

Back in February, we exclusively reported that Apple was revamping its notification system for iOS.

In addition, in the last few weeks, we have seen how Apple might not just bring widgets to iOS 5, but also how you might interact with iOS 5’s new voice recognition tech.

  • prof_peabody

    If they add widgets, that’s the last feature that Android has that iOS doesn’t yet have, and by the description, it sounds like they have implemented it better also.  

    On the other hand, Windows Phone and WebOS both have some extremely useful integration going on that iOS would do well to emulate.  Huge numbers of people are going to be disappointed if Apple doesn’t do *something* about the stupid blank lock screen.

  • nthnm

    I would love this to happen. And since other phones have had it for a while now, Apple might just introduce it.

  • Aj Tk427

    Umm what description? All we have a someone saying that widgets will be part of iOS 5.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • ehi


  • Brooke Becker Habecker

    I can’t fathom a use for widgets in iOS. I don’t even use them on my MacBook.

  • Amazed

    The problem with Android widgets is that they suck your battery life more than a vampire. I hope that problem won’t be present on iOS 5 too. Otherwise it’s great to have widgets.

  • Moniklim

    no widgets please..

  • SavedByTechnology

    If widgets and notifications are all that’s going to change, they better support my i3GS.  I was hoping for more.  Apple now has 4 years of iOS under their belts.  They need to step up and hit a home run with this upgrade.  That’s the only way I will upgrade to a new phone when my contract expires in July.

  • xdelxsolx

    I like the idea of widgets, they are the only thing that I sometimes miss when it comes to iOS, and if you don’t like them than you don’t have to use them so who cares. Widgets and a better notification system WILL be a major improvement over the current OS, so I say bring it on Apple!

  • Guest

    I really hope they bring widgets. Plus if you don’t like them, then don’t use them. Simple

  • Hampus

    Widgets would probably add quite some memory usage, can’t see why the couldn’t just limit the amount though so…

    What more is it you want exactly? New notifications system and widgets, what more do iOS really need?
    I guess the iPad could use a filesystem so dropbox could have it’s own folder and files could be opened and saved by any app, that would be a huge improvment for productivity but other than that I can’t really think of anything that iOS is lacking…

  • freediverx

    That’s a rather shortsighted comment. I can think of a several badly needed improvements:

    * Mail application needs an unread messages folder/view.* Mail and Contacts need a feature, currently only available in Calendar, to allow users to select individual accounts to display. Currently, you can only select one or all.

    * Mail needs improved document rendering/viewing. Currently, Word and PowerPoint files often appear completely distorted.

    * Calendar needs a week view.

    * Birthdays must allow user to set alarms (not specifically an iOS issue). Otherwise they’re useless.

    * Maps needs to support Google’s “directions by bike” feature.

    * Maps needs to support Google’s ability to choose from various routes to a given destination, allow the user to click and drag waypoints along the route, and allow the user to create a custom trip based on a list of waypoints.

    * Maps needs the ability to track and display the user’s path, distance traveled, current/average speed (ideal for biking, hiking, etc.) Similar to Nike+, but with more focus on location/mapping and less on the fitness/training aspect.

  • CharliK

    They likely won’t

    Then again, considering that neither of these things has been even hinted at in the builds (that photo is some random person’s idea of how Apple might could do it), it’s possible that this is still being tested etc for iOS6. Which is really not likely to support anything below the iphone 4. 

    It sucks but Apple only promised to support each phone for 2 years from the initial launch date and when the iphone 5 and very like iOS5 comes out, that is past promises for your 3gs. And after the fiasco of letting owners try to use iOS4 on a 3g with a warning that it won’t be perfect they aren’t likely to repeat that with the 3gs. 

  • CharliK

    “If they add widgets, that’s the last feature that Android has that iOS doesn’t yet have”

    And if Android has it then iOS simply must. That’s the law right. 

    Wrong. If the only reason for adding widgets is that the other guys have it then Apple isn’t likely to do it. they don’t give a damn about the other guys and what they do. Double when that something is known to be a performance issue. 

    As for that ‘stupid blank lock screen’ it isn’t stupid at all. Some folks don’t want to have a bunch of widgets etc on that screen because then folks can see their private business without having to get past the passcode etc. 

  • RsK1

    I switched to a Android phone about two months ago from a 3GS.  You will love using widgets, they really do come in handy.   Especially the notification feature, like the notification bar in Android.   Widgets on a macbook aren’t like on a phone, they’re actually very useful on a phone. I have a macbook btw.

  • maham123

    HTC Sensation Delighting The Senses

  • SavedByTechnology

    Maps is in need of a huge overhaul.

    One thing I love about my jailbroken i3GS is sbsettings.  With one swipe and tap, I can enable/disable several options like wifi, 3G, brightness and more, to lengthen battery life.  Apple should be able to implement this with little memory usage.  And they really need to provide editing capabilities within documents.

    Don’t get me wrong, iOS is by far the most stable and robust mobile OS out there.  I have a friend with a Samsung Galaxy running Android 2.2 and he can’t even get the GPS to run correctly out of the box.  I just feel that after 4 years, iOS has become stagnant and needs a kick in the a$$

  • Tom

    You don’t use them on your MacBook because Apple saw what Konfabulator did and then screwed it up. Some widgets need to be permanent.  I’ve got this space next to my dock that’s empty, I could put a small widget there and save up some space on my menubar.

  • Ben Longo

    It’s not as simple as that for Apple. A lot of their success has been keeping features out of the general publics hands that could degrade the phones performance. That’s the main reason that Apple has such high customer feedback. 

    If they start adding features that seem interesting to people, people that don’t know how to properly maintain their features, it could give a negative response. Similar to multitasking on Android. If you’re a power user and know what you’re doing androids implementation of multitasking is much more useable. But if you’re a simpler user your battery seems to vanish for no reason at all.

  • EmmEff

    How about the ability to read SMS messages?  Ford has this with their SYNC system and it’d be a great feature for iPhone as well.