We are live at Moscone Center in San Francisco, where in minutes Steve Jobs will take the stage to formally announce iCloud, iOS 5, and… “one more thing”. Ready to follow along?
Dramatic pause… Then James Brown plays, “I feel good.” Steve Jobs’ new theme song? Jobs takes the stage.
Wi-Fi is spotty, so we will do what we can to keep blogging live. Jobs: “Today we are going to talk about software”, the soul of the hardware. Phil Schiller takes the stage to discuss Lion for Macs.
New feature: multi-touch gestures for Macs. Next- full screen applications. “Mission control”, for multitasking. Now, an in-depth demo of all three new Lion features. Head tracking for photo software lets you make crazy bug eyes. You can also make a new space for applications.
Next: Mac App Store. Phil mentions companies increasing revenue via the Mac App Store. In Lion, pinch to bring up Launchpad, all your apps on one screen. Also, Lion can resume your progress in an app after you reopen it. Autosave features as well. Now, detailed demos of these features. One nice touch: Auto-saved drafts show up on a techy Star Field, sort of like those old screen savers.
More Lion features: Air Drop: Peer to peer file sharing. New version of Mail, with search suggestions. Also, conversation view, which shows messages separately. Phil shows a slide with even more Lion features.
Lion will be a Mac App Store download only. 4gb download, can be used on authorized Macs. Price: $29.99. Available in July.
Next: iOS 5. Scott Forstall takes the stage. He lays out some sales figures: 200 million iOS devices sold. #1 mobile OS with 44% of the market. 25 million iPads sold.
App Store has 425k apps, 90k for iPad. 14 billion App Store downloads. Apple has paid $2.5 billion to App Store developers. Now showing off entertainment and utility apps.
iOS 5 features: top 10.
#1: Notifications. Better user interface called Notification Center. Swipe from top to see them– like in Android. Animation from top doesn’t interrupt apps. Also, more info on the lock screen.
#2: Newstand. Manage e-magazines and subscriptions. Background downloads let you get updated papers in the morning automatically.
#3 Twitter. Universal Twitter login, integrated Twitter uploads. Includes maps, photos, and Youtube integration.
#4 Safari. Reader- makes stories on web clearer, easier to read. Reading list- syncs bookmarks to other devices. Tab browsing, too.
#5 Reminders. Set reminders that are time OR location-based.
#6 Cameras. Lock screen shortcut. Volume up button takes a picture now. Crowd really likes this one! Optional grid lines, pinch to zoom, and set autofocus lock with a press and hold on the screen. Photo editing, too.
#7 Mail. Rich text formatting, indentations, drag addresses around, flag messages, search entire message, swipe to inbox on iPad. Plus S/MIME support. Keyboard can be split in two on iPad, for thumb typing.
#8 PC Free, wireless syncing. “Ushering in the post-PC world”. New setup screen when you buy a new device. Activate on the device. Software updates are now over the air.
#9 Game Center. 50 million users so far. XBL only has 30 mil. Photos added, see friends of friends, compare achievement points, suggest friends and games, download games through GC, support for turn-based games.
#10 Messaging service for all iOS devices: iMessage. See if someone has read your message, or is typing live. Demos this while playing Cut The Rope.
That’s iOS 5. When’s it coming out? More features include wifi updating. Avail today for devs, Fall for users.
Syncing photos and music wirelessly, automatically. Jobs: “Stores content and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices.” Contacts, calendar, and mail are all iCloud ready. Used to be $100, now free. @me.com email, no ads.
New iCloud ready apps: App Store purchase history lists are viewable and downloadable from the cloud. Downloads apps to all devices at once. IBooks, same thing. Backup to cloud.
But wait, there’s more. Documents in the cloud via iWork apps like Keynote and Pages. Automatically saves and updates revisions across all devices. iCloud storage APIs. Now your apps can store stuff online– like game saves?
Another iCloud app- Photo Stream. Syncs photos you take or import. Built into Apple TV, too. Last 1000 photos stored on iDevices, unlimited on Mac and PC.
Last but not least, iTunes in the cloud. Purchase history button lets you download songs to new devices. Music can be synced and downloaded automatically.
All iCloud apps are free. To get it, upgrade to iOS 5m type in your Apple ID, and that’s it. Also: 5gb of storage for mail and backup. Doesn’t include purchased apps, photos, music and books. Available today! iTunes in the cloud available for users today, too.
One more thing: iTunes in the cloud will let you store songs you’ve ripped yourself. ITunes Match will scan your ripped songs, match to iTunes music, and let you sync them. Upgrades them to higher quality, too. Service costs $25 per year. Jobs offers favorable comparisons to Amazon and Google clouds.
Jobs shows pictures of Apple’s newest data center, to show they’re serious. No new iPhone today, so Andrew has to buy Jeremy a Coke. That’s it! What did you think?