Despite press invitations to publications in the UK and Australia, it looks like Apple's WWDC 2011 announcements will be limited to the future of iOS and Mac OS X. The next generation iPhone will certainly be running iOS 5, the next generation mobile operating system from Apple. More details of exactly what's in store for the new firmware have been leaking left and right from sources in the know.
According to TechCrunch, iOS 5 will feature widgets much like the dashboard widgets found on Apple desktop computers. These would allow iPhone owners to quickly view current information on the screen without even unlocking the device. Examples of widgets include weather, calendar entries and other displays updated in real time.
In addition to widgets, the report explained that Apple plans to completely retool notifications. Hopefully this will mean better displays of multiple incoming notifications, with a log or other changes to improve the system dramatically. Other details of iOS 5 have leaked out, including the fact that Apple plans to stick with Google Maps as its default mapping solution for the time being. There has been much speculation surrounding a potential move by Apple to different mapping software, including possibly products from its own in-house development team. iOS 5 could still include turn-by-turn navigation or other improvements to the native maps application.
iOS 5 is also purportedly going to focus heavily on improved Voice Control. Some reports stated that the iCloud service along with Apple's new data center could utilize Nuance technology to improve voice recognition by remotely processing audio. Apparently the Nuance deal is off the table and this solution will not be employed in iOS 5. Still, improvements and deeper voice control integration is expected to come to the iPhone with iOS 5. The question is which older hardware will be permitted to upgrade to iOS 5?It's possible that the iPhone 3GS could be left in the dust with iOS 5. The changes to the iPhone 4 including the front-facing camera and faster processor make this turn of events likely, especially since any fifth-generation iPhone is sure to feature the A5 processor used in the iPad 2. Even though the iPhone 3GS is still being sold new by Apple, it may be that iOS 5 is too much operating system to run smoothly on the older hardware. In just over a week Apple will host WWDC 2011 and answer everyone's questions as to the future of iOS.