iPhone 5 Engine iOS 5 Rules Keynote Roost
The iPhone 5 train won’t arrive next week, but the engine which drives it will appear on the horizon. iOS 5, the operating system which will drive the iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPod touch 4 and future iOS devices which arrive in the next year, can be trusted to surface in preview form during next week’s WWDC keynote address. Don’t look for an immediate release or even a soon-ish one, as the event is focused on development and the preview is aimed at ensuring that the iOS app developers in attendance have the knowledge they need in order to rev their existing and new titles to take advantage of the new software features by the time iOS 5 arrives. Apple already telegraphed that there won’t be a June iPhone 5 when it pushed the white iPhone 4 out the door at the end of April, but the iOS tease should give users a good idea of what all the fifth generation iPhone. After all, the on-screen features of a three inch device tend to be at least as vital as the hardware features. Here’s a look at some of what iOS 5 could deliver.
Multitasking: Last year’s iOS 4 delivered a basic multitasking implementation which, as some users have pointed out, was really more along the lines of fast app switching. iOS 5 could give iPhone 5 users true multitasking, where third party apps can run more fully in the background.
AirPlay and AirPrint: These planned “iOS 4″ features didn’t arrive until iOS 4.2.1 and even then they were stunted. iOS 5 could give iPhone 5 users the ability to print wirelessly to any printer hooked up to any computer, rather than the limited implementation currently offered.
Homeless: Talk of the iPhone 5 losing its tactile home button in favor of a gesture-based home trigger would mean that iOS 5 would need to work for not only the “homeless” iPhone 5 but also devices like the iPad 2 which clearly still has a home button. Will Apple go there?
Compatibility: Those who don’t plan to buy the iPhone 5 will be paying close attention to what Apple has to say about iOS 5 backwards compatibility. It’s a given that this year’s iPad 2 and next year’s iPad 3 will be able to take full advantage of iOS 5 features, while the aging iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4 should be able to at least tap into most of the iOS 5 era. But what about the iPhone 3GS? After all, Apple is still selling that model in the bargain bin. After last year’s fiasco in which iOS 4 was released for the aging iPhone 3G but it ran unacceptably until a couple major updates into the iOS 4 era, those with a 3GS may be skeptical about installing iOS 5. Then again, those users may do well to simply get the iPhone 5 when it comes out. Just don’t expect to hear the words “iPhone 5″ spoken by Apple next week, even as those watching look for clues as to what the iPhone 5 will entail. Here’s more on the iPhone 5.