One of the things that stood out immediately at yesterday’s WWDC keynote presentation, as a feature with big appeal for iPad users, was the ability to split the iPad keyboard in iOS 5.
I’ve been trying this out, along with a number of other new features, on a V1 iPad running the first iOS 5 beta. It’s a pretty slick feature. You can just pull the keyboard apart with a natural and easy movement anyplace where the virtual keyboard is available – and it splits into two sections as shown above – with 17 keys on the left side and 20 keys on the right.
You can split the keyboard in portrait or landscape mode; for me it feels far more comfortable and effective to use in portrait mode. It is definitely taking some getting used to in terms of remembering which keys are on which side, but it feels as if with some time it will be more effective for me than the normal keyboard when in portrait mode.
It works in every 3rd party app I’ve tried so far as well.
Here’s another set of new features coming to the iPad when iOS 5 (the next major operating system update for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) is released this Fall:
Mobile Safari, the built-in browser app, is going to offer tabbed browsing on the iPad.
It’s also going to have two other new notable features: Safari Reader will offer an ad-free, clutter-free view of web pages, and Reading List – which lets you save web articles for offline reading, ala Instapaper.
Tabbed browsing is available now in several 3rd party iPad browser apps, but it will be great to see it built into the Safari app.
More good news for iPad and iOS users from today’s WWDC 2011 keynote event – iOS 5, the next major update to the iPad (and iPhone and iPod Touch) operating system, will bring our iDevices into a new ‘PC Free’ era. As in, we will no longer need to connect the iPad or other iOS devices to a PC to carry out many common and essential tasks.
For starters, activation of new devices will no longer require you to connect to iTunes on a PC. We’ll be able to activate new devices wirelessly.
Fimrware updates (updates to the device OS) will aslo now be available wirelessly.
And best of all … we will be able to sync with iTunes via WiFi, and backup and restore our iPad and iOS devices via the new (and free!) iCloud service.
These new wireless capabilities are automated and very intelligent sounding:
Wirelessly sync your iOS device to your Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi connection. Every time you connect your iOS device to a power source (say, overnight for charging), it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes. So you always have your movies, TV shows, home videos, and photo albums everywhere you want them.
This is great stuff. It’s a big win for veteran users who hated having to ‘cable up’ to sync and backup, and an even bigger win for novice users who may never have even synced their devices before and will find this a much easier method to keep their devices up to date and their data safe.
It looks like iOS 5 – due to be released this fall and chock full of cool new features for the iPad and iOS – will offer a nicer way to organize our iPad (and iOS) newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
I initially thought it was a new app, like iBooks, when I heard it mentioned at the WWDC 2011 keynote today, but it’s just a rather special folder by the looks of it. There will also be a new place in the App Store just for newspaper and magazine subscriptions – and the Newsstand folder has a button that links straight to it.
The slickest feature of Newsstand is that it will automatically update titles in the background as new issues become available for them.
I’m a huge fan of iPad newspapers and magazines, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing this new feature when iOS 5 is released.
Wow. Apple’s WWDC 2011 keynote event that just finished up a short while ago was like a thrill ride to follow. Full of great news for iPad and iOS users. Here’s just a few of the most exciting bits of news for iPad users:
— iOS 5 will be coming out this fall and packs over 200 new user features.
— One of those that may be a killer new feature for the iPad is a split keyboard, to make thumb typing in portrait mode on the iPad much easier.
— iOS 5 will make the iPad and iOS devices ‘PC Free’. No more need to connect to a PC to activate your iPad when you bring a new one home. OTA (Over the Air) firmware (operating system) updates. And OTA iTunes sync as well. Hurrah to making sync cables nearly obsolete.
— A vastly improved Notifications system. This one was top of just about every iOS user’s wish list for so long, glad to see it finally arrive.
Apple’s keynote event for WWDC 2011 kicks off in just over two hours. Apple’s statements leading up to the event have made it clear that this year’s keynote is all about software, and that no new hardware announcements should be expected.
The three featured topics for the event are iOS 5, the new iCloud service, and Mac OSX Lion.
Of course there is all sorts of speculation about what exactly will be announced about each of these topics, and I’ve been thinking about how the first two in particular 9iOS 5 and iCloud) may impact the iPad. Here are some of the possibilities, and some of my hopes:
— The general consensus is that Notifications will finally be (much) improved in iOS 5 – and that we’ll see deep Twitter integration of some kind throughout the new version of iOS. These both sound very good to me.
— I really hope we’re going to see some level of refresh on the way we can organize our home screens and apps. Even with folders, which are a big plus, it’s still a huge pain in the arse to organize apps if you have a lot of them.