Apple Reveals Features to Compete with Android and BlackBerry
At today's WWDC 2011 event in San Francisco, Apple has taken pages from its rivals for the company's debut of iOS 5.
One of the biggest gripes that iPhone users have is the system's pop-up notifications. While it's taken nearly four years, Apple has listened and with the unveiling of iOS 5, pop-ups have been eliminated.
In their place is an always accessible yet discreet pulldown window, similar to Android's notification interface. The new "Notification center" combines all notifications including texts, missed calls and app updates in a single location. Users simply slide the associated icon in the list to go directly to the app.
While the improvement may be a long time coming, it may signal that Apple has acknowledged the competition and can no longer rest on its brand appeal.
Google's upstart Android system now has a healthy lead over iOS. Android is currently in the lead with 36.4 percent of the smartphone market share, just a little over 10 percent ahead of Apple and its iOS platform at 26 percent, according to comScore's latest figures
Android was not the only influencer in today's iOS 5 unveiling. Among the system's 200 new features, 10 of which were given stage time, Apple's new iMessage instant messaging system was uncannily similar to RIM's BlackBerry Messenger.
"While I wouldn't call iMessage a BlackBerry Messenger killer yet," Michael Morgan, senior analyst at ABI Research, told TechNewsDaily. "Now iOS has something just like it."
Conversations are pushed to all iOS 5 devices and feature secure encryption, something that helped BlackBerry maintain its standing in the enterprise community.
Morgan said he believes iOS 5 will help level the playing field between operating systems and prompt a significant shift in the decision-making process. BlackBerry will continue to lose market share while Android and Apple iOS devices will have more parity.
"Now we'll have two platforms that are much more equal," Morgan said. "The decision process may revert back to the hardware itself. In the end, it's going to be a tougher decision between Android and Apple."
- Top 10 Features of Mac OS X Lion, Available in July for Just $29
- Twitter and iOS 5 Flock Together
- Netflix, Pandora Password Sharing Could Land You in Jail