Yesterday saw the much anticipated keynote at the Apple Developers Conference. This is the time of year when Apple tells us all what shiny new toys we get to play with in the coming year.  And by all I mean, well, quite a lot of us. A staggering 200 million iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) are out there in the wild. That’s a big number and represents a huge market for your Apps. In fact Apps have been downloaded from the App Store 14 billion (even more zeros) times!

This time around the focus has been on software and the key point for us is the announcement of iOS5. With 200 new features there are a lot of new bells and whistles to play with. The new developer tools are also out now and once we’ve taken a look we will be sure to tell you what we are looking forward to playing with the most.

iCloud

iCloud was a much anticipated reveal. And it is an impressive offering. Storing all of your digital information and media in the cloud is not a new concept. Dropbox, Google, and Amazon (to name three players) have been offering it for a while. But with iCloud it’s automatic. You do not need to think about it. When you take a photo with your iPhone, it automatically sends it to iCloud and synchs it with your other devices.  You buy an album on iTunes and it’s automatically available on your iPhone, iPad, and PC. Contacts, calendar, documents follow you around without you having to do anything at all.

It looks as though developers will have access to iCloud too so we are looking forward to the new ways in which our Apps can utilize this new powerful facility.

PC free

iCloud does sound great but it’s PC free setup of iOS devices that could be the game changer. Until now, if you wanted to own an iPad or iPhone you had to first own a PC to set it up. This was a huge barrier to the dream of a post PC world. This is no longer true. With iOS 5 you can own an iOS device and never have to own a PC. You can edit photos and other files on your device and back it all up with iCloud. This feature, billed really as a convenience addition, could be the one that has the biggest long term impact.

Apple have made another strong play to take control of your iWorld in this update. With the introduction of iCloud and the potential game changing PC free you really can now live your digital life without a traditional desktop or laptop and completely in the Apple iOS ecosystem. You will now start to see people with iPads and iPhones and no other computer style device at all. This has big consequences for how you serve your users and reach your customers.

More detail will come as we delve into the depths of the developer tools and we look forward to what clever App developers do with their new toys.

Has it rocked your iWorld?

Can you ever see a time when you go PC free? Is it a brave new world or a bridge too far?

 

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