Well it looks like OS X Lion isn’t the only significant OS release Apple has in the pipeline. According a new report from TechCrunch, iOS 5 is poised to be a significant update that will most likely not see the light of day until later this Fall.
Citing two reliable sources, MG Siegler writes that Apple may deviate from its pattern of releasing a new iOS update alongside the Summer release of a new iPhone. Rather, Apple’s next major iOS update may coincide with the Fall release of a new iPad.
But didn’t Apple just release the iPad 2?
Damn skippy, but it’s been rumored that Apple may release yet another iPad update this Fall with features like a Retina Display and an SD Card slot that didn’t make it into the most recent upgrade. While two product upgrades in such a short time frame may not be typical for Apple, the swiftness with which competing handsets from Android caught up to the iPhone is not lost on Apple. With tablets now the next battleground in tech, it stands to reason that Apple will attack the tablet market with full force and not give competitors any breathing room at all. If companies like Samsung and Motorola are still struggling to catch up to the original iPad let alone the iPad 2, an updated iPad this Fall may be just what Apple needs to keep competitors from even getting off the ground.
Going back to the rumored fall release date, remember that OS X Lion is scheduled for a Summer release; and given that Apple’s top engineers often move around to work on the company’s most pressing software needs at any given time, it’s reasonable to assume that Apple wants to dedicate an appropriate amount of resources to each OS release as opposed to halving their efforts. This argument has precedent because, if you recall, Apple openly conceded that the release of Leopard OS X 10.5 in 2007 was delayed because of work that needed to be done on the as-of-then unreleased iPhone. In a statement that appeared on Apple’s website in April 2007, Apple candidly explained, “We had to borrow some key software engineering and QA resources from our Mac OS X team, and as a result we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned.”
Moving along, just what type of features will Apple’s next-gen iOS come with?
Aside from reports of a new notification system, one ongoing iOS 5 rumor is that the update will include a bevy of location-based features such as check-in functionality and the ability for friends to locate other friends ( a godsend for anyone trying to find a group at a concert or sports arena). iOS 5 will reportedly be heavily geared towards the cloud and may, in fact, be previewed alongside a new MobileMe update this April. Remember that MobileMe rumors have been running rampant as of late, with reports of a “music locker” service that serves as a permanent backup for purchased content from iTunes being one of the major selling points.
Lastly, the German Mac site Macerkopf recently reported that Apple plans to hold a joint iOS 5/MobileMe media event on either the 14th or 15th of April. If an mid-April special event doesn’t transpire, expect some heavy previews at this year’s WWDC event rumored to take place from June 5-9 this Summer.