Scott Forstall took the iOS 5 reigns yesterday and took some time going over some of the top new features in Apple’s upcoming mobile OS update. Of course, every Apple speaker has to begin by doing a little bit of bragging, and Forstall was no different.
Forstall started off by stating that Apple’s iOS platform is now the top mobile operating system on the planet with a 43% share, with Android trailing in second place with a 33% share. The figure is derived from a ComScore report from this past July and we imagine that it includes iPod Touch devices inside the broader iOS grouping.
Forstall also mentioned that the iTunes App Store now houses over 500,000 apps with 140,000 specifically optimized for the iPad. All told, iOS users have downloaded a whopping 18 billion apps since July 2008. But not all of those apps are free, as I’m sure you well know, and Apple, to date, has dished out over $3 billion to developers. Doing some basic Math and we find that Apple has netted approximately $4.28 billion from iOS app sales and has kept $1.28 billion to itself.
And onto iOS 5!
Forstall next went through the top 10 features in iOS 5.
There’s iMessage, which lets iPhone users running iOS 5 message each other via data and not SMS. In other words its RIM’s BBM service Apple-style. Next there’s Reminders, a new notifications pane, system-wide Twitter integration, and Newstand.
Yet another noteworthy addition to iOS 5 is a much improved camera app. Apple really updated the camera quality with the iPhone 4S and they made some corresponding improvements with the camera app as well. In iOS 5, taking a photo is an extremely quick process as users now can double tap the home button to bring up the camera app. What’s more, users can now use the volume up button to take a photo, a feature which provides for a more natural photo-taking experience.
Some other iOS 5 features include new Game Center functionality, the addition of Reader to Safari, tabbed browsing, updates to the Mail app, and also, Apple’s PC Free feature which enables users, for the first time, to activate their iOS device without first having to plug it into a computer.
And when can users get their hands on iOS 5?
On October 12, just two days before the iPhone 4S launches.