iOS 5 brings joy, and maybe some pain

June 7, 2011

The two likely viewpoints coming out of Apple’s iOS 5 reveal at WWDC yesterday are these: if you’re a regular iPhone user, new features like non-invasive notifications and iCloud make the already impressive iPhone experience even better; if you’re someone who follows the tech space closely, you might think these new features bring iOS to Android levels (i.e., drop down notifications, cloud services by Google, and over the air updates). Without having tried iOS 5 yet, but having owned several iPhones and a Nexus S, I’m eager to see if Apple does what it normally does, meaning take things that are already out there and make them better. Bloggers at Boy Genius Report using developer versions of iOS 5 claim this is already the case.

The big concern for those making a living in the iOS ecosystem are the services Apple is subsuming within iOS 5. The Reader feature in Safari 5 takes aim at link-saving services like Instapaper and Read it Later, and deeper Twitter integration will hurt photo-sharing and similar Twitter-based apps. iMessage is not only taking on other IM apps and Blackberry BBM, but the carriers with their lucrative text message business. As an Instapaper fan who doesn’t use desktop Safari, I will continue to save articles with Instapaper, and doubtless others will to. But some of these developers are getting nervous, because their wake-up call is here. You can make a living in the app marketplace, and you can do quite well, but start making a name for yourself and the guys who created the market may corner it for themselves.

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