There were a huge amount of new mobile operating system features announced today for the iOS iPad and iPhone platform, including the fact that there are over 200 million iOS devices out there, making it the leading mobile platform (44%). There are over 425,000 apps available now also. Its one that large amounts of educators are leveraging to enhance their teaching and learning – so here is a summary (based on the TUAW top ten http://www.tuaw.com/2011/06/06/ios-5-previewed-at-wwdc)
of what they mean for educators:
1. Notifications – now appear rather than popping up – and you can slide on them to go directly to the relevant app.
- for educators this is a nice productivity change, with notifications now slightly less interrupting but with a faster way to act on them when in the middle of busy lessons. Plus you’ll be able to see previous notifications also so you can ignore them as they come in if needed, but look them up later.
2. Newsstand – an app to hold all magazines you are subscribed to – another small productivity gain by simplifying the process of accessing these resources.
3. Twitter integration – you’ll only have to sign in to twitter once in settings, rather than for every separate twitter app, and posting to twitter is now integrated in the camera and photos app (although I’ll keep using posterous like I am right now to send to multiple services). Twitter will also be able to access your contacts. Its not quite the full integration of some mobile devices like HP WebOS, but for educators like myself for whom twitter is a personal learning network lifesaver, these small improvements could really add up.
4. Safari – additions include tabbed browsing in Safari for iPad, and the ‘reader’ function to simplify and de-clutter what you see when reading articles on the web.
- For educators who haven’t had the chance to install a tabbed browser like iChromy or an app that already uses ‘reader’ like Zite or Reeder, I guess it will be nice to have these as part of your own and students standard build.
5. Reminders – now include location information – lots of possibilities here, for instance setting reminders for where you are, not just when …
6. Camera – big big improvements here – including easier access right from the lock screen and the ability to use the volume button to snap images. Also will have a built in image editor. For classrooms, faster access to the camera just means more learning moments can be captured for later annotating and collaboration and sharing, and being able to edit straight away without even switching apps means students (and educators) will hopefully become better visual communicators by practicing better framing (cropping) before sending images on.
7. Mail – will have several new features – key for educators I feel is better search (full text) of old emails containing just that lesson idea or learning link you’d forgotten etc. y favourite will be the ability to flag or star emails for later attention – again making it easier to finish one lesson or task, but still go back to important emails later – thus the device better fits to me, rather then me changing my day to fit it.
8. PC-free – you can now activate your new device and get uodates over the air. When Steve Jobs was talking about the post-pc world back in January and many tech writers pointed out that iOS devices were still tied to PCs for even activation, I guess he knew this was coming – so now Post-pc can really mean no PC is needed – even syncing can be done over wifi now, which will have huge implications for the schools and colleges who have spent up big on syncing carts and trolleys…