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iOS 5 to include widgets and revamped notification system, no iPhone 4S at WWDC

TechCrunch has word that iOS 5 will include an all-new, completely revamped notification system with widget support to boot.

The other big news for iOS5 — and yes, I’ve completely buried the lede here, thanks for reading! — two things: completely revamped notifications and widgets.

We've previously heard that Apple was planning on giving iOS notifications a major face-lift, and Apple did hire the man responsible for webOS' elegant notification system, so this really could be the next generation improvement a lot of us have been hoping for.

Throwing cold water on those holding out for new iPhone hardware, however, they once again suggested Apple has no plans of bringing a new iPhone to the party at WWDC.

Apple is pushing for journalists to come to WWDC because the software announcements will be huge (and they likely know that journalists hearing there will be no iPhone 5 announcement may choose to stay home instead this year). And the changes will be vital for all developers in the Apple ecosystem(s) to know about.

In addition, rumors that Nuance technology would be fully baked into iOS 5 doesn't sound likely according to their sources, but they're still hearing iCloud will be in full effect at the announcement.

There are plenty of great iOS notification concepts floating around, but we'll have to wait for WWDC to get a real grasp on the new system and what kind of widget support will be included.

What do you think it could look like?


Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

  • hum....wish there was going to be a new iphone announcement, but still genuinely interested in seeing what they have planned for iOS5
  • They dont know for sure whether there will be an iPhone announcement or not though.
    But yes, still wish lol
  • I don't need to drop money on another phone when the i4 is still very a capable device. I need tweaks and this is just what the Dr. ordered (if it holds to be true).
  • You don't need to, but others may want to.
  • May 28th, 2010: I don't need a 4th generation iPhone. My 3GS is still a very capable device. Give me multitasking
  • The iPhone 4 hardware is great, but notifications and widgets? Awesome! May not even need to jailbreak anymore. :)
  • I can't wait to see what it looks like! So many possibilities...
  • This is very exciting news!! :)
  • Apple - two jailbreak applications you need to invest in. First, is LockInfo. Second, is BiteSMS. Lastly, your revamped notifications will go well with this and Bite already has some great notifications already. ( Ok three apps if you want to include notify)
    I don't necessarily see a reason for the need of an iPhone 5 right at the moment. The iPhone 4 still bests the display category. Also, still many 3G 1GHz phones being released. That's what happens when Apple leapfrogged last year.
  • You could have said that about the iPad, as it's still yards ahead of the competition - bit we still got ipad2.......!!!
  • As an individual consumer, YOU may not see the need of an iPhone 5; but for Apple, as a company, there is a need to stay competitive and relevant.
    Also, keep in mind, Apple on releases one phone, albiet various versions, per year; while other companies release various versions of multiple phones per year.
  • Widgets. Meh.
    Don't use them on my MacBook, can't see me using them on my iPhone. Keep the Android argument in perspective - they have widgets, because their Apps suck. iOS doesn't have this issue.
    A revamped notification system is probably needed, though it's not as bad as some make out.
  • Yes it is that bad. What are you thinking? You mustn't use push notifications much if you think the current system is acceptable.
  • I agree, widgets are stupid and ugly—especially on a small screen like the iPhone/iPod. I do suppose notifications could use a little tweaking. The beauty of Apple's interfaces, and iOS in particular, is their simplicity. I shudder when I see horribly cluttered jailbroken iPhone or Android screens.
  • Hey Frog... You're a typical "fanboy".
    Explain to me how widgets suck? You're just saying they suck because the iPhone doesn't have them.
    On my iPhone, in order to Chaco the temp for example, I unlock then open an app. On an Android device. I simply pull it out my pocket and look. LoL.
    Get your head out of the cult.
  • Chaco the temp
    Lol. Ya, your phone is amazing.
  • I don't care for Widgets either, but if there is a popular enough niche for a particular feature, why not make it an available option? In the end it is all about increasing the size of ones consumer base and beating the competition.
  • How to turn on Bluetooth on an iPhone: Settings -> General -> Bluetooth -> Tap the switch.
    How to turn on Bluetooth with a widget on an Android phone: Tap the widget.
    Don't hate just because you don't have them yet.
  • Yep, two things the iOS was missing...
  • Does this mean that we might get iOS 5 on the iphone before the iphone 5 is released? Or is this just going to be a teaser that we will have to wait a few more months for?
  • I'm wondering the same..
  • don't they always release the software before the hardware ? If they follow their usual schedule, they'll release the beta soon after WWDC so developers can code widget / apps for the new release. Then release iOS5 a week before the iphone5 hits the shops.
  • People, this is why apple announces the new iPhone at wwdc. Because no one expects it. If they wanted you to know that there would be a new iPhone, they would have told you 5 months ago. They don't want an iPhone 4 fiasco.
  • Because the iPhone 4 was such a fiasco. Intended or not it created discussion among not only tech people but also in everyday consumers lives(Hillbillies not included. jkjk)
    I wouldn't be surprised if they did skip this year though or atleast announce sometime during the fall. As they have Verizon they have to get both customer groups to speed.
    Plus there's that hire concerning Sprint. So we have three carriers as potential launchers there, then there's that AT&T T-Mobile deal I hope doesn't go through.
    It could be also that Apple's trying to evade the crowded summer launch space held by HTC and Motorola android phones. Generally nothing exciting happens in the Fall other than Apple's iPod event so it can be all about them.
  • Dude honestly? Im not even a fan boy but do you think aPple really cares about android releases? Apple will have massive lines regardless.
  • I think you're a bit naive if you think Apple doesn't pay attention to Google, Android, and Android features and offerings. They're competitors, and both companies I'm sure watch each other closely. This is what drives innovation and development for both platforms.
    it's easy for people in both camps to fall into fanboy mode and bash the other but having both Android and iOS is good for each camp as it spurs the other platform to keep raising the bar. It doesn't have to be one or the other, guys. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Its seems that you do not want Apple to release a new phone because of the temptation to purchase it. But, think of things from a company's stand point. Apple wants to grow every year. IPhone 4 sales are good, but they won't remain at that level for another year. IOS 5 is essentially free. So, besides apps where will Apple receive money from? How will they directly balance the buffet for IOS 5 development?
  • So their big announcement is... nothing unique or original.
    But I for one would give up a testicle for a decent notification system on my iPhone.
  • save your testicle. jailbreak
  • iOS 5 will include widgets and revamped notification system..should i get the new iphone or get SGS 2 ..( i will get ipad 2 ) ,,, and do you think the iphone 5 ( 4s ) will beat the SGS 2 with the IOS 5 ? do you think the UI of the new iphone will be better than the SGS 2 ?
  • It's hard to say which would be better when we still don't know that much about the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will have the better UI. I would get the SGS 2 personally, but that's just because I'm fond of Android. If you like iOS, then you might be more inclined to get the iP5.
  • I'm a long time iPhone user currently owning a iPhone 4. I just got the Samsung Galaxy SII, because I liked to see something different. But if you're happy with your iPhone I recommend not to buy the SII. iOS is so simple and the user experience is so fluid as never seen everywhere else. iTunes is the next thing, it's absolutely the best application to manage all contents of the iPhone. (It was a pain to synchronise the SII with the iTunes library...) I decided to sell my SII and keep my iPhone 4 while really looking forward to the iOS 5 which will soon be released I hope and the successor of the iPhone 4.
  • It is way too late for proper notifications but it would be welcomed with open arms.
    iOS users will wonder how they lived without widgets once they do come.
  • This is what apple will say
    "I know we're not the first to do decent notifications, but i think we have done it RIGHT" lol
    then everyone will go ZOMG APPLE IS GENIUS
  • I used Winterboard widgets for a while, then gave them up. I dont spend enough time looking at my homescreen for them to be worthwhile, and they chew through battery (though presumably the official implementation will be better about that).
  • I have an Android device and do not use Widgets. It really is a matter of preference, isn't it?
  • Why are thay skipping iOS 4
  • Hmmm.. iOS 4 has been out since last summer ;)
  • Very cool if true. I love my iPhone 4 as is. It's plenty fast for me. Love the screen and, yes the design as well. Have had 0 problems.
  • No iPhone5!!!!!!!!!!!! I don´t think so!!!!! There will be... ((((( 4.3 screen)))))
  • Love my iPhone 4, not overly concerned about hardware... I expect it'll be Jan before iPhone 5 comes out... Gotta give the iPhone 4 on Verizon an appropriate life cycle.
    I would love to see a list of over 100 changes to the software, including notifications, separate ringer and alarm volume, more customizable tones, SBS Settings type easy access to most used functions, bite SMS type texting system, speech to text DEEPLY INTEGRATED, and any other Jobsian goodies that I'm not smart enough to know that I want!
  • Why does Verizon iPhone have to be given an appropriate life cycle? For all we know, Apple has been trying to have the iPhone 4 released on Verizon since summer 2010.
  • When I look at my list of jailbreak apps, I find the apps are geared to making my use of the iPhone easier for me. I like to change my phone settings quickly rather than going through many screens(SBSettings). I like to minimize the number of swipes and presses to get to my apps (FolderEnhancer, Shrink, Iconoclasm). I like gestures to activate my favorite commands (Activator + RemoveBG, Autosilent). Apple is known to offer products that are easy to use. It's true that most people will never stray far from Apple's original settings, but it would be nice for those who want a little more custom touch to get that option. I don't know if we have Android to thank for some of the upcoming innovations (Nuance vs Voice Actions). Here's to competition!
  • Long overdue & I can't wait. The fact that I can only see one notification w/o unlocking is ridiculous.
  • I just hope they don't release iOS5 before they release the 5th gen iPhone because it's supposedly not supported for 3GS
  • Big deal it's not like your phone will all of a sudden stop working
  • i love my iPhone 4 but the notification system drives me crazy. i really hope that Apple overhaul the notification system in iOS5. Not that worried if iPhone 4S / 5 is delayed, still have 12 months left on my current contract.
  • So so excited, we so excited
    Gah, I can't wait! I dunno what I want more— iOS5 or Lion!
  • My question is, is iOS 5 going to be supported on Verizon same time as AT&T? Right now us Verizon users are on 4.2.8, behind the AT&T iPhone.
  • I have come to believe that the 2011 iPhone will be delayed, I was dead set against but just so many sources saying so. You have to take into consideration the Verizon iPhone releasing mid cycle and the white iPhone release near the end of the original cycle. Apple surely has enough demand for the 4 variants to hold them over.
    The reason I really suspect they are holding out is because of iOS 5, everyone thinks its because of Hardware. However, they still have to get one label to sign on to iCloud plus sign agreements with publishers. They also have the construction going on in N.C. and they continue to make hires pretty late into the release cycle. So, I am expecting a preview of iOS 5 that will launch with the iPhone 5 in the fall. Now, it could also be hardware wise as well it could be a combo of the software being perfected and If, Sprint rumor is true, getting Sprint hardware perfected. Also having the iPhone release later they maybe able to get LTE chips. It actually makes the most sense they can spend time perfecting the hardware and the software.
  • I'll be disappointed if Siri doesn't go systemwide. Widgets and Notifications should have been in iOS4 - there was really no excuse why they weren't. If I'm looking forward to features that should already been in the OS that's not great is it. ? I'll be happy to have them, I was just hoping to have something that ties & integrates the system together a little more.
  • So much or innovation. Every rumor I'm hearing is about copying and playing catch up.
  • Subliminal message with the time
  • I bet we will see profiles in iOS 5. I seriously can't wait to see what's in store for iOS 5.
  • I have to agree with Erics seems to only update their phone with features already offered on phones that already released. I think the fact that an update to the original iphone release just get the copy/paste function is testament. I actually have a palm pre and this phone started with most functions that apple has to update with. Case in point their using the webOS notification system 2 years after the pre has been out. Granted I'll likely move over to iphone since they've finally caught up and I can facetime with my sister, it can't be denied that most phones can offer just knows how to make the user experience easy, smooth and good looking. I got sold after using an ipad. They know what they're doing. I look forward to trying out an IP5 if it comes out this year
  • I believe that Ios5 and the iPhone 5 will be all about voice. I think they have build a deep integration of voice controlling throughout the whole iOS with developers enabled to build apps around it.
    Not the voice stuf others did but does not work but the real stuff
  • Widgets would be a welcomes addition, I have them on my jailbroken iPhone and they don't effect battery life at all, for those saying they do, either the widget was poorly made, or you did it wrong. I don't think Apple will make them available on the iPhone and have them reduce battery life.
  • make widgets like spb mobile shelll for android
  • From one Apple fanboi, I am hoping to see iWorks in IOS5 for iPhone. Quickoffice and Docs2go have proven that it can be done on the iPhone.
  • Yeah, go out there and pay for another half baked device that loses reception when holding it with your left or right hand. Maybe Apple might be able to sell you trolls another device that actually replaces your hands, so you don't lose reception. idiots.
    Google > Apple Any day, All day!
  • from what ive heard, they are'nt giving it to 3gs fones, which is apity, it makes you feel like your fones only going to last 3 years at the most,because after that they seem to stop updates for any older fones which is wrong, especially when people are updating their apps, it makes you feel that you can't have updated apps on your fone.
  • man, apple is going to get sued big time for copyright infringement..