New WWDC Developments

I’ve been trying to keep up on some of the WWDC blogs and articles, and there were a few today that I wanted to share.

First, iOS 5 will bring the iTunes Tone Store. No longer will the iPhone be limited to the text message tones built in to the operating system. True, there were some additions earlier this year (if your phone is capable of accessing them; my iPhone 3G is too old to support them), but the Tones Store will add many, many more. This isn’t huge, but it’s something that wasn’t announced in the keynote, which makes since because it’s kind of a small-potatoes feature.

Second, BGR blogger Jonathan S. Geller wrote his impressions of iOS 5 and iCloud, and in that blog entry, he noted a couple of interesting new accessibility features that I have yet to see documented elsewhere. In iOS 5, it is possible to enable the LED flash on an iPhone 4 (or any subsequent iPhone with a flash) to blink during alerts. Small, but kind of cool. The next one is more interesting: iOS 5 brings the ability to create custom vibration patterns for specific contacts by tapping out patterns on the phone’s display. I’ll definitely be using that!

Finally, Brian X. Chen wrote an intriguing article about Apple’s “lock-in strategy.” I won’t go into detail on what that means, but it’s basically what I was saying in my previous blog: Apple is creating a tight-knit ecosystem of mostly wireless devices, and with each new update (no matter how long it takes to get small features like, ahem, cut and paste on the iPhone), Apple is making the devices increasingly more difficult to give up. It’s possible now to stock most of one’s household electronics simply by going to the Apple Store.

We just need that Apple high-def television set and sound system (and high-def music in the iTunes store), and we’ll have electronic entertainment pretty much covered.

UPDATE: Previously, I had said that the Tones store was for ringtones. This was a mistake. It is for text tones, and I knew that as I was writing it. For some reason, I shifted gears and started writing about ringtones. Sorry about that!

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