Apple confirms Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 launch

Apple has confirmed that it will be launching the next generation of its two major software platforms, Mac OS X and iOS, on Monday – and promises a long-rumoured bonus, too.

The company will kick off its World Wide Developer Conference on Monday with a keynote speech from chief executive Steve Jobs, who will be rolling out the red carpet for the entrance of iOS 5 – the company’s next-generation mobile platform.

Rumoured features include Android-style homescreen widgets, improved voice control technology, and a complete overhaul to the notification system used in the company’s iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad lines.

Apple Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 Smartphone photo

Rumoured features include Android-style homescreen widgets, improved voice control technology, and a complete overhaul to the notification system used in the company’s iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad lines.

The mobile OS will be joined by the latest release of Mac OS X, codenamed ‘Lion.’ Designed to bring some of the better features across to the desktop from iOS, Lion includes the Mac App Store, an iPhone-inspired Launchpad, the ability to launch native applications in full-screen mode, and gesture control on a multi-touch trackpad or mouse.

While it was generally known that the WWDC keynote would cover these two new topics, there’s a third that may comes a surprise: a product called iCloud, which may well refer to the long-awaited streaming music service Apple is believed to be working on.

Described in the somewhat terse press release as “Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering,” it’s not yet known if iCloud is the music streaming service or a more business-oriented offering.

Absent from the press release is any mention of an iPhone 5 or even the rumoured iPhone 4S redesign – although that’s not to say Apple won’t spring such a thing on the gathered crowd as a surprise at the end of the speech.

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