This morning, Apple kicked off their annual World Wide Developers Conference with a keynote address. In it, the likes of Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall introduced, demoed and talked about a host of really cool upcoming stuff in Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and what promises to be an amazing new service, iCloud.
But what I think is the most important key news item is that iOS 5 will be “PC free”.
Why is that such a big deal? Ever since the iPad 1 was first announced, I’ve always felt that its Achilles’ Heel was the fact that you needed to tether it to a computer in order to set it up, back it up, synchronize media, update it–you name it. This meant that it couldn’t be your “only machine”. For all its revolutionary simplicity and ease of use, it remained chained to “old world” computing. This was also particularly vexing in the case of the famous use case of an iPad being so simple even grandma could use it. Well, yeah–but grandma would still need to have a regular computer to get it to function.
But no more! You will be able to do everything you had to do by plugging in wirelessly through iOS 5 and iCloud. Configure your new iPad or other iOS device, do system updates when necessary, backup your data, sync your media, etc.
This will truly complete the revolution the iPad has brought about.
Update: Here’s a link to more info at MacRumors.com – PC Free: No Computer Needed for iOS 5 Devices