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Friday, May 27, 2011, 12:40 pm PT (03:40 pm ET)

Apple rumored to add widgets, revamped notifications to iOS 5

Apple will unveil a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 5, at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, featuring widgets and a revamped notification system, a new report claims.

The news was part of a brief inclusion in a story at TechCrunch about the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. Author MG Siegler characterized the "big news" for iOS as "completely revamped notifications and widgets."

Signs of an improved notifications first cropped up last June, when Apple hired the designer who created the notification system for Palm's webOS. And Apple, through patent filings, has shown interest in creating always-in-sync widgets for touchscreen devices.

Sources also told the site that Apple is pushing journalists to come to this year' show because "the software announcements will be huge." Apple's big changes with iOS 5 are expected to make up for the anticipated lack of hardware to be shown off at this year's event.

The report also presumed that Apple will make announcements related to cloud storage for both iOS and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The site previously reported in March that Apple may not release a cloud-based iOS 5 until this fall.

Sources also reportedly indicated that the new licensing deal with Nuance for voice recognition will not play a part in the "Voice Control" feature of Apple's mobile operating system.

"That's odd since it's perhaps the most obvious usage," Siegler wrote. "But apparently, in the builds of iOS 5 currently being tested, the little-used feature hasn't changed at all, we hear."

The report noted that Nuance technology could eventually make its way into iOS Voice Control, but relayed a rumor that the licensing deal is meant for "bigger things more core to the OS than that one feature."

Back in February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was working on "voice navigation" technology for the next major update to iOS. And another report from The New York Times claimed that Apple would enhance operation of iOS devices through voice commands because some users dislike using a virtual keyboard.