Yesterday at WWDC, Apple announced iOS 5. Among the many other new features, Apple unveiled a new notification system to replace the intrusive pop-ups many users complained about. Interestingly, it looks a lot like another notification system users may have seen: the notification shade in Android.
As you can see in the photo above, iOS notifications now appear in a small bubble over whatever you are doing. In order to access more information from the notification and bring up a list of previous notifications, you simply pull down from the top of the screen to bring down the "Notification Center." From there, you can select any notification in order to respond to it. Along with your notifications, the shade also displays current weather information and stock prices.
While this new notification system looks quite nice, its similarity to the notification shade Android has used since day one can't be denied. This is not necessarily something to criticize Apple over; Android has also ported features from other platforms, and it is something everyone has to do. However, Apple has usually been ahead of others with their mobile platform, which means this could be a sign that they are falling behind.
For iDevice users, the new Notification Center is a great improvement to usability. Still, it is interesting to note that at least in this aspect, Apple has begun playing catch-up.