Monday, June 6, 2011

iOS 5 Key Features

Key Points:
  • To be released this fall as a free update
  • Available for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 4G, iPod touch 3G, iPad, and iPad 2
  • Contains over 200 new features, most notably being: all-new and improved notifications, iMessage text messaging between iOS devices, Twitter integration, and new camera and Safari features
This major update to Apple’s mobile operating system will be available in the fall as a free update for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 4G, iPod touch 3G, iPad, and iPad 2. There doesn’t seem to be any notion towards limited features for older-generation devices, but we’ll work on confirming this. If you want, you can enter your email address and Apple will notify you when it is released. iOS 5 contains over 200 new features, the following being the most notable: all-new and improved notifications, iMessage text messaging, a newsstand illustrating all of your App Store subscriptions, an official creative to-do application called Reminders, in-app Twitter integration, new camera features such as grids, photo editing and enhancing abilities, new Safari features included tabbed browsing on iPad, and the ability to setup and use your iOS device without a Mac or PC. Here’s a breakdown of some of these and other features:

Revamped Notifications
Currently, notifications can easily become a nuisance when you’re playing games or using other applications. They pop up, they’re obtrusive. In iOS 5, notifications are all-new and improved. There’s a new drop-down menu called Notification Center, which allows you to keep track of all of your notifications in one convenient location. Perhaps Apple took a lesson or two from the notification system on Android–they now have striking similarities. To reveal Notification Center, you simply swipe down and you can then choose which notifications you would like to see. If you want to delete the notification, you can simply tap the “x” button located next to it. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a “clear all” option for deleting your entire queue of notifications. This is something, however, that could be seen in a future update. New notifications also appear briefly at the top of your screen, without interrupting what you’re doing. Furthermore, they appear on your lock screen for quick access.

This is an official application designed by Apple that allows you to send text messages to other iOS devices over Wi-Fi or 3G. It’s compatible with any iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad that is able to be upgraded to iOS 5. This is another new iOS feature that his strikingly resemblance to another company’s features, this time it being RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

Another application designed by Apple. This one adopts the iBooks bookshelf design as a convenient place to show you all of your App Store subscriptions. This includes newspapers and magazines, which the app will alert you about when there is new issues available. There is also a new section on the App Store that is specifically dedicated to subscriptions.

You can create reminders for yourself in a neat and clear to-do list. There’s also integrated calendars for your convenience. Reminders also works with iCal, Outlook, and iCloud, so changes you make update automatically on all your devices and calendars.

Twitter integration is another prominent feature of iOS 5. Of course, Twitter is already available on iOS devices in a variety of different formats—through Safari, the official Twitter app, or other apps on the App Store—but this is different. You sign in once in the settings, and you can then tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. You’ll be able to tweet text, photos, videos, and more. It would be nice if this functionality was able to be added to third-party apps from the App Store, but we can’t confirm this functionality just yet. You can add a location to your tweets based on your iOS device’s location tracking ability.
There’s a variety of new features in this mobile browser from tabbed browsing on iPad to the Safari Reader. The latter allows you to display web articles without any ads or any other distractions. There’s also Reading List, which saves webpages offline for later viewing. These webpages can be synced with iCloud.

“PC Free”
This is perhaps the most creative feature of iOS 5. Thanks to a combination of Apple’s iCloud service, on-device software updates, and on-device setup, you’ll be able to use your iOS device without ever connecting or configuring it with a Mac or PC. You can do everything wirelessly and backup and restore your iOS device through iCloud.

Other Noteworthy Features:
  • Wi-Fi Sync: You’ll be able to sync your iOS device with iTunes wirelessly, and automatic syncing is also available.
  • Mail: You can now use text properties such as underline, italics, and bold. Your iCloud account is also connected to Mail.
  • New Multitasking Gestures (using four or five fingers):
    • Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar
    • Pinch to return to the home screen
    • Swipe left or right to switch between apps
[via iFans]

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