After being announced at WWDC 2011, Apple finally released iOS 5 to the public. And I’ve got to say, this is one of the greatest updates to iOS. It has some really cool new features, and also with the addition of iCloud, it makes some Apple made apps really useful. Pages, Keynote, Numbers and iMovie projects will work across all platforms, saving them all at the same time. For example, you can work on a Keynote on your iPad, and pick it up later on your iPod.
First, a new feature is the new notification system and a new way to display notifications, called Notification Center. First, notifications are displayed in a new way. Instead of now a pop-up notification, it will come up with a small banner at the top, and won’t disturb what you’re doing. But if you like the pop-up notifications, you can revert back to it in your Settings. Notification Center is the new notification system. Now, you can view your notifications all at once now. All you have to do is swipe down from the top of the iPod, specifically where the time is located (Fig 1). This is similar to what you would get on Android systems. Then, you can see all your notifications, such as text messages, iMessages, etc. You can also have widgets, such as displaying weather and stocks.
Next is iMessage, the new Message service for iOS. Basically, this is a new text message service for iPods and iPads. This also includes the iPhone. Now the good thing is, if you use iMessage on iPod, iPad, and yes iPhone, you will not get charged! So this might kill some of those free text message apps. Some features you should know about is when you send a message, you’ll get a small text notification on the bottom of your message when the person you sent it to read it, and when they’re typing, you’ll see a quotation mark with 3 … to show you they’re replying. You can send text, pictures, videos, locations, all without charge, and all messages are securely delivered.
Two new features this year are Newsstand and Reminders. Newstand (Fig 2) is a magazine and newspapers app to accompany the iBooks app. You can purchase magazine and newspapers subscriptions from the new tab in the App Store. I already have subscribed the New York Times myself! New issues will
be put on to your device automatically, just like how someone automatically delivers the newspaper to you in the morning. Reminders is a new app to obviously, remind you. You can type in what you need to do, and with location services, you can get a push notification when you leave a place. For example, you could type, Pick up dinner from McDonalds after work. You can add a location (in this case, your workplace) and when you leave the radius, a push notification will come up. Pretty cool eh?
Another cool feature is PC Free. And no, this does not mean NO WINDOWS OS! With
tablet PCs and smartphone becoming more popular, you can now set up your iPod, iPhone and iPad without connecting to a computer with iTunes. Also, you get WiFi Sync. It will back up new content to your computer over a WiFi network. As well now, software updates are over the air. This can be achieved through Settings –> General –> Software Update. Refer to Fig 3.
Some other features include photo editing in the Photo app. Now you can do one-touch enhance, cropping and remove red-eye. You can also take pictures from the home screen (Fig 4). In Safari for iPad, you get official tabbed browsing, and in Calender on iPad, you get a new yearly view now. In Game Center, you can now get a profile with a picture, and make app purchases directly from the game. Lastly, you can get multitask gestures for the iPad. These gestures are similar to Mac OS X Lion. If you use four or five fingers, you can swipe up to get the multitasking bar. You can pinch the screen to return to the Home screen, and lastly, swipe left or right to switch between apps.
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