The complete guide to iOS 5 and how it will make your life easier...
The time is here again. Another iOS update, another frenzy and another blog post.
Over the past few years every time Apple brings an iOS update, it brings along a lot of requested features and some great new capabilities to a great hardware device. Some love it, some hate it but nobody can ignore it. So lets cut to the chase.
1. Notification Center: This is a big one and a much needed one. Currently the notification system in iOS was a bit obtrusive. You were enjoying a great game of Angry Birds or writing a serious email and BOOM…. a pop showed up right in the middle of the screen with a message from some stupid marketing guy. You would have to pause whatever you were doing, read or dismiss the alert and then get back to whatever you were doing. This was not only a mood spoiler for me but sometimes distracted me from the important things.
The new notification center fixes all this. Now there is a cool non obtrusive notification on the top of the screen and you can carry on doing whatever you were without being held up. There is a dedicated notification center screen which shows all your notifications from any app. This is one place you can see all your unread emails, messages, push notifications and other stuff. Also shows the local weather and stock updates in the current beta. A very welcome addition.
(The notification center)
2. iMessage: Move over whatsapp. BBM your days are over. Thats what comes to mind when you first try out iMessage. So what’s new here?
- Auto Switch between iMessage and SMS. iMessage works on WIFI/EDGE/3G. When none are available it switched to SMS mode automatically.
- When you type the number/name of a contact in the message app it will auto query if the the person is using an iOS 5 device. If they are and both parties are on a data connection, then ongoing messages will be through the iMessage system and will be FREE.
- There is no need to add someone to an iMessage list as it auto detects the other users. Works seamlessly.
- You can send any kind of media through iMessage. Video/Photo/Audio. Just about anything. All for FREE.
3. Twitter Integration: iOS 5 brings Twitter integration and now you can tweet photos right from the photo app. Also twitter accounts are built into the system with the option of downloading the twitter app.
(You can now tweet pics directly)
4. Camera: The Camera app can now take pictures with the “volume up” hardware button. A much needed feature. Double tapping on the lock screen reveals a Camera icon which takes you directly to the camera app to capture those sudden moments in life.(Notice the new camera button besides the unlock tab)
- You can rotate / crop photos
- Do an Auto-Enhance
- Red-Eye correction algorithm
- 6. Reminders: This new app brings the most missed feature in iOS. Now you can create new tasks and sync them with iCal. A complete and good looking task manager.
7. WIFI - Sync: Yes you read it right. You no longer need to connect the iPhone/iPad/iPod to sync it with your Mac/PC. Wireless sync brings effortless syncing. So whenever you are in the vicinity of the computer to which the iOS device syncs and provided you are connected to a power source, the iOS devices auto syncs to your computer.
8. iCloud: This is one of the best things to write about. iCloud is what MobileMe wanted to be but never could be and more. Check out some cool features below
- Sync your Contacts, Calendars, Mail, bookmarks across all iOS devices and Macs/PC’s
- Automatic Downloads: When you buy an App/Song in iTunes on your computer it is automatically downloaded wirelessly on all your iOS devices. No need to manually sync them
- Photo Stream: Shoot a picture on your iPhone and it will automatically appear in iPhoto on your computer and other iOS devices. Photo stream brings seamless syncing of new pictures through all computers and iOS devices. I tried it and the new photos on my iPhone instantly appeared in iPhoto on all my Macs. Apple provides free storage for this and it is completely free. The synced pictures will be kept for 30 days on Apple servers after which they will be deleted.
- 5 GB free storage: iCloud provides free 5GB storage which does not include photo stream. You can get more storage but you need to pay for that.
- Backups: iCloud will take regular backup of your iOS devices to the cloud servers. Just in case your iPhone gets lost or you buy a new one, just enter your iCloud login on the new device and complete data will be synced back. This includes settings, SMS messages, applications, music, app data and virtually everything you had on your iPhone/iPad. A completely hassle free backup system finally.
- Past purchases: Now you can see what you have bought in the past and download it again free of cost. So you can now re-download your apps, music, movies, tv shows and anything else you bought off iTunes without having to worry about losing them.
- iTunes Match: Apple has a whopping 18 Million song database. So they thought that they would probably have every song you have in your library. Thus iTunes match was born. What it essentially does is that it will scan your current iTunes library and find those songs in iTunes database. Once it matches all/whatever songs it can, then you are able to download your complete library on the go. So now when you recall a lovely song which you have in iTunes but not your iPhone, you can just download it off iTunes Match. All this for a $24.99 annual fee. On another note, this will legalize your music which you have gotten from “well you know what” sources.
11. New Mail: the mail client has been beefed up. Some very welcome features here.
- Create new mailboxes: You can now create new mailboxes right on the phone. This was earlier possible only through the computer.
- Flag Messages: Messages can be flagged right on the phone. The flags are synced to your account so they can been seen on the computer also.
- Formatting: When writing a mail you can now format text in RTF format. Underline, Bold, italics and yahooooooo. :-)