Apple released iOS5, the most mature and polished of the OS platforms. This is the latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. iOS 5 is particularly important for Apple because it addresses areas where iOS devices have lagged behind Android devices, such as wireless syncing and updates, and because it enables the use of Apple’s iCloud service.
Apple says that iOS 5 includes more than 200 new features. These are some outstanding features that matter.
You get all kinds of notifications on your iOS 5 device: new email, new texts. You get all the friend requests from social networking sites and more. With Notification Center, you can keep track of them all in one convenient location. Here you can even see a stock ticker and the current weather. New notifications appear briefly at the top of your screen without interrupting what you’re doing. The Lock screen displays notifications so you can act on them with just a swipe.
Apple introduced a new messaging service for iOS 5, with iMessage. iMessage is built into the Messages app, so you can send unlimited text messages and photos, videos, locations, and contacts via Wi-Fi or 3G. It keeps everyone in the loop with group messaging. You can track your messages with delivery receipts and optional read receipts, see when someone’s typing, and enjoy secure encryption for text messages.
iOS 5 organizes your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions in Newsstand: a folder that lets you access your favorite publications quickly and easily. There’s also an option on the App Store just for subscribing newspaper and magazine. Newsstand automatically updates in the background and completes with the latest covers. It’s kind of like having the paper delivered to your front door, only in better way.
Apple’s version of a To-Do List is important because Reminders lets you organize your life in to-do lists, complete with due dates and locations. Say you need to remember to pick up milk during your next grocery trip. Since Reminders can be location based, you’ll get an alert as soon as you pull into the supermarket parking lot. Thus a Reminder to stop by the pharmacy on the way home would appear on your iPhone as you pass the pharmacy. Reminders also works with iCal, Outlook, and iCloud, so changes you make update automatically on all your devices and calendars.
iOS 5 makes it even easier to tweet from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Sign in once in Settings and you can tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. You can even add a location to any tweet, no matter which app you’re tweeting from. And thankfully, Apple hasn’t made existing Twitter clients redundant.
In iOS 5 you will get plenty of new features of Camera and you will love it. You can open the Camera app right from the Lock screen. Use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap focus and exposure locks to compose a picture on the fly. The software update also adds optional grid lines to help frame shots, pinch-to-zoom support in the preview screen, the ability to swipe to the camera roll from the preview screen, and the ability to tap and hold to lock focus and exposure. If you have Photo Stream enabled in iCloud, your photos automatically download to all your other devices.
Photos App is much more better in iOS 5, here you can crop, rotate, enhance, and remove red-eye without leaving the Photos app. Even you can organize your photos in albums right on your device. With iCloud, you can push new photos to all your iOS devices. So if you’re taking photos on your iPhone, iCloud automatically sends copies to your iPad, where you can quickly touch them up before showing them off.
iOS 5 brings even more web-browsing features. Safari Reader displays web articles ads or clutter so you can read without distractions in your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Reading List lets you save interesting articles to peruse later. On iPad, tabbed browsing helps you keep track of multiple web pages and switch between them with ease. And iOS 5 improves Safari performance on all your iOS devices.
With iOS 5, you no longer need a computer to own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. You just have to activate and set up your device wirelessly and have to download free iOS software updates directly on your device. You can back up and restore your device automatically using iCloud. Apple offers up to 50 GB to users with a modest number of images and media files should find the service a convenient way to make their files available across all of their iOS and Mac OS X Lion devices. Certainly it’s better than the old method.
You are about to receive some great new features in your inbox. You can format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts, create indents in the text of your message and drag to rearrange names in address fields. You can flag important messages and even add and delete mailbox folders on the fly. If you’re looking for a specific email, you can now search in the body of messages. IT administrators can now disable email forwarding to prevent company messages from being sent to external accounts. They can also turn off syncing with iCloud or iTunes, thereby limiting the replication of files on personal systems. You get a free email account that stays up to date on all your devices with iCloud.
Along with visible improvements to Apple’s Calendar iOS apps, there are many new capabilities in iOS 5 that aren’t readily evident. Here you get more perspective on your schedule with year view on iPad and week view on iPhone and iPod touch. A lot of these have to do with how iOS devices interface with corporate IT systems. You just have to Tap to create an event and drag to adjust the time and duration. iCloud lets you share calendars with friends and family, and it keeps your events in sync on all your devices.
iOS is the world’s most popular gaming platform. You can get your game face on with even more Game Center features with iOS 5. You can meet your match with new friend recommendations based on the games you play and the players you already know. You can discover new games without leaving Game Center and you can size up an opponent on the spot with new overall achievement scores.
Android users have long enjoyed wireless syncing and software updates. Apple had to catch up and finally has. You can wirelessly sync your iOS device to your Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi connection. Every time you connect your iOS device to a power source, it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes.
AirPlay now supports video mirroring which means you can wirelessly, securely stream whatever is on your iPad 2 or iPhone 4S to your HDTV via Apple TV. Everyone in a room sees exactly what’s on your iPad or iPhone display up on the big screen. Even when you rotate your device from portrait to landscape or zoom in and out the change will be displayed.
Apple is introducing 1,500 new developer APIs, which allow third-party developers to take advantage of iOS 5 improvements. So in the months ahead, expect to see a lot of apps that integrate with iCloud and other Apple services. iOS 5 comes with innovative new features that make it easier for people with mobility, hearing, vision, and cognitive disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. iOS 5 works with specialized hardware accessories. The LED flash and custom vibration settings let you see and feel when someone’s calling. These are just a few of the ways iOS 5 continues making advances in the field of accessibility.