With over 200 new and upgraded features, the Apple iOS 5 mobile operating system has taken the world by storm. What is unique about the iOS 5, is that you no longer need to be dependent on your PC to set up your device, download software updates and apps, edit photo albums, and back up and restore your iPhone device. All this is now directly possible with the iCloud technology. If you are eager to find out what more you can expect with the iOS 5, or my Top 10 Features of Apple iOS 5, read on.
Top 10 Features of Apple iOS 5
1. Notifications and Alerts in One Place
You often receive notifications and updates on the various apps installed on your iPhone or iPad, be it new email messages, friend requests, or alerts on strawberries to be harvested in Smurfs’ Village. Now the Notification Center app keeps track of all these updates in one location. You can access the Notification Center by swiping down from the top of the screen. You will also get alert flashes at the top of the screen in both the Lock Screen mode as well as the normal mode with little interruption to your activities.
2. Sync Wirelessly
A big drawback of the previous iOS platform was the inability to sync the iOS device using Wi-Fi. Finally, this much needed feature has become a reality with the iOS 5. Now you don’t have to use those pesky wires to automatically sync or back up new content to iTunes. You can simply sync your iOS device to your PC using Wi-Fi.
3. iMessage, a New Messaging Service
Messaging is a popular form of communication and smartphones, should, well, make messaging more fun. The iOS 5’s new and super cool messaging service does just that. It lets you send UNLIMITED text messages using both Wi-Fi as well as 3G to users having the same devices. iMessage lets you send text, video, photos, location details, and contact information as well as allowing for the much needed group messaging feature. You can also track your messages, receive read receipt notifications, see if someone is typing a message, and send encrypted messages. You can even start a conversation on your iPhone and continue from where you left off on your iPad. They’ve thought of just about everything.
4. Have your Custom Newsstand for your iOS Subscriptions
You can now read all your magazine and newspaper subscriptions from one single location. There’s no need to keep moving from one news app to the next to get your daily dose of happenings using the Newsstand folder. The App Store also includes a new page for all your favorite subscriptions, which are automatically updated as updates become available, which of course can be accessed directly from the Newsstand folder on your iPhone or iPad. You will also receive alerts when new issues arrive, and can shop for more subscriptions from the App Store, which will become immediately available on your Newsstand.
5. Get Instant Reminders
iPhone and iPad users are constantly using various To Do apps to set reminders. Now the Reminders app lets you organize your to-do lists not just based on dates but also locations. For instance, if you need to pick up a special diamond ring for your special anniversary at De Beers at 5th Avenue, NY, where you are attending a meeting, you could set a location based reminder and you will receive an alert when you reach the meeting location. Reminders set will also be automatically updated to iCloud.
6. Integrated Twitter Functionality
Tweeting from your iOS 5 iPhone or iPad just got easier. Once you sign in you can tweet from the safari browser, photos, camera, youtube, or maps apps. Your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures are automatically synced with your Contacts making it easier for you to mention or reply to a friend. You can also add a location to any tweet from whatever app you’re tweeting from.
7. New Camera and Photo Edit Features
The iPhone/iPad camera has always been top notch, but the iOS 5 camera features tops the previous ones. You can now access the Camera app even from your Lock screen for those unexpected sudden moments you need to capture. Grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, single-tap focus, are some of the other new features. If you have enabled Photo Stream in iCloud, then your photos will be automatically downloaded to all your other devices.
Most of us prefer to touch up the photos that we’ve taken. Maybe crop it a little, remove a red-eye, or rotate a picture before sharing it with others. With the iOS 5, you can now do all that and more from the Photos app itself. You can then organize the photos and share them in iCloud, which will make the photos accessible from all your devices.
8. Improved Safari Browsing Experience
iOS 5 brings improved web-browsing features through the Safari Reader which displays web posts without the annoying and promises a clutter-free reading experience. You can save articles to read later using the Reading List and use the tabbed browsing functionality on the iPad to access and switch between multiple web pages.
9. New Email Features
Simple tasks such as formatting your email messages using bold, italic, or underline, creating indents, rearranging names in address fields, flagging important messages, adding or deleting mailbox folders, which we have gone used to with desktop applications are now possible with the iOS 5. It’s even handier to search for email messages with specific words in the body. With an iCloud account, you even get a free email account and can monitor and manage your Inbox from any iOS device.
10. Improved Calendar Settings
iOS 5 now lets you access your yearly calendar schedules on your iPad and weekly calendar views on the iPhone. Simple tap and drag actions help you set up calendar events. You can also add, rename, and delete calendars, view event attachments directly from the Calendar app. You can use iCloud to share calendars with friends and family, and sync your events on all your iOS devices.
What is your favorite iOS 5 feature? Is there something more that you expected but did not find in this upgrade? Share your thoughts with us using the comments form below.