With around 200 new features added on top of what is already available in IOS, version 5 of Apples leading mobile OS is looking really impressive from how the keynote describes it. The feeling amongst those who have already got their hands on a copy is that it hangs together well. The rest of us have to wait until Autumn to find out which was the date given out for the general release.
‘Notification Center provides iOS 5 users with an innovative way to easily access all notifications – text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts and more, all in one place, from anywhere in iOS 5,’ – Apple.
A much hoped for feature and one that seems borrowed from Android is an updated notifications system. Instead of getting those intrusive popups and replaced it with a banner at the top of the screen which can be accessed from all apps via a downward swipe. This new alerts system is now called Notification Center which when pulled down can display up to 15 notifications. All notifications, texts, emails, tweets, now appear at the top in the banner as they arrive.
Obviously Twitter knew this was coming and may even have pushed them to move on their integration of photos that they announced at the D9 conference. I think it’s safe to say however that no-one else was expecting Twitter to be so embedded within IOS5. Users will be able to tweet, send pictures and link web pages straight to their Twitter accounts from inside the new update. All you have to do is ‘add your Twitter credentials into the Settings and tweet directly from Apple’s native applications like Safari or photos. No more need of third party twitter apps then?
I have to admit that i don’t really use the camera on my ipod touch but then its not as good as the iPhones one and so i wasnt looking for any camera updates, there’s a tendency to focus on hardware improvements for better features. However, Apple did a rewrite of the camera app and its features in this new version.
To start with you can access the camera from the lock screen via hoe screen double tap so there is no delay getting the camera up and running. Another physical button function added is the ability to use the volume rocker as a physical shutter key to take photos. The last one is an interesting one considering that they pulled camera+ from the App Store for doing the same thing.
Moving onto the screen features, you can lock focus and exposure by holding down on a part of the image and enhanced Zoom controls, which are now ‘activated via pinch-to-zoom,’
This is another very welcome update that has been too long in coming, tabbed browsing in Safari. For now, it looks like it is still limited to nine tabs within iOS 5’s Safari app.
Coming along with it is a built in Reader application just likes it’s Mac OS big brother browser application. The implementation of Reader has caused a ripple of concern as it strips out things like formatting and advertising to give you the content you really want. Developers of existing apps that do similar things better step up their game to offer that little something else to stay relevant in the new market.
Another additions that’s going to upset some more developers is Reminders. It is, as you have suspected a ‘To-do list’ application and there are a lot of them already in existence on the App Store. Its one of those, does exactly what it says applications; you add a reminder by tapping + and filling in the information. A nice touch is the ability to have the app alert you both by time or by location so if you need to remember to do something when you get to your office, this will do it. When it goes off you get a push notification in that handy new notifications bar reminding you to get that stuff done.’
Apple will be the saviour of the newspaper and magazine world after all… Hurrah! NewsStand is going to look and work a lot like iBooks but it’s there for all your subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. Hopefully this will work better than the current model where every magazine has a different app. Lets hope it takes off..
iMesssage is going to take a leaf out of RIM’s pie now by launching a proprietary messaging application. It will allow users to communicate easily between iPhones, iPods and iPads. Text, photos, videos, contacts and group messaging can be sent and will support both Wi-Fi and 3G.
It was just recently unveiled at the recent Windows 8 demo but before it can even come into use, Apple beath them to the punch with split keyboards; iOS 5 will come with the built in ability to split the on-screen keyboard in two for easier typing on its larger screen.
By placing two fingers on the keyboard and moving outwards the keyboard will break in half and allow easier thumb typing this will be most welcome for iPad users I think…
Breaking the shackles
iOS 5 and iCloud take everything to the cloud, negating the need for a PC and seamlessly link all your iDevices. Apps will be automatically synced across to other devices you own and with content such as books you can move between your iPhone and your iPad and the place you last stopped will be remembered. Apps that we have mentioned such as reminders and messages will also be synced across between devices. All this is possible with iCloud which I will talk about in another post.