iOS 5 – Reasons to Upgrade
The new notifications feature is one of the biggest visual changes in iOS 5. Like copy/paste and multi-tasking.
Although Apple owes much to Android, which pioneered the pull-down notifications concept, the implementation is pure Apple.
Likewise, giving notifications access to widgets like weather and the stock ticker make quick glances at the phone that much more effective.
2. Twitter at the Core
Apple’s decision to integrate Twitter with iOS 5 makes it the de facto social network on iOS devices.
The Twitter integration works quite well.
Group messaging apps are not a new concept. One of the hallmark features of BlackBerry OS (when it’s working) is BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)
iMessage takes a BBM approach at group and text messaging, but the advantage is that it works across the 100 million-plus iOS devices. This means you can now send messages to individuals or groups from an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. It works exactly like the standard MMS app on the iPhone and adds a new chat component to the iPad and iPod touch.
iMessage isn’t revolutionary for those of us with unlimited texting plans — but for those of us on a budget, and iPod touch/iPad users, it completely opens up the communication experience.
4. Photo Editing
In iOS 5, Apple has integrated what should be called “iPhoto Touch” directly into the app. Rotating, cropping and making minor adjustments to photos is now a breeze. No third-party apps required.
For publishers that choose to use Apple’s subscription system, new issues are delivered to users in a more seamless and elegant way.
The latest issues of magazines and newspapers I subscribe to are automatically delivered to Newsstand.
This increases engagement, which is key for publishers who want to convert users into subscribers combatting the downturn in Newspapers sales.
6. Find My Friends
Apple’s new Find My Friends app isn’t built into iOS 5 but it requires iOS 5 to work. It’s a feature that makes sharing where you are and what you are doing easy.
It makes sharing location with select users hard to mess up.
The killer feature of Find My Friends: using it at live events like concerts and conferences.
7. Better Camera Controls
The Photos app got an overhaul, but the camera is better too. Now users can access the camera button directly from the lock screen. Windows Phone made manufacturers include a dedicated camera button on their devices. This is almost as good.
If iCloud succeeds, it might make us forget about the debacle that was MobileMe.
Firstly, iCloud is about using an iOS device with no Mac required. It also means that backups of photos, documents and app settings can happen without having to think about them.
The real test will be if Apple opens up iCloud to third-party apps. Dropbox is so good because it can be used by other apps to store and retrieve data. If iCloud could do that too, that would be huge.
9. iTunes in the Cloud/iTunes Match in the Cloud
iTunes Match won’t be available for a few more weeks.
It will look great on the desktop. All of your iTunes playlists and songs synced with iCloud (or purchased in iTunes) are available at a moment’s notice. You will be able to stream a track if it isn’t on yourdevice, or download a track or playlist for offline playback.
10. Wi-Fi Sync
No more searching for the iPod USB cable. iOS now allows users to sync their devices with a local iTunes account over Wi-Fi. The sync can even be configured with an AirPort Express.
Syncing via iCloud is also possible. The advantage: iCloud lets users automatically download apps across devices (including in iTunes) across devices. That means that downloading an app on my Mac installs it on your iPhone and iPad too.