iOS 5: What’s New

| News

Apple is set to release iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch sometime on Wednesday, and the company says there are over 200 new features to try out. We picked out we thought were worth mentioning so you’ll have a better idea of what’s in store when you upgrade.

The new version of iOS requires an iPhone 3S, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, a third and fourth generation iPod touch, or iPad or iPad 2. If you’re using an earlier iPhone or iPod touch model, this upgrade isn’t for you. You’ll also need iTunes 10.5, which Apple released on Tuesday.

iOS 5 app icons

Notification Center iOS 5’s Notification Center replaces the current push notification system with an interface that shows missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts, instant message notifications and more in one place. Notifications no longer interrupt applications, and tapping a notification takes users to the apps they’re associated with.

Wi-Fi Syncing Apple dropped the need to use a USB cable to sync and backup your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 5. Instead, you can perform syncs and backups over local Wi-Fi networks whenever your device is charging its battery.

Over-the-air Software Updates iOS 5 can be updated without connecting to iTunes. Updates will be delivered as deltas, meaning they include only changes instead of the full operating system. That’ll help keep file sizes down so updates can download and install quicker.

Multitasking Gestures iPad owners can new use gestures to handle tasks like viewing the multitasking bar, switching between apps, and jumping back to the Home screen without using the Home button.

PC Free Apple is dropping the requirement to connect iOS devices to iTunes for activation. That means you don’t need a computer any more to support an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, finally making Apple’s line of ultra portable devices truly stand-alone computers.

AirPlay Mirroring iPad 2 users will be able to show their display wirelessly through an Apple TV instead of relying on Dock to video adapters. The receiver needs to support AirPlay, too, which makes the Apple TV even more enticing since that’s one of its features.

Reminders iOS 5’s Reminders app adds task management to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app lets users track tasks, set alerts, track tasks by location, set priorities and due dates, and can be viewed in iCal or Outlook. Reminders isn’t as full features as apps like OmniFocus or Things, but it’s great at giving you reminders when you arrive at or leave locations.

iMessage iOS 5 is getting its own instant messaging service that’s available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. It works over 3G or Wi-Fi connections, and supports text, video and photo messages outside without requiring cell service SMS plans.

Camera The Camera app gained the ability to take photos even when the screen is locked, and use the Volume Up button as a shutter release — a feature that other camera apps got in trouble for at one time. It also adds grid lines for easier photo composition, and the ability to set focus and exposure automatically with a tap.

Newsstand Apple is mirroring its iBookstore with Newsstand. The feature lets users find, purchase and update digital newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and automatically updates subscriptions in the background.

Mobile Safari The mobile version of the Safari Web browser is getting the Mac OS X version’s Reader feature so users can view online articles as a single page and without extra layout features. It also includes an Instapaper-like Reading List feature that tags articles for later viewing, adds support for emailing article contents instead of just URLs, and adds tabbed browsing for iPad users.

Mail The new Mail app offers encrypted message support, improved message searching, and rich text formatting. It also includes an improved portrait view, the ability to move email addresses between fields, support for flagging messages, and S/MIME support.

Single Sign-on for Twitter iOS 5 includes built-in Twitter support so that users don’t need to provide account credentials to multiple client apps. Users can also post content to Twitter through Apple’s Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps apps.

The list of new features in iOS 5 goes on, with improved accessibility, more Calendar views, per-app control over space usage, and more.

If you’re planning on installing iOS 5 right away, be sure to check out The Mac Observer’s upgrade guide for tips on how to avoid headaches on the off chance that something goes wrong. Be sure to check back with TMO for even more iOS 5, iCloud and iPhone 4S coverage, too.

Comments

Sid

Nope, It’s still not out.

Joe

Apple needs to learn that there is a world full of people that don’t revolve around the PDT time zone. Still not out and the sun is down… ...after coming up 13 hours ago.

Dave Hamilton

Good point, Joe. The thing is, *Apple* (for the most part) revolves around Pacific Time, and my guess is they want their PR folks and engineers at the office when this stuff pushes out just in case there’s some big problem that they didn’t stumble across in beta testing. With today being a big day (iCloud, iOS 5, etc), that’s a wise move.

Anyone remember the MobileMe migration/launch/disaster? wink

PeaceFreak

Can someone check and see if the Notes field in the Address Book is searchable yet?

John Smith

Still Waiting!!!!!!!!!!!

PeaceFreak

Damm!

Still Waiting!!!!!!!!!!!

John Parker

Has anyone had the update, it’s still not out in DC and it’s 10am

Budman

Nope…still no update in Ohio.

KP

not out in TN yet either.

Budman

C’MON APPLE!!!!  I do have other things that I need to accomplish today!  smile

rjackb

Wi-Fi Synching is a bit of a joke, if you ask me. Your device still has to be physically plugged into a wire that is charging your device. That happens to be the same wire that I’ve always used for synching.

Dave Hamilton

Wi-Fi Synching is a bit of a joke, if you ask me. Your device still has to be physically plugged into a wire that is charging your device.

I believe you are mistaken. Let’s wait until iOS 5 is out in earnest, but from what I understand syncing *can* take place without the device being on charge.

SteveK

Question:  will iCloud allow for streaming your content, or, is it just for storage (i.e., iTunes in the cloud)?  I heard both and am confused.

ted

not in New Orleans yet

mattknows

I believe you are mistaken. Let?s wait until iOS 5 is out in earnest, but from what I understand syncing *can* take place without the device being on charge.

That is precisely opposite of what it says in the details on wifi syncing.

maxx108

not out yet at 9 am denver

rjackb

Dave Hamilton said:
I believe you are mistaken. Let?s wait until iOS 5 is out in earnest, but from what I understand syncing *can* take place without the device being on charge.

I don’t think I am mistaken. Here is a quote from apple.com:

“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 (say, overnight for charging), it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes.”

John Parker

Still waiting Apple, this is crazy—release it…...

Dave Hamilton

I don?t think I am mistaken. Here is a quote from apple.com:

?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 (say, overnight for charging), it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes.?

Again, we’ll all be able to test this shortly, but what this tells me is that automatic syncing will happen when it’s on charge. This says nothing about any limits being placed for on-demand syncing, though.

Dave Hamilton

As for those of you concerned about the timing of this impending release: Apple has traditionally pushed these out right about 1pm Eastern Time / 10am Pacific.

SteveK

I don?t think I am mistaken. Here is a quote from apple.com:

?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 (say, overnight for charging), it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes.?

I’m hoping that it means syncing is AUTOMATIC when charging; however, when not charging, syncing can be done manually.

Emily

Not out in FL, noon

Mark

Downloaded ios5 version for ipad from mirror site. Installed and working beautifully.  It’s sweet!

michael felix

What is the mirror site???

Lona

It will happen soon enough.  Mirror site?  I will wait for Apple.

mattknows

The update servers will certainly get slammed when they release it here (soon I hope).

Pashtun Wally

Downloading 5 as we speak….

Scott

Dog slow..

Deb

Update is now available, 1:11 pm EDT.

Intruder

It doesn’t matter what time they release it or what timezone they stick to. Somebody will be upset.

It will be released when it is released.

Dorje Sylas

I got held up making a redundant backup copy of iOS backups, just now downloading. 5 minutes for 707.2 MB. Looking forward to the new notifications.

iTunes 10.5 is doing something funky when I attach my iPod Touch. It hangs for a few minutes while it looks it over. OSX 10.6.8. Very strange.

Brandon

Its out

PeaceFreak

So, is it possible to search for text in the Address Book Notes field?

supersean579

Wi-Fi Synching is a bit of a joke, if you ask me. Your device still has to be physically plugged into a wire that is charging your device. That happens to be the same wire that I?ve always used for synching.

You can sync wirelessly at anytime.  It just happens automatically while your charging.

Mark Jacob

I’d like to know about that too!!! The “Spot Light” feature that searches deep everywhere (including within the notes of my Contacts) would be so useful when trying to find info with a search.

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