iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

Summary: A look over 20 killer, crucial features of iOS 5, Apple's most advanced operating system to date.


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  • Newsstand allows users to download magazines and newspapers from the iTunes App Store. Newsstand is similar to iBooks in a way, but allows you to download up to date magazines and newspapers in the App Store. You can read all kinds of content straight from your iOS 5 device -- as though you were reading it with that magazine or newspaper physically in your hand.

  • Not the most important of features, I grant you this, but having native dictionary support is something you will miss once you don't have it. From nearly any application, you can select and highlight text and "define" it with iOS 5's included dictionary, allowing you to look up words and find out what it means. 

  • For iPhone users, iOS 5 includes custom vibrations as part of its accessibility feature set. It allows you to tap and create a custom vibration pattern for those who are visually impaired to determine who is calling or sending a message -- or simply to know who is calling without even looking at your iPhone. It also features an LED blinker to notify when a message has come through. Very useful for migrating BlackBerry users.

    (Image source: TiPb)

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPad, Mobile OS, Mobility

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  • Hmmmm.

    Not to be "that guy" but besides Siri, which of these things doesn't exist in Android? (in some cases for years...)
    • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

      @30otnix Which things you ask: I can think of two right away: The iMessage and the Geo Fencing. But Siri alone is worth changing from my Android to the iPhone. Apple, you got me!
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        @Zippinglou Umm Google Talk is better but doesn't handle text messages.

        Most of Siri functionality has been on Android since 2.1 it just isn't done with the same flare.

        Geo Fencing is interesting.
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        @Zippinglou Just like Google Voice is enough for many to change from iPhone to Android.
        Google, you got me!
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        @nayarsergio Google Voice really isn't all that great. Then again, there is no truly, insanely great Android handset (unless you root it).
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        @Peter Perry How do you know Google Talk is better? Have you used Siri on the 4S? Didn't think so.
      • Location tracking?

        @Zippinglou Half of these features depend on location tracking. Why isn't everybody freaking out about Apple tracking them, and collecting all your personal information in their iCloud?
    • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

      @30otnix I think the biggest difference is that the Android is an open operating system while the iPhone is a closed operating system. Meaning that while there are plenty of 3rd party iPhone apps that do all these things, by integrating these features directly into Apple's operating system means superior speed, efficiency, and stability.
    • Over the air sync and software updates

      I've just installed ios5 on my iPhone 4 and am disappointed to discover (as I've also just seen on the screenshot) that to sync 'wirelessly' you have to have it connected to a power source. How can that be wireless?
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        @pianoman1962 Not all that thrilled with it either but can see why they require it. Really not going to be a big deal at all for me but do wish it weren't a requirement.
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        The icloud update requires that you connect to power ONLY in you have less than 50% battery life and ONLY if you are doing a software update. I picked up my 4S yesterday and updated it in the car. About 30 minutes later it was updated and I never had to plug it in to power. I noticed it checks in with my sync computer when I get home and automatically syncs with no cable what so ever.
  • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

    @30otnix: How about all of them? Android likes to launch half-baked features that borders in uselessness because of lack of polish. This is the reason why Droids will always be inferior products (they're not bad per se, but even with superior specs its hard to call them premium products because they always feel like they haven't been properly tested).

    I have both btw in case your asking. I have the Samsung Galaxy S II and the iPhone 4. I'm in the business the requires me to have more than 1 phone. The usefulness between the two is quite vast. The Galaxy S II honestly feels like an immature teenager's phone (looks cool but lets you down on the things that matter) while the iPhone 4 really feels like a business phone.
    • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

      @marsquitojr I have both as well. What do you consider to be the big differences beyond polish?

      I like the customizable nature of Android but the iPhone4 just seems to work 99% of the time.
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        @sjanofsky@... Let me jump in here, and say that polish is a lot more important than people seem to think. Part of the "polish" of the iPhone is the consistency of UI operations across the OS *and* across every single app you run.<br><br>I have an Android that I'm using every day, now, having switched from an iPhone (that I used every day) for business reasons. With the Android, even just the "back" button is extremely frustrating in that it doesn't behave the same from app to app; sometimes it takes you back a page in the app, but sometimes it dumps you out to the OS (even if you're in a second level app page). And if you're in a web browser? Forget it. there's no telling what the back button is going to do. I can never count on it doing what I intend, so I've gotten into the habit of hitting the Home button instead. At least then I know I'll be dumped out to the OS, and can reenter the app from there if I need to. Not at all efficient.<br><br>With the iPhone, I intuitively knew exactly what the Home button was going to do *whenever* I pushed it. It seems like such a small, simple thing ("polish"), but, really, if I added up all the time that I spent in extra clicks on my Android because it *isn't* polished, it'd actually be quite a staggering tally.<br><br>In addition, with my Android, I have to restart the thing every 4 or 5 days to keep it running well (and from what I've heard, I'm pretty lucky that I don't have to restart even more often).<br><br>With my iPhone, I restarted a grand total of... oh... let's see... *never*. Okay... once... but that was to finish an OS upgrade.<br><br>It's a shame. I'm one of those people who was really excited about Android when it first came out. Google was doing everything right by me, and the promise of an open system sounded like a panacea. But now that I've used it in real life, I'm incredibly disappointed.
    • puke...

      basically the same thing. hope the koolaid was good!
    • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

      I agree! I just took my new Droid Bionic back to Best Buy because it can't measure up the iPhone. I got tired of the battery life, 15% as I arrived a BB, touch screen quality, virtual keyboard miss types, and of course, Verizon data plan, wondering when I needed more $$$. I went and pre-ordered an iPhone 4S on my old ATT unlimited plan. Glad I kept it for the trial on a Droid(dork) Bionic!
    • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

      you need to get yourself a HTC phone with sense UI.
      It is simply the BEST home UI / launcher out there.
      Everyone is trying to port HTC Sense to their android phones, it is THAT good.
      After using HTC Sense, then you are more qualified to rate Android. Samsung makes high spec phones, their UI is not really that good unfortunately.
  • My Faves

    1) Reader is neat - no more stupid ads, just the article I'm reading, and the margins and borders get cropped, and if an article is multiple pages it gets auto-merged. I wish other applications that have Safari implemented would have this too - such as Twitter and even 1Password.<br>2) Reading list - temporary bookmarking. This makes reading hyperlinked articles less annoying as Safari opens up another sheet and I have to navigate back to the one I was reading to begin with.<br>3) Tweet From "everywhere" - at least from some apps.<br>4) The notification engine is definitely a big step up from Android.<br>5) OTA/diff updating is a nice improvement.
    • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

      @m0o0o0o0o Notifcation was inspired by Android!
      • RE: iOS 5 out today: 20 features you need to know

        @Peter Perry

        And Android was inspired by iPhone.