The new iOS5 from Apple - 13 Jun 2011

Apple have worked very hard since their last iOS update coming up with over 200 new added features for the latest iOS5. There is a handful of features that will really make for a better experience to existent and future apple device users.


Most of us have a computer at home that we can sync our iPhones, iPad or iPod touches with but that’s not to say we like doing it. Connecting to a PC or Mac is time consuming – especially when you have a lot of content such as music and apps. Apple have come up with a way in which the use of a PC or Mac isn’t needed and it’s so easy you don’t have to do anything whatsoever.

Usually when you buy an iOS device you get it out the box and you see ‘connect to iTunes’ when all you want to do is start using your new device. Now you can activate your device from the device itself making it so much easier and faster to get your iPhone or any other device up and running.

Obviously if you’ve got CDs that you have ripped onto iTunes then you will have to connect and sync to a PC or Mac to put them on your device, but that is the only reason that you will have to connect to it.

Let’s say your asleep at night and you pop your phone on charge, your phone will then wirelessly connect to iTunes and sync any updates automatically, not only will it do that- which is amazing in itself- it will also back your phone up. It will back any iOS device up daily with no effort from you whatsoever.

You can now update to the latest software over the air! The updates are now Delta so it will no longer take forever to update the whole software on your device and it will only update the bits that have changed – which saves a lot of time and is very convenient. Adding and deleting calendars and mail boxes is just another little perk of the update.

One reason why you must always back your phone up regularly by connecting to a PC or Mac is photos – not anymore! Now you can take photos, edit them, add more detail and create folders for them all within your device, getting rid of the need to connect!

If you have a passcode on your device and something’s happening that you need to take a photo of really quickly, the moment would likely to have passed by the time you’ve typed the code in and selected camera. Apple have solved this problem by adding a lock screen shortcut. By double clicking the home button whilst your phone is locked will reveal a new camera button, click it and you are directed immediately to your camera, even if you have a passcode!  You will not be able to view you photo library or anything else on your phone until you have typed your passcode in.

There is now optional grid lines to help you align photo your and a pinch to zoom feature. Another nice feature is the volume up button can now be used to take a photo!

There’s a brand new feature that comes with the iOS5 update and that’s iMessage which allows all apple iOS5 devices – iPhone, iPad and iPod touch – to text among each other via 3G and Wi-Fi. You can send texts, photos, videos, contacts and do group messages. You can have optional delivery receipts and read receipts and also typing indication so you know when someone is typing and replying and that you’re about to get a text.

These are sent not only to one of you iOS5 devices but the information is sent to all of them! So if you’re using you’re iPad at home and text a friend and nip to the shop with your iPhone, you can check if they replied using that and reply straight away.

When you do get a text message, email, missed call etc. you will be notified by apples new notification centre. Notifications no longer interrupt you if you’re in the middle of playing a game or reading a book, instead what appears is a small tab at the top of your screen letting you know you have a text or an email etc. you can leave it and it will disappear or you can tap it and it will direct you to that notification.

At any point if you wish to see your notifications you just drag your finger from the top of the screen downwards and the notification centre slides down, from here you can tap any notification and it will take you to it. It’s that simple!

They’ve also made changes within the mail app by letting you – amongst other things – do rich text formatting like setting things as bold, italic or underline things.

These are just a small handful of improvements that apple have worked so hard to achieve and hopefully they’ll have succeeded in correcting many of the things that annoy us about the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

We can all decide what we think of iOS5 for ourselves this Autumn when it is expected to be released, but from what we’ve seen so far from the new update, ‘it just works’.

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