2 August 2011 | Team Tamar

What to look forward to in iOS5

As a nerdy developer type I’ve been using the dev beta of iOS5 since Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in June. As we’re getting nearer to the full release in the Autumn I thought I’d share some of my favourite features, along with the ones I’m still eagerly anticipating.

Notifications – One of the reasons I love this is that when people notice this on the lock screen they say “Ooo have you got iOS5?!” It is also very useful and a very attractive encapsulation of the most important things on my phone. I can access Mail, Phone, Messages, Calendar and other apps all from one place from within any other app. I also really like the slick, small drop down that appears with incoming mail, messages etc, it stops me missing important mail when I’m engrossed in Rolando!

Location-based reminders – I know of at least 3 people who have suggested this to me before, so they’ll all be very pleased with this new development. I’ve not really experienced the benefit yet though as I tend to set it and forget to take my phone off silent, I guess I need some sort of reminder to do that!

Camera and Photos – Firstly, all you need is a double menu button click to access the camera from the lock screen, which is very handy for those moments you need to catch quickly. Secondly Apple have now enabled you to take pictures with the volume-up button as well as the on-screen button. This may not sound like much, but I’m finding it much easier to get steady photos using a physical button over the on-screen one. There are also some nice on-screen features, like the grids to help you compose your photo and pinch zoom. Once your photo’s taken you can do a spot of editing in Photos too: reduce the red eye, crop or enhance before you tweet it …

Twitter – integrated – This is such an exciting development, not just because I’m a total twitter-addict but because Apple have decided to integrate another company’s technology at the OS level of their mobile products. While tweeting a picture may not seem like a big  deal, when you consider that Twitter is only 5 years old and started as an internal messaging system it begs the question: what great, as-yet un-thought-of app might they integrate into iOS6?!

iMessage – Hello lovely free messaging to everyone I know with iOS devices! Now I just need to make sure everyone I know buys an iPhone! This again may seem a small development, but I hear that one of the best features of a blackberry, and the reason a lot of teenagers seem to have them is BB messenger. It’s seems now there’s nothing a blackberry can do that a lovely shiny iPhone can’t!

Newsstand – iBooks for magazines, this looks like a very sensible, business savvy development for Apple. I’m currently staring longingly at an empty shelf, waiting for it to go live when the iOS is available to all.

Ahhh wireless everything – Having spent some time doing IT support work I’m always keen to reduce the number of wires on/under the desk, and Apple, rather delightfully, are helping with this. You now no longer even need a Mac or PC to sync your iPhone/iPod/iPad, all updates will be downloaded directly to your device and back-ups can be made automatically using iCloud. iCloud stores basically everything and wirelessly pushes it all: music, photos, apps calendars, documents to all your iOS and OSX devices. And… It’s free!

There are also some lovely little bits and bobs added to Mail, and Calendar like rich text editing in email and a weekly view of your calendar.

So far Apple seem to have addressed every little niggle you might have had with iOS4, they say that they’ve looked into every corner of the iOS, which does seem to be true. While it’s very exciting to have had the developer sneak preview I am still waiting for a few things too. Most of all I’m looking forward to the Twitter integration going live, iMessage and iCloud.

Have any devs noticed anything missing that they wish was there? What are all you Apple fans looking forward to most?

Team Tamar