iOS5 – Top 25 New Features

If you haven’t updated the operating system (iOS) on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch, get on the stick.  This is a major release and there are over 200 new improvements, many of which are kind of a big deal.  You have to connect your device to your computer via USB and then use iTunes to get the update.  iTunes is helpful with dialogs on how to get this done.

Make sure that you do a full backup of your device and transfer all purchased apps before you do an upgrade.  You can get to these 2 options by right clicking the device when it shows up in iTunes.  Transfer purchases first, then do a full backup.  Make sure you have a good internet connection because the iOS5 download is almost 800MB.  Also, one tricky thing not mentioned is that this update will remove and then replace ALL OF YOUR APPS.  It is important to go to the Apps tab and make sure the “Sync Apps” checkbox is checked before you do the upgrade.  Otherwise, your device will be pretty empty when you finish the upgrade.

The things I really like so far are:
– Turning the iPhone sideways when looking at a day in the calendar switches to show you week view
– The new message center is a more concise way of seeing alerts
– From here on out, iOS updates will be delivered over the air instead of having to tether to a computer running iTunes
– iCloud for backing up content on your device

The following list of top 25 iOS5 features is from a list provided by iPhoneHacks.com.
(I agree with the list and didn’t see any reason to recreate the wheel.)

  1. Revamped Notification system with Notification Center, Lock screen display and lots more – more details here and here
  2. Siri – Apple’s new intelligent personal assistant that is currently exclusively available only on iPhone 4S – more details here and here
  3. Integration with iCloud – Apple’s new Cloud based service
  4. iOS 5 includes two new features that will allow Apple to finally cut the cord and usher us in the post-PC era. The first one is PC Free – more details here
  5. The second one is Wi-Fi sync, will sync and backup content such as movies, TV shows, home videos, and photo albums from your iOS device to your Mac or PC whenever its using the same Wi-Fi connection and the iOS device is connected to a power source – more details here
  6. iMessage – Apple’s new messaging service For iPhone, iPad And iPod Touch users – more details here
  7. iOS software updates can be downloaded over-the-air (OTA). The iOS software updates will be delta updates, so instead of downloading the entire OS, you just download what has changed. This probably falls under the PC Free feature, but in our opinion this is one of the major new features of iOS 5. Video
  8. Earthquake Early Warning Notifications For iPhone Users In Japan – more details here
  9. Improved Camera app – more details here
  10. Improved Photos app – more details here
  11. A new Reminders app that allows you to store list of things to do that can be associated with a date and also assigned to a location – more details here
  12. A new Newsstand app that essentially organizes your magazine and newspaper app subscriptions in one place to access them easily and quickly – more details here
  13. Twitter is deeply integrated in iOS 5 and several apps including Camera, Photos, Maps, and Safari – more details here
  14. Mobile Safari gets a number of new features such as Reader, Reading List, full tabbed browsing for iPad users and ability to tweet from Safari – more details here
  15. Mail app gets a number of new features and improvements such as rich text formatting, ability to flag important messages, access to built-in dictionary etc. – more details here and here
  16. With the improved Game Center app, you will be able to add your photo to your Game Center profile, see friends of friends, compare yourself with your friends with Achievement points per game and lots more – details here
  17. AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 – more details here
  18. New Multitasking gestures for iPad – more details here
  19. AssistiveTouch feature that allows you to use your iOS device if you have difficulty touching the screen or if you require an adaptive accessory – more details here
  20. Nitro Javascript Engine Performance Improvements To Home Screen Web Apps – more details here
  21. iOS 5 also brings number of improvements to Calendar app such as ability to see year view on the iPad and week view on the iPhone and iPod Touch, ability to view event attachments directly within the Calendar app and other iCloud features – more details here
  22. FaceTime – Apple’s video calling feature gets number of improvements such as improved video quality and FaceTime calls over 3G – more details here and here
  23. Download multiple apps simultaneously over Wi-Fi And 3G – more details here
  24. Weather app also gets a number of improvements in iOS 5 – more details here
  25. Music App gets some minor improvements – more details here

Let us know how you are having any problems upgrading to iOS 5, and let us know what enhancements you like the most once you get it installed!

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