iOS 5 Cuts Cord, adds Location-Based Reminders and Notification Center


iOS 5 New FeaturesContinuing its push for a post-pc market, Apple's latest iOS 5 release is all about an all-in-one user experience right out of the box. It will allow iPhone, iPod and iPad device users the ability to start using their devices immediately without having to sync to a desktop or laptop.

Among the other 200+ updates include a new Notification Center, which will act as a convenient place to check all notifications at a glance and the new location-aware Reminders app. There were a total of 10 updates that were demoed at the World Wide Developers Conference held Apple in San Francisco on Monday, of which are outlined below.

New Features in iOS 5

iOS 5 Notification Center: The new notification system is a drop down menu from the top of the screen that is accessed by a swipe down gesture and relieves users from being interrupted with an alert in the middle of the screen when typing an email or playing a game. The new iOS 5 Notification Center is a huge improvement and will also allow you to swipe to the left or right to launch the app with the marked alert.

iOS 5 iMessage: This feature will be very handy as it integrates a synced messaging system between the iPad, iPhone and iPhone that will allow unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G. Users can keep track of everything on any device such as text, photos, videos, locations and contacts. Definitely a plus for people like me that work from various locations on various devices.

iOS 5 Newsstand: For those of you who would love a subscription services on your iDevice that is an all in one place virtual bookshelf for magazines and newspapers, you're in luck. With this new feature you'll be able to subscribe to your favorites and have them downloaded directly to your device in the background. And when there is a new issue, it's automatically downloaded as well and the cover us updated along with a "new" label to alert you.

iOS 5 Reminders: This will be a great app to get things done on the iPad 2, iPad or iPhone. What makes this to-do list app interesting is its location-based built-in feature. Say you want to set a reminder to call your spouse on the way home from work. Just set the reminder and as soon as you leave the office the app notices your location has changed and will reminder you to make the call. Never forget the milk again. This will also be integrated into iCal, Outlook and iCloud so all devices will be updated at once.

iOS 5 Twitter: Twitter, my favorite social experience, is not easier to use on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch as you'll be able to sign in one time and then you're good to go for all other apps. Another great feature is that you'll be able to tweet directly from other apps such as Maps, Camera, Safari, etc. This will also be synced with your Contacts so you can simple start with the @ and iOS 5 automatically fills in your contact's name as you type.

iOS 5 Camera: One of my biggest gripes has been the speed at which you can pull your camera out quickly and capture that really funny looking outfit that just walked by. Apple promises that not only will the camera be quicker to launch, but you'll also be able to launch it from the lock screen even if you have a passcode on. And you'll also be able to do a bit of editing in the app such as red eye correction, cropping and one-touch enhancement like in iPhoto. Focus and exposure locks are also included.

Some of the other updates include viewing articles on Safari without ads, tabbed browsing as well as save articles for reading later with the new Reading Lists function similar to Instapaper. Mail will be more word processing friendly with the ability to indent, rearrange address fields and flag important messages. It will also feature intelligent searching such as "From: Greg Dawson last month".

Calendar adds a year view along with tapping to create an event while Game Center will now have an achievement scores feature as well as allow you to purchase and download games directly from the app. Wi-Fi Sync is another of Apple's subtle, but seriously awesome features that will allow you to sync via a shared Wi-Fi network.

To round out the top enhancements, the iPad now can AirPlay Mirroring directly the TV for full enjoyment as well as its gestures will act more like a trackpad with new moves and shortcuts to make moving between the multitasking bar, home screen and apps more efficient.

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  • alan

    iOS 5 Reminders is a simple todo list with missing basic features, no search field to narrow down the list, no filters, …. Anyway, this is a good news and will clean a crowded marketplace. But for todo list with advanced and powerful features we will have to wait for Apple some major updates. Take a look at an app like todogenius (on iphone) and you will see the creativity of developers is far ahead what propose apple.

  • Greg Dawson

    @Alan - You raise a really great point. I think Apple should take a look at Todogenious! :)