Apple iOS 5 review: You've been notified

GSMArena team, 12 October 2011.
Pages: 123456789»

Introduction

The iOS 5 is no news anymore. It was announced back in June at the WWDC along with the iCloud service. Apple has fulfilled its promise for a fall release and iOS 5 is finally seeding to all compatible iDevices around the globe.

If you've followed all the iOS 5 beta versions you've probably heard everything you need to know about it. But don’t worry in case you've missed those early builds, we’ll cover everything in this review.



An important note to make is that this is a review of iOS5 as it’s available on the iPhone 4. The specific iPhone 4S perks will be covered in a separate review once we get the handset itself. Now before we continue, let's take a look at the most important features premiering on the iOS 5.

Apple iOS 5 new features:

  • Notifications - real time on-screen notifications, lockscreen notifications and pull-down Notification Center
  • iMessage service in the Messaging app enabling instant messages to other iOS users
  • Reminders - including location-aware options
  • Customizable notification sounds - email, voicemail and calendar alerts
  • Twitter integration
  • iCloud service integration – wireless backup and restore, app and content syncing
  • Enhanced Camera app - viewfinder grid, supports a hardware shutter key
  • Integrated photo editing - crop, auto enhance, rotate and red-eye fix
  • Updated Safari browser - tabbed browsing (on iPad), private browsing mode, integrated Reader, Reading list and optimized performance
  • Dictionary lookup throughout the interface
  • Computer free operation - independent activation, OTA updates, iCloud backup and restore
  • Wi-Fi synchronization with iTunes with automatic operation
  • New features in the Mail app - Bold, Italic, Underline and Quote options, extended Search, mass Mark as Read/Unread and Flag setting, Add/Delete mailbox folders
  • Updated Calendar (new weekly view) and Game Center apps
  • Newsstand app combining all of your magazine subscriptions
  • iPod player now called Music, has a new icon
  • Separate Video player app for the iPhone
  • AppStore purchase history
  • New Storage management options (list and info of all installed apps)
  • Multi-tasking gestures for iPad
  • AirPlay mirroring for iPad
  • New accessibility options involving the LED flash, custom vibrations and Assistive Touch
Typically, there's still plenty of stuff missing and some of the things will probably never make it to the iOS. Here is a list of the things we continue to miss:

Still missing:

  • No Flash support in the web browser
  • No quick toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G
  • No Facebook integration
  • No proper widgets for the lockscreen
  • App folders still are limited to 12 apps tops
  • No DivX/XviD video support out of the box (though there're lots of players in the App Store)
  • No haptics for the touchscreen
  • No Bluetooth file transfers to other phones (though there’s an app that solves that partially)
  • Contacts lack a swipe-to-delete or mass delete feature

Well, the list is notably shorter than last year's. Apple continues the tradition of bringing missing key features, so that's not surprising. As most of the Apple fans have already understood, some of the missing things will probably stay missing for a long time, since they go against the Apple policy (like the Flash support or the USB mass storage or the native Bluetooth or USB Mass storage functionality is against the very principles of the closed iOS eco-system).

But enough with the teasers, let's see the new iOS 5 in action.

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