With the introduction of iOS 5, Apple reportedly adds more than two hundred new features to its mobile operating system. Current users of the iPhone, iTouch and iPad will greet a new simplicity and greater integration between apple products in the iCloud. The new operating system will also take the devices computer-free, making them true mobile computers.
The new feature roll is lengthy and exciting. The new Notification Center will simplify the previous “push” notification system, keeping all of your reminders, emails, messages and news articles organized and in the same place. iMessage will extend the iPhone’s text messaging platform to the iPod and iPad, while the new iCloud will keep conversations up to date across the devices. Users can pick up where they left off using Wi-Fi or 3G as long as the text recipient also has an iOS device.
Apple will also introduce new standard applications in Newstand and Reminders. Newstand will feature the new subscription platform of the app store allowing users to subscribe to newspapers and magazines while keeping them seamlessly updated as new issues become available. Reminders will keep users’ to-do lists organized and integrated with the notification center and previous iCal app, as well as constantly updated across iCloud devices.
The new operating system will also feature deep integration with Twitter, allowing users to tweet photos, links, locations and videos directly from the apps themselves, rather than from a twitter application. Twitter usernames will even be included in the Contacts, making it easy to keep in touch. Other social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace will be integrated but not as thoroughly.
The iPhone’s HD camera will have new abilities to add to previous grid lines and tap focus, most notably a zoom gesture. Users will be able to quickly access the camera from the lock screen and snap photos with the volume-up button. iCloud will instantly push all photos to Photo Stream-enabled iOS 5 devices and computers. The Photos app will also have new photo editing and enhancing capabilities, so you can manage your new snapshots on the fly.
The Safari web-browsing app will present its own new features as well. Safari Reader will display web articles on their own without advertisements for a clutter-free read. Reading List will allow users to save articles to read later if they are browsing on the go, and iCloud will keep the list updated across all devices. The browser will also feature tabs on the iPad, making it easier to switch between pages and making room for the iPad’s new multitasking gestures that can quickly swap from app to app.
iOS 5 devices will also have new wireless features including Wi-Fi Sync and AirPlay. Wi-Fi sync will automatically sync devices to computers as long as they share a Wi-Fi connection, and it will back up new content to iTunes once plugged into a power source for charging. AirPlay will allow the iPad the wirelessly communicate with Apple TV devices, broadcasting the iPad’s screen to an HDTV.
There are plenty of smaller yet significant updates as well. For casual gamers, Game Center will allow for turn-based games played over time with friends. The Stocks app will now feature real-time quotes. The YouTube app will be able to play HD quality video, 480p/720p, over 3G on the iPhone. The iPad will be able to play full HD, 1080p video. Devices will be able to background sync without restricting use. Users will also have new control over app data.
The new operating system will also see a general performance boost, making it faster while still able to handle all the new features and apps. The release of iOS 5 is a huge step forward for Apple’s devices and for mobile computing.