After all the hype, iOS 5 has finally been revealed by Apple. The new-look version of Cupertino’s mobile operating system is set for release in the autumn, but Steve Jobs was sure to show off all the headline functions during his keynote speech at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Here’s our Top 10 iOS 5 features.
1 Notification centre
At last, notifications on iOS have been given an overhaul. More than a touch influenced by Android, new notifications will appear in the bar along the type of your iOS device, which you can pull down to see your latest messages and app updates. Best of all, there’s no more having to dismiss notifications before carrying on with what you’re doing.
2 iCloud integration
The biggie. iCloud has completely replaced MobileMe and is free to use. In terms of iOS, it automatically backs up everything from music to apps, books to documents, and then pushes it to other iOS devices. It means your iPad and iPhone can mirror each other and that you’ll be plunged even deeper into the Apple ecosystem.
Much like iBooks, Newsstand is a place for all your mag and paper subscriptions and works on all iOS devices. It’s automatically updated and comes with a new App Store section just for subscription titles.
4 Deep Twitter integration
Long overdue and a riposte to Android’s brilliant social networking skills, iOS 5 lets you tweet everything from pics to maps, all after just one sign-in. What’s more, Apple is opening up a new API to allow devs to build this into apps.
A way of hitting back at RIM’s rampantly successful BBM, iMessage brings iPhone-like SMS style messaging to the iPad and aggregates all chats across different devices. It allows you to send texts, snaps and contacts over Wi-Fi or 3G.
Synced with Outlook and iCal, Reminders finally give iOS a more competitive edge in the workplace. You can set deadlines and group tasks and even create location-based alarms so you know to do something when you’re in a certain place.
7 Camera update
Another long overdue feature, with the iPhone’s camera now able to snap pictures using the volume key as well as the touchscreen. New gridlines help with framing, while you can now lock exposure and focus on one subject. Even better, you can now edit your snaps in the Photos app before shovelling them online.
8 Over-the-air updates
Updates will now be delivered to the iPhone over Wi-Fi, with devices also able to sync with iTunes without having to be physically tethered to a Mac or PC. But it’s the fact you can set up an iPhone or iPad without having to plug it in that makes this a really winning addition.
9 Safari Reader
Stripping out everything but websites' written content, Safari Reader means you can scan through pages without having to get past any nasty clutter. Think of it like iBooks for the web.
10 iPhone 3GS support
Something everyone was worried wouldn’t happen. How iOS 5 will work on the two year-old iPhone 3GS remains to be seen, but it’s good that Apple’s not leaving old-school owners out in the cold.