iOS 5 was officially announced back in WWDC earlier this year in June, and naturally brought about several changes to the iOS operating system that many users have been waiting for, along with several new features as well. For those who may have missed any news or coverage for WWDC or if this is your first time hearing about iOS 5, here’s a recap on some of the more exciting features and changes that iOS 5 will be bringing to the table.
Siri assistant feature – This feature has been talked about quite a bit, and supposedly changes how we interact with our phones (this remains to be seen/put to the test). Users will be able to “ask” the Siri assistant various things, such as the weather forecast and even the ability to search for restaurants and organize them by rating, and word definitions. Siri can even read your messages out to you based on your notification queue, which seems like a good idea for those times you can’t attend to your messages at the moment. It will initially feature support for English, French and German, with more languages to be added along the way in future updates.
iMessage – This is probably Apple’s answer to RIM’s BBM (Blackberry Messenger) and essentially functions the same way too. You will be able to send messages to other iPhone users via 3G or WiFi. Your iMessages will also be pushed to other iOS devices, which means that you will be able to continue your conversation via your iPad/iPod touch while your iPhone is being charged or is out of battery.
Twitter integration – For all you social networking/Twitter addicts out there, this is probably what you’ve been waiting for. There seems to be mixed feelings about this as some prefer Facebook over Twitter integration, but given that Twitter is a more popular choice for micro-blogging, we can see why Apple decided to go with them instead. Say goodbye to multiple sign-ins and say hello to uploading your photos to Twitter directly.
Safari – For iPad users out there, it looks like Safari will be bringing a tabbed browsing experience for you guys. The updated Safari will also feature a “Reader” function that strips away the unnecessary junk, displaying you the information that you came to read. It will also sync with your other iOS devices, so much like iMessage, you will be able to pick up where you left off.
Reminder – Setting reminders are great, assuming you remember to check them. iOS 5’s Reminder app will remind you that you have tasks to do based on your location. For example you could set a reminder for the grocery store to pick up a carton of milk, so when you reach the grocery store, the app will remind you of your task.
Notification center – Finally a new form of notifications that aren’t intrusive. A swipe will pull the notifications window down and will display a variety of notifications, such as reminders, messages, missed calls, unread e-mails, etc.
The Mail applications will also be seeing an update, such as rich formatting and allowing for indentation; the News Stand feature that will bring magazines onto your iOS devices, such as GQ, Allure, Vanity Fair and the New York Times; the Camera app has also been revamped to allow for editing and also the ability to use your volume up button as a shutter.
iOS 5 is expected to roll out come 12th of October and will be compatible with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch 3rd and 4th gen.