Overstretched Apple servers worldwide ground to a halt Wednesday as iOS 5 upgrade requests from hundreds of thousands of users swamped the Web site. Tech fans' quest for the latest advances drove the upgrade rush, but experts say ordinary people should also upgrade to iOS 5 to make their devices more secure.
The early rush to upgrade to iOS 5 that followed the release of the latest mobile operating system Wednesday afternoon resulted in glitches including hourlong waits and cancelled updates.
People who tried to update minutes after the iOS 5 release could do so successfully. But those who joined the bandwagon later in the evening faced download issues and many ended up getting Error Code 3200.
Tech observers said this internal error message signaled difficulties in accessing Apple servers, and that such rollout-related snags have happened before.
Even if you are not a geek who loves to get hands on the latest in tech, upgrading to iOS 5 makes sense from a security point of view.
In addition to introducing iCloud support and all kinds of other great features, iOS 5 also had a slew of security fixes. My count includes 98 vulnerabilities fixed in this release, wrote Chester Wisniewski on Sophos blog.
While some users are reporting issues downloading these updates, you should still apply them as soon as possible. It appears Apple is under a denial of service condition from the number of people attempting to update all at one, Wisniewski added.
Apple has incorporated a slew of advanced safety measures in the iOS 5. It makes an iOS device highly secure from the moment a user turns it on. All apps run in a safe environment, so a Web site or app can't access data from other apps. iOS also supports encrypted network communication to protect the user's sensitive information. The user could set a passcode lock to prevent unauthorized access to the device and configure the device to delete all the data after too many unsuccessful passcode attempts. And in case a device is lost or stolen, 'Find My' device allows the user to locate it on a map and remotely delete all the data.
What Does iOS 5 Offer?
One of the most attractive features in iOS 5 is the Notification Center similar to one found in Android devices. During WWDC, Apple revealed that they pushed more than 100 billion push notifications in iOS 5 enabled devices, without any glitches. Apple says Notification Center is the best way to stay on top of your life's breaking news. New notifications appear briefly at the top of your screen, without interrupting what you're doing. And the Lock screen displays notifications so you can act on them with just a swipe.
And then there is iMessage, the new messaging service for all iOS users. It is an option similar to the BlackBerry Messenger. The new messaging service allows iOS 5 users to send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G from the device. iMessage is built into the Messes app, so you can send text, photos, videos, locations and contacts.
With the Newsstand feature, reading newspapers and magazines will become more convenient. iOS 5 could organize the various magazine and newspaper app subscriptions in Newsstand, like a folder that lets you access your favorite publications quickly and easily. There's also a new place on the App Store just for newspaper and magazine subscriptions. And you can get to it straight from Newsstand. New purchases go directly to your Newsstand folder.
Reminders, a location-based organization tool, offers improved to-do lists that are compatible with iCal, Outlook and iCloud. Since Reminders can be location-based, you'll get an alert as soon as you pull into the supermarket parking lot. Reminders also works with iCal, Outlook and iCloud, so changes you make update automatically on all your devices and calendars.
And then there is Twitter and iCloud integration. With a single sign-in, it allows a multitude of apps to make use of your Twitter credentials. That includes the Camera and Photos programs, finally letting you tweet images out directly from your galleries.
iCloud service is integrated into some key aspects of the iOS 5 -- photos, e-books, device backups, document storage and of course, the iTunes music program. The most popular iCloud-powered feature amongst users could well be the PhotoStream, an option that can be toggled on or off and which allows users to automatically synchronize photos across multiple devices.
With iCloud, you can push new photos to all your iOS devices. So if you're taking photos on your iPhone, iCloud automatically sends copies to your iPad, where you can quickly touch them up before showing them off.
iOS 5 gives access to the camera button right on your lock screen. Users can now capture a photo by simply tapping the Home button twice. Users can now also open the camera app directly from the Lock screen. You can open the Camera app right from the Lock screen. Use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap focus and exposure locks to compose a picture on the fly, says Apple.
With the iOS 5 rollout, AirPlay now supports video mirroring, which can be wirelessly streamed whatever is on iPad 2 or iPhone 4S to HDTV via Apple TV. Even if the device is rotated from portrait to landscape or zoom in and out, it could be visible via Apple TV.
The Safari Reader will display Web articles without ads, and there is the new tabbed browsing option in iPad to switch between WebPages. There is a Private Browsing option similar to Firefox and Incognito on Chrome. Also specific dates can be deleted from the history.
In Calendar, it is easy to create, manage and view events. iCloud syncs calendars to other devices, and even with select family and friends. The user gets more perspective on schedule with year view on iPad and week view on iPhone and iPod touch.
The Wi-Fi Sync option allows the user to wirelessly sync their iOS device to a Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi connection. The WiFi Sync feature eliminates the need of a USB cable to Sync your iDevice with iTunes on your computer.
Also the enhanced camera features bring a lot of value. Users can take photo on an iOS device or import a photo from their digital camera to their computer, and iCloud automatically sends a copy of the photo over any available Wi-Fi network (or Ethernet) to the Photos app on your iOS devices, iPhoto on your Mac, the Pictures Library on your PC, and the Photo Stream album on your Apple TV.
And then there is Game Center: iOS is the world's most popular gaming platform. With iOS 5, users can get their game face on with even more Game Center features. The user can post a profile picture and view their friends' recommendations based on the games he/she plays. New games can be discovered without leaving Game Center. This feature also includes friends-of-friends list, app store, new achievements, play turn-based games, delete saved games, and backup game saves to iCloud.