Apple Inc.'s latest mobile operating system, the iOS 5, was released to developers at the San Francisco Worldwide Developers' Conference 2011, with the promise that it would be available to users by the end of the year.
It finally reached users later in the year, with 200 new features and 1,500 new APIs (Application Programming Interface).
Here is a look at 10 ways in which iOS 5 is better than its predecessor, iOS 4:
Camera Service -
In iOS 4: Photos could only be taken by the Camera app, from the Home screen, with the slide-to-zoom technology. However, there were no exposure settings available and the photos could not be edited on the device itself.
In iOS 5: The camera icon is now found on the lock screen and the volume up button is used to take photos. Other features include pinch-to-zoom and tapping to set exposure. The photos can be edited on the device itself.
Web Navigation -
In iOS 4: Here you needed to tap the screen to fill the screen with text and no Read Later function was available. In addition, browsing was separated into pages or windows.
In iOS 5: The new Safari reader in iOS 5 fills the screen with the text in just one click. A new Reading List allows articles to be bookmarked for later use and browsing can now be done on separate tabs.
Game Center -
In iOS 4: The Game Center in iOS 4 allowed mobile-to-mobile gaming but there was a catch - the apps had to be purchased via the App Store.
In iOS 5: The improved Game Center in iOS 5 allows new social features such as sharing of scores, recommending friends and many more. The biggest advantage that Game Center in iOS 5 provides is that the apps can be purchased from within the Game Center.
In iOS 4: There were pop-up notifications in iOS 4, along with separate alerts for missed calls, text messages and voice mails, as also push notifications from apps. This, however, interrupted previously running videos or games.
In iOS 5: This time there is an improved Notification Center that combines all notifications, including voice mails, missed calls and text messages and even push notifications from apps. The notification list is found at the top of the screen and doesn't interrupt gaming or videos.
In iOS 4: There were single keyboards with standard texts available and you had to type to add or change addresses. There was no option for message flagging and no dictionary.
In iOS 5: A dual-sided keyboard is now available, with rich-text formatting as well as click-and-drag addresses. You can now flag messages as unread and an in-built dictionary is available.
Twitter Integration -
In iOS 4: A standard Twitter app was available. However, you had to open it first in order to tweet stories or photos from the device.
In iOS 5: A new Twitter integration called the 'Tweet Sheet' is available and you can now share stories from within Safari and tweet photos directly from the camera app with a single click.
Access to News -
In iOS 4: Individual apps were required to gain access to the latest news. Each magazine or a newspaper required a separate app and had to be opened and read individually.
In iOS 5: A new Newsstand feature has been introduced with iOS 5 where several newspapers and magazine subscriptions are organized on a news stand that looks similar to the iBooks layout.
In iOS 4: A PC or a laptop was needed for setting up, synchronizing or updating the device.
In iOS 5: A computer-less set up is now available where you can synchronize via iCloud and there are wireless software updates available as well.
In iOS 4: Text messaging in iOS 4 was only accessible through the service provider.
In iOS 5: The new iMessage now allows device-to-device messaging which is similar to BlackBerry's BBM service.
In iOS 4: The traditional notes app allowed you to make lists but there were no synchronization capability in the offering.
In iOS 5: The new Reminder app allows you to create to-do lists and you can also synchronize it with iCloud, iCal and Outlook.