October 12, 2011 - marking the arrival of the iOS 5; has undoubtedly been one of the most anticipated days in the recent times. If Steve Jobs has left a legacy of 'Commitment' to Apple, he has for sure unknowingly bestowed the legacy of 'Anticipation' to Apple users. To anticipate a revolution with every new update is perhaps one of the most unique traits amongst Apple users since the advent of the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch. And, amazingly, we have never got an opportunity to be disappointed, right?

The iOS 5 is the widest and the most extensive software update ever for iOS, which promises to make user experience more intuitive and hassle-free. iOS 5 is not only an OS that is years ahead of its time; it has also been integrated with more than 200 features - so everyone has something for themselves. Besides that, it has transcended Apple's commitment to Accessibility to an altogether different level. In fact, analysts consider this to be an impending answer to Android device's popular features such as wireless syncing and updates.

16 Great Features that Make iOS 5 Worth the Upgrade

There has been much discussions and speculations relating to the then yet to be released iOS 5 features since the WWDC in June, 2011 four months back. However, what Apple served on its platter - with an eye and urge to cater to one and all Apple user is nonetheless commitment to utilize technology at its best. Here we put together a list of 16 iOS 5 features to show you the improvements:

1. iMessage - allows you to send unlimited text messages via Wi-fi or 3G iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to any other user with those devices. Also, as a built-in feature into the Message app, it allows you to send text, photos, videos, locations and contacts; besides facilitating tracking messages, read receipts, secure encryption and group messaging. You may also swap conversation from one device to continue on the other.

2. Notification Center - allows you to keep track of all notifications, message alerts, emails, friend request etc. in one place - the Notification Center. New notifications appear only briefly at the top of your screen (without interrupting your current task); and all you need to do to enter Notification Center is just swipe down from the top of any screen and choose the ones you want to see.

Notification

3. Reminders - the feature which promises to organize your day-to-day activities in to-do lists along with dates and locations. This location-based feature sends out an alert as soon as you reach certain location, about your to-do activities. It also works with iCal, Outlook and iCloud, making changes in updates automatically.

4. Twitter - its integration into iOS 5 promises to make tweeting easier from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. All you need to do is 'Sign in' into Settings and tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps. This intelligent iOS 5 feature in Contacts instantly apply your friends' Twitter usernames and profile pictures, as soon as you start typing a name.

Twitter

5. Newsstand - this custom newsstand iOS feature ensures that all your favorite magazine and newspaper app subscriptions are organized for quick and easy accessibility in a folder named Newsstand. Not only are new purchases moved directly into the Newsstand; in fact it automatically updates them in the background with each arrival of a new issue - with the latest covers.

6. Camera - the new camera features in iOS 5 promises to enhance your photography experience with your iPhone capturing each little moments of life. Besides allowing opening the Camera app right from the Lock screens, to using grid lines and pinch-to-zoom gestures; the new feature ensures single-tap focus and exposure locks hat can even compose a picture in movement. You can check out our earlier post to learn more about the new camera features. Moreover, enabling of Photo Stream in iCloud can make for your photos to be automatically downloaded to all your other devices.

Camera

7. Photos - the new iOS 5 comes with enhanced photo enhancements that give your snapshot the professional touch with creative excellence in just a few taps. You can not only crop, edit, rotate, enhance and even remove red-eye without exiting the Photos app; but can even organize your photos in albums on your device. Moreover, iCloud ensures that all your new photos are automatically transferred to the rest of your iOS devices as well.

Photo

8. Safari - iOS 5 promises improved site-seeing experience by introducing enhanced web-browsing features to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Now, you can enjoy your web-articles sans the cluttered ads without any distractions on your Safari Reader, while Reading List allows you to save interesting articles to enjoy at leisure. At the same time, iCloud helps keep your list updated across all your devices.

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9. PC Free - one of the most revolutionary features in the new iOS 5, which promote complete freedom from Mac or a PC for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. You can now wirelessly set up your device and activate it right out of the box; besides downloading updates directly. You may also do more with your apps like adding email folders and editing photos; while automatic backups and device restore can be done using iCloud.

10. Mail - iOS 5 brings impressive features to your inbox from formatting texts using bold, italic, or underlined fonts to creating indents in the message text. You can also flag important messages, drag to rearrange names in the address field; while enjoying the option of adding or deleting mailbox folders. Not to forget the iCloud advantage - a free email account that stays up to date on all your devices.

Email

11. Calendar - iOS 5 introduces week view on iPhone and iPod touch and year view on the iPad for facilitating better perspective on your schedule. Just turn your iPhone into landscape mode and you can enjoy the new weekly view. Create an event just by tapping and drag to adjust time and duration. Further, you can directly use your device to add, delete and rename calendars; besides get to view event attachment (if any) without leaving the Calendar app. You may also share your calendar with your friends and family courtesy thet iCloud, other than keeping your events in sync to your other devices.

Calendar

12. Game Center - iOS 5 introduces more exciting Game Center features on the already popular gaming platform, and even discover new games without leaving game Center. You can choose to play with gamer friends in your Contacts or based on new friend recommendations.

13. Wi-Fi Sync - you can now wirelessly sync your iOS device to your Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi connection. So, all you need to do is just connect your iOS device to a power source and it syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes automatically. So, you can always have your photos, home videos, TV shows and movies whenever you need them.

Wi-Fi

14. AirPlay Mirroring - one of the most fascinating features on display now supports video mirroring. This iOS 5 feature allows you to stream everything on your iPad or iPhone to your HDTV via Apple TV; an that too wirelessly. So, everything you do on your iPad or iPhone like rotate pictures to Zoom in and out can be experience on the large television screen.

15. Multitasking Gestures for iPad - iOS introduces new moves and shortcuts that make getting around even quicker on your iPad. You just need to use four or five fingers to swipe up and reveal the multitasking bar; swipe left or right to switch between apps and only pinch to return to the Home screen. A new split keyboard on iPad lets you tap out a message using your thumbs.

Multitasking

16. iCloud Support - although Apple currently offers only 5GB data space courtesy iCloud, which may not be enough for lots of back up, it can definitely be an asset to all users with modest number of media and image files. It helps you conveniently make files available across all iOS devices, instead of syncing via cable to iTunes and then dragging copied files out of iTunes into the PC.

One More Thing

iOS

However, the best part about the iOS 5 is that with this new update Apple has moved one step closer to improving the lives of physically challenged people like those with hearing, vision, mobility and cognitive disabilities. The specialized hardware accessories in iOS 5 like - the LED flash and custom vibration settings allows you to see and feel when someone's calling, while enhancement to VoiceOver include custom element labeling. These are nonetheless highly appreciated and reaffirm Apple Inc's commitment to Accessibility to every stratum of the society.

We leave you with this few path-breaking iOS 5 features and promise to introduce you to many more intuitive ones in the coming days. Until then, do let us know which iOS 5 feature according to you is the most revolutionary?

 

The original post was published on Simon Blog: Top 16 iOS 5 Features You Should Never Miss