iOS news - new features of iOS 5

26-07-2011
Short article covering some interesting features of the new version of the iOS operating system (iOS5) for the iPhone and iPad.

We're very keen on our smart-phones here at Framework Training - although I should disclose at this point that a current poll suggests Android is currently our favoured operating system (albeit by a small margin!).

A few of the reported new features that we like are:

Reminders

Improved to-do list functionality including due dates and location information, iCal compatibility and will talk to Outlook and iCloud. The location tie-in sounds pretty nifty - the example given is a shopping list reminder that automatically appears the next time you visit the supermarket.

For those like me that immediately go into a fugue-state when entering a shop, this could be a real time(and possibly life)-saver!

Notification Center (sic!) - improved alert functionality

Swipe down from the top of the screen to display the Notification Centre. You'll be immediately informed of the arrival of new emails, texts and social networking requests, and apparently weather and stock ticker changes can also be included.

Face recognition

As of time of writing this feature is still a rumour, but Apple's purchase of Polar Rose last year would strongly suggest that face recognition functionality will be available in as a public developer API if not in a pre-loaded App. More info at 9to5mac.com here.

iMessage - text messaging for iPad and iPod touch users

Unlimited text messages can now be sent over 3G or wireless connections from iPads and Ipod touches to other iMessage users, avoiding the cost of sending an SMS message. From the screen-shots available it seems photos and videos are integrated into the thread-style display. Tracking features are also included; delivery and read receipts and a messenger-style function to indicate when your correspondent is typing.

One issue, however, is the proprietary nature of the iMessage system which means that you won't be able to send an iMessage to your pals if they have a Blackberry or Android device - the missive is automatically converted to SMS.

Newsstand - magazine and newspaper app subscription organiser

It displays your current subscriptions as a virtual magazine rack, plus alerts to inform of the arrival of new issues and a one-tap link to App Store for new subscriptions.

Twitter

Full Twitter integration with a single sign-in. Tweet directly (including location) from Photos, Camera, YouTube, Maps and Safari.

Camera

Improved camera functionality - new features include the ability to open the camera app from the lock screen. Also now includes grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, single-tap focus and exposure locks, iCloud Photostream integration and volume-up button as the shutter control.

Safari

Safari improvements include a Reading List for saving articles for later consumption, iCloud integration across multiple devices and tabbed browsing for the iPad. Some third-party reports suggest that the performance is significantly increased across all devices.

Multi-tasking gestures (iPad)

Some new moves and shortcuts - using four or five fingers, swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar, pinch to return to the Home screen, and swipe left or right to switch between apps.

AirPlay Mirroring (iPad 2)

AirPlay is now supports video mirroring on the iPad 2. This allows secure wireless streaming from an iPad 2 to an HDTV via Apple TV and supports portrait/landscape rotation. This could be a very useful feature.

PC Free

Finally there is now no requirement to own a Mac or PC to set-up and update your mobile device. Not sure how many of us don't actually own a computer, but maybe there are a few people out there who have an iOS device and nothing else.

What will iOS run on?

Current compatible devices are iPad and iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and 4 and 3rd and 4th gen iPod touch.

Our iOS 5 course plans

Rest assured we'll be making sure that access to all this nice shiny new functionality will be included in our iOS developer training courses.

Here is our current iPhone iPad App Development training course




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