Steve Jobs is back to his presenting best and Apple is back to its ‘pushing-everyone-else-by-a-year’ best. Apple has almost caught everyone napping. Not that anyone including Google could do much about it if they weren’t napping. Apple’s iOS5 is the most relevant software upgrade in the recent history. Relevance comes from its cloud integration and social media focus. The next one year will be a busy hacking year with Apple iCloud and the API’s that go with it. Did I already mention that iCloud is free?
There are other things to be excited about iOS5. You cannot possible pick one from the other. These 9 features of iOS5 are killer features. Something I have been waiting for. I almost jettisoned my iPhone 3G S but chose to not do it. iOS5 will breathe new life to my iPhone 3G S. Here are our 9 Killer features of iOS 5
What does it take to get a single notification window to get all your emails, missed calls, text messages, facebook updates all in one place? Apparently it takes 5 major releases and umpteen minor releases. Most of all, it takes competition to get Apple moving. Android users have boasted off this feature and many other features which iOS doesn’t have. Well now you have it. You know what, it looks awesome.
iMessage lets you send text, photos, videos, locations and contacts to any iOS5 users over WiFi or 3G. Key thing to note is ‘any iOS5’ users’. That keeps out some of Apple’s own. Apple fans typically upgrade to the next available version and they should find this feature a great addition to their experience.
Newsstand will be a central repository for all your newspapers and magazines. You can shop for more with just a tap. This will be different from the iBooks app. Selection of magazines and periodicals is important and Apple has one of the widest selections.
This is my favorite. iOS’s Reminders is a location aware to-do list which will obviously give you reminders. The best part of this app is the location awareness. Of course, you have to make a list and then tag it to the particular location beforehand. Come on, it can’t do it all by itself. If you are at a store or in the vicinity, wouldn’t it be cool to get a pop-up that says you are out of condoms?
This is a biggie. iOS’s integration with Twitter is surprising and refreshing at the same time. You can tweet from Safari, photos, camera, Youtube or maps with this integration. For Apple users, this is the coolest thing since Twitter itself. Now you have to find reasons to not tweet about something.
Apple always got some slack for its camera. Apple even banned few apps which tried to tinker with its hardware buttons. Looks like it is rewriting its own rules. Volume button can be used for clicking a picture. You know how much of a relief that is. Let me tell you why. One of my favorite things when I am bored, which is very rare, is clicking my own pictures. With the touchscreen button, I am never sure if a picture was taken except to hear for the that kishhh sound. With a hardware button, I can always be sure. Great addition. Another big feature is the availability of camera app on the lock screen itself. At least three new features make lock screen really useful. Camera on the lock screen – I’m loving it.
Internet is frittered with clutter. iOS’s new Safari browser will provide clutter-free web articles with Reader. iPad gets tabbed browsing. Web browsing is something which many mobile players including iPhone has failed. Hopefully, iOS5 will provide some relief.
Highly useful for iPad, the split keyboard, well splits the keyboard. You can hold the iPad horizontally and type it with just your two thumbs. Typing on touch screen phones and tablets has been a sore point. Split keyboard looks like an interesting option to have.
iOS 5’s most exciting feature is iCloud. It is free, functional and highly useful. You can sync your contacts, calendar items, pictures, music and documents on to the cloud and across all machines. Steve Jobs made a comment that everyone thinks of cloud as giant hard disk in the cloud. I fail to grasp the humor in that statement. Cloud is a giant hard disk in the cloud to me. As a user that makes a whole lot of sense. And this cloud from Apple is a hard disk which is accessible from any device.
Where do these features set everyone else? Back. Way back. It really doesn’t matter if Android has it. What matters is Apple has it now. With iCloud at the back of the whole thing, Android can only dream on.