Top 11 iOS 5 Features

*Originally posted by DeWayne on AppTudes.

Apple launched its much anticipated new software update, iOS 5, on October 12. iOS 5 has more than 200 features for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. All of these features put iOS on par again with some of the most popular features that can already be found on Android, Palm or Windows Phone 7, and that Apple fans have been clamoring for since the first iPhone. These are the top 10 new features:

1. Notifications Center: Apple has completely overhauled the notification feature. The annoying popups boxes that would interrupt you in the middle of a game or break your flow have been replaced with a new app called Notification Center. The user can now set whether to use popup boxes or banners at the top of the screen. The new Notification Center also acts like mini-widgets that show live information from apps like Weather and Stocks. The notifications also extend to the lock screen where you can see information without unlocking your phone. Sliding your finger on a notification icon will automatically open the app that generated the notification.

2. iMessage: Another new useful feature, that will dig into telecommunication companies’ SMS and MMS profit centers, is iMessage. The new messaging app works between all iOS 5 enabled devices allowing users to exchange text messages outside the normal SMS/MMS subscriptions. iMessage also allows users to leave conversations on their iPhones and continue them on their iPads. The app also shows when the message has been delivered.

3. Revised Camera App: The newly improved Camera app gets two of the most-requested features in the history of iOS. The first is a shortcut on the lock screen to directly access the camera, so you don’t have to unlock and then click on the Camera icon. The second is the ability to use one of the volume buttons as a shutter button. Now the user can just press the + volume button and take a picture. The new app also includes basic photo editing features like quick enhance (which basically sharpens an image, makes shadows and highlights more detailed, and corrects color), cropping and red eye reduction.

4. Twitter integration: iOS 5 bakes Twitter directly into the system. Apps like camera, YouTube and Safari now allow users to share directly to Twitter. It also adds a new Twitter address field to the Contacts application.

5. New Reminders App: The new Reminders app allows users to create simple to-do lists that are location aware. For example, when you pass by the grocery store, the app will tell the user to buy milk. The app synchronizes between iOS 5 devices and Mac OS X desktops or notebooks using iCloud.

6. New Newsstand App: Apple has taken buying publications one step further with the new Newsstand app. Newsstand is very similar to iBooks but is exclusively for magazine and periodicals. The app connects directly to the periodical and magazine section of the App Store.

7. Revised Safari App: Safari has been revamped with new features. Reader allows users to reformat a site at the press of a button, taking out ads and reformatting text so it looks better and is easier to read. This feature flows into Reading List, which is a way to save those pages for later offline viewing, keeping them synchronized between all the user’s iOS devices via iCloud. The revamped version of Safari for the iPad also also adds tabbed browsing. Open pages now appear as tabs below the address bar.

8. Revised Game Center: Apple has also enhanced Game Center to include many of the concepts found in other gaming systems such as: achievement points
, the ability to access friends of friends for play with a wider range of people
, profile photos, game discovery to play with whoever wants to play at any given time
, game downloads
, and support for turn-based games like Words for Friends and Scrabble.

9. Revised Mail App: The Mail app has been revamped to include a includes an array of new enhancements such as rich text formatting, indentation control, and message flagging. The new app also allows users to drag and drop email addresses into the to, cc and bcc fields. The revised app for iPad also allows users to swipe the screen to access the inbox in portrait mode.

10. No Computer Required: At long last, users no longer need iTunes and a desktop or laptop anymore to use the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. The new iOS 5 allows users to set up a new device and to update software over the air.

11. Dictionary Everywhere: One of the features of iBooks that many people have asked to extend across the iOS platform is the dictionary function. Now, every application will have Dictionary built-in. Simply highlight a word and a pop-up will present an option to “define.”

iOS 5 is one of the most extensive improvements to iOS since its original release. With over 200 new features, Apple has revamped and tweaked its apps to include some of the most popular and useful functionality of third-party apps. It is definitely worth the upgrade!

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