iOS 5: What You Need To Know

iOS 5: What You Need To Know

iOS 5 is here! Apple has released their latest and greatest version of iOS to the world, and they have included some exciting new features that take iOS 5 to the next level. Here are the most important new features you’ll want to know about.

iOS 5 is going to be perhaps the most incredible update to iOS ever. It will include over 200 new features, and will implement 1500 new API’s for developers to use. Here are a few features that we’re sure you’ll want to know about:

1. Notifications

Apple has dramatically improved the way notifications works on iOS, coming up with a new system that does not interrupt you to deliver notifications, brings all notifications into one place (they call this Notification Center) with a simple swipe-down from the top, lets you launch an app immediately when you see a notification, and includes widgets for the Stocks and Weather apps.

2. Newsstand

Apple’s new Newsstand feature is basically an extension of iBooks that works with magazines, newspapers, and subscription content purchased through Apple. It places your newspapers and magazines in one place, and manages any automatic subscriptions you have through iTunes (while keeping the content available offline).

3. Twitter Integration

Another lovely thing coming in iOS 5 is deep Twitter integration – simply authenticating your twitter account in System Preferences allows you to tweet directly from Twitter-enabled apps, and the list of those apps has expanded to include Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube, and maps – all able to tweet with a single tap.

Developers will also have access to a new API to allow them to take advantage of Twitter integration without making you re-enter your Twitter account settings.

4. Upgraded Mobile Safari

Mobile Safari has been granted some much-needed love in iOS 5, bringing Safari Reader, which helps make websites more readable by managing the font size and getting “clutter” out of the way so you can easily scroll through and read.

It also includes Reading List, which lets you save articles and websites to read later, which automatically sync between all your iOS devices. Tabbed browsing is another new feature, making it easier to multitask and absorb web content from your iDevice.

5. Reminders

Apple has included a new Reminders app, designed to help you create lists and manage your tasks. You can create and group related tasks together, and set time or location-based reminders, priorities, and due dates, so you’re always reminded and on-top of task deadlines and appointments. The reminders that you create can also be viewed in iCal and Outlook.

6. Camera

Big new features have been incorporated into, which gives you instant access to the camera from your lock screen, grants the ability to use the volume-up button as a shutter button, includes grids to help you line up shots, and makes it easier to focus and zoom in while using the camera.

7. Photos

The new Photos app lets you do some basic image editing right on your iDevice, including cropping, rotating, enhancing, removing red-eye, and organizing photos into albums right on your device. It also includes a one-tap “auto enhance” feature for all your images.

8. Mail

Mail has gotten a number of much-needed upgrades as well, and now includes support for flagging, searching the entire contents of your email servers, rich text formatting, indentation, the ability to drag email addresses, and better enterprise support.

9. PC-Free

Now that we’re in the Post-PC Era, Apple has decided to help us out by not requiring you to tether your iOS 5 devices to activate them – you can activate devices wirelessly, right in your hand, requiring no computer at all to get them fully set up.

Software updates will now also be available over-the-air, and iDevice users will gain the ability to sync their devices completely wirelessly over Wi-Fi, enabling you to “cut the cord” in a truly significant manner.

10. Game Center

Apple has significantly beefed up the performance of Game Center by allowing support for turn-based games, as well as true online multiplayer functionality. In addition, they’ve enabled photos in Game Center, recommended friends, “friends of friends,” game recommendations, achievement points (to compare yourself against friends), and more!

11. iMessage

Apple has created a brand new feature to bring messaging capabilities to all devices, with or without a texting or data plan. Built right into the messages app, the new features allow you to send texts, messages, photos, videos, or contact information to anyone else that has an iOS 5 device, working over Wi-Fi or 3G.

iMessages are automatically pushed to all your iOS 5 devices, making it easy to maintain one conversation across your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iMessage also features delivery and read receipts, typing indication and secure end-to-end encryption.

12. Even more!

iOS 5 also includes a new keyboard for the iPad which can be split in half, making it easier to type with your thumbs. The keyboard works via on-screen “grab handles”, which you can use to drag the two keyboard halves apart, place them back together, and drag them up and down your screen.

AirPlay has also gotten some love, now allowing you to connect through an Apple TV to wirelessly mirror your iPad to your HDTV. These are just a few of the notable features included in iOS 5. Rest assured, there are many more in store!


iOS 5 can be installed on all models of the iPad any iPod touch of the 3rd generation or newer, as well as the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (and of course, the iPhone 4S, which will come pre-installed with iOS 5.

iOS 5 will become available sometime today, and all these new features should get you excited to install it on your devices! We’ll keep you updated and let yu know when the actual release takes place. In the meantime, you can find out more about iOS 5 by visiting Apple’s official iOS 5 page. Also, be sure to visit our upgrade guide to help you decide whether or not you should update!