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Unlocking iOS 5

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Apple refuses to bow down in front of the pressure being exerted by the growing number of handset makers shifting to the highly flexible Android operating system. And this has become their routine of leaping ahead of others every year around fall.

Recently, the Cupertino-based company introduced a new upgrade to its software for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and many of the new features were already being anticipated by industry experts before the announcement. The new software upgrade is called iOS 5 and will be available for the three devices this fall. Apple says it has included more than 200 new features in the package which are going to help the users of its revolutionary devices to a great extent.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the newly introduced features/upgrades to its current OS.

iMessage

Probably the feature which is going to be appreciated by all iPhone users across the world. It literally connects every iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 4.0 and above) to one single messaging system. Now users can send each other text messages, photos, videos and even share contacts through this application update. iMessage has been built right into the Messages app which is going to make it even easier for the users to connect to each other worldwide, free of cost.

Another brilliant feature of this app is that if you own two devices, like the iPhone and iPad for example, your conversation is automatically synced to all of your devices. So if you start your conversation on one device and then shift to the other one, you will see the entire history there as well. Some of the other features like notifications of a message being typed, delivery receipts, read receipts are also part of this update.

Twitter integration

Twitter is changing the way we communicate with our friends, family, businesses and celebrities. Apple realized this fact and integrated Twitter right into its software. Now whether you are using Safari, Camera, Photos, Maps or even YouTube, you can Tweet anything you want to, whenever you want to. This systemwide integration is indeed going to be very handy for all the users of the three Apple devices getting the update. Users can add locations and reply to their Tweets using the @ symbol easily as well.

Notification Centre

Netizens are increasingly using apps which send frequent notifications to their users. Checking every single app individually is fast becoming a hassle. Apple has a solution. In the Notification Center, all of the notifications like new messages, emails, friend requests, tweets, stock alerts, weather updates, voice mail are all displayed together. Whenever a user gets a new notification, it appears briefly on top of the device you are using. If you have your device locked, it will appear on the lock screen in a list form. You can then choose what to do with the notification right from there.

Newsstand

With so much happening in the world around us these days, one always needs to keep him/herself abreast of all the developments. Newsstand lets you view your newspaper and magazine subscriptions all in one place- very much like a real newsstand. Apple allows you to subscribe to newspapers and magazines right from the App Store. Whenever there is an update, iOS 5 will automatically update your Newsstand and when you choose to read it, depends entirely on you.

Camera

Not a lot has changed with this app. Just a couple of tweaks. Now users can capture photos even when they have their devices locked. All they need to do is to press the volume-up button and shoot the moment which otherwise might get delayed by unlocking the device and then starting the app. Another feature which has been added in this device is the over-the-air syncing with your other Apple devices using the cloud computing software, iCloud.

Photos

Again, this app has undergone cosmetic changes. iOS 5 allows users to do a tad bit more with their Photos app. Cropping, enhancing, rotating and fixing the red-eyes are some of the features users can apply to their photos right from within the Photos app. iCloud syncing has also been added to this app and users can push their photos to all of their other Apple devices using the application.

Safari

Quite a few handy changes have been made to Apple’s web browser. The two really useful ones are the Reader and Reading List. The Reader allows users to read the articles on any website without all the additional ads or features that the website may have. This is really useful since some of the ads on the Internet can become a nuisance if you spend a lot time on the Internet reading.

The second new feature of Safari is the Reading List. Users can now save webpages in a separate folder which allows for later readings. iCloud fits in really nicely here as well. If you have saved a list on your iPad, and are carrying your iPod touch on the day, you can open the same list on it too. In addition, iOS 5 supports tabbed browsing for Safari on iPad as well.

Reminders

Another useful app iOS 5 brings for the users. The Reminder app keeps a track of everything you are scheduled to do. So whether you are going to pick up tickets for a movie, buy grocery, write a report or just about anything else, Reminders will make sure you do all of your stuff with ease. It also adds locations and due dates. Locations is a really useful feature of reminders which sends you a notification the moment you visit a specific place and had set a reminder to do something there. So if you visit a supermarket next and had set a reminder to pick up your favorite movie, Reminders will send you a notification about that. Now that is cool!

PC-free

This is a feature many users are going to like especially those who want to keep their Apple devices free from the hassles of a PC or Mac. iOS 5 allows users to wirelessly set up their devices, create or sync the devices from backup files or receive software upgrades. iCloud keeps all of your data synced as well.

Other features

Some of the other features include addition of better text formatting options in the Mail, better viewing of Calendar on the new devices, new features to the Game Center, automatic Wi-Fi syncing of your device with your Mac or PC, new multitasking gestures for iPad and wireless mirroring of iPad 2 display on an HDTV using Apple TV.

There’s still some time before the iOS 5 hits the stores, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and see how the users across the world are going to take it when it is available for the devices.

Originally produced on Qasim Javed Blog

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