iOS 5 the new standard?

iOS 5 the new standard?iOS 5 the new standard?

So I have decided as my first review as a guest reviewer for Coolsmartphone should be on iOS 5.


I have been using the platform now for about a month and it is my day to day OS on my iPad 2. I would like to cover the things that’s have been finding good about the update and also the things that bug me (please bear in mind that this is a beta software that I am using so there are some bugs)

So let’s start with the good

Safari

The two major new features in Safari are Reading List and Tabbed browsing, these bring a huge improvement to the browsing experience.

Reading list is Apples own take on Read it Later and as a result you can actually save pages to read at a later date. The method of it working are quite good but I found that when tried to access the page I had saved out with of a Wifi hotspot I was stymied as it would not allow me to view it. Now this could be a misunderstanding on my part but surely it would make sense for the browser to save the page and have it viewable in an offline state. If any anyone has had a differing experience on this please feel free to comment about it below.
Something else that will come to fruition very soon expect is the ability to put something in your reading list on your Mac or PC and then pick it up later on your iOS device. I can see this being very useful and something I will use a lot.

Tabbed browsing has come to iOS and it wasn’t a moment to soon as those of you that have used an Android 3.* device will attest this is something that’s very much a necessity on a Tablet. It makes for a much smoother browsing experience and allows you to multitask to a degree being able to swap between webpages easily and quickly is invaluable and was something I loved about using Honeycomb. To add a new tab is easy all you have to do is to tap on the + symbol next to the current tab and then hey presto you have a new tab. You can also setup Safari to open a new page in a new tab etc.
Essentially if you could do it on Safari on a Mac or PC you can do it now on iOS too.

Multitouch Gestures
The implementation of multitouch has alway been quite limited on the iOS platform apart from the obvious use of Pinch to Zoom and two finger scroll I always fell there was more that could be done. Clearly someone at Cupertino thought the same, as a result we no have multitouch gesture onboard. So what are they then?

  1. Swipe four fingers across the screen to switch apps
  2. Pinch with four fingers to go to home screen
  3. Drag four fingers up to bring up the task switcher menu

Of course all the old ones are still there and are just as useful but I feel that these additions will make for a more fluid workflow once they have been mastered. Unfortunately by the fact they require the use of four fingers (well three and your thumb) I foresee that they will be of limited use on the current generation of iPhone and iPod touch.

Notifications
One of the most annoying thing I found about iOS over the years is that it’s notification system was from the dark ages in comparison to it Android rivals. It was extremely intrusive and was not very efficient. So the new notification which draws on inspiration from Android heavily solves this problem for me. It is now oh so simple to get an email or Facebook notification without having to stop working on what you are doing or what game you are playing. Instead of the old bubble that wold appear on the screen and stop what you are doing until you have dealt with it, you now have a small not appear at the top of the screen informing you of an event and you can carry on doing what you were doing. If however you want to deal with it then you just drag down from the top of the screen and then a list of all your notifications will appear there. They have also brought this feature to the lock screen as well and this allows you go straight to the event with out unlocking the phone and then going to the relevant app. This is something that I have been unable to test fully on my iPad yet but having seen it in action on the iPhone I can promise you it works well.

Other stuff
I could go on and on about all the other features that have been improved but this would turn into a thesis not a blog! Instead I have selected some of my favourites which I will run through

  • Editing in Photos app

The ability to edit picture within the photo app with the same ease as in iPhoto

  • OTA software updates

No need to plug into your computer to get the latest updates and it will only update what needs to be updated not the whole thing

  • No computer needed anymore for activation

Pretty much what it says you can now activate wherever you have a data connection or wifi.

  • Wireless sync via Wifi

Can now sync over wifi from the Settings menu

  • Newsstand app for newspaper and magazines
Intuitave way of getting news and media content onto your iPad via subscription models

 

So that is the good out of the way. I will have part two the bad up in the next few days

Thanks Garry

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  • So everything old is new again as long as Apple is the one
    doing it?

    We’ve seen these types of remarks frequently since iOS was
    released.  Whenever apple “invents” or “innovates”
    something new that just happens to be something its competitors were doing for some
    time before them it’s news.  That’s fine,
    its good marketing on their part but the headlines are never what they should be.  “Apple reinvents wheel” or “Apple finally
    does what others can do only in a more restrictive but aesthetic way”.

     

    I mean come on tabbed browsing, copying read it later,
    finally fixing notifications, ota updates and wifi syncing is new and standard
    setting?  It sounds more like catchup
    than anything else.  I’m not a fanboy of
    one OS or another and having used them all over the years not a one of them is
    without their flaws but there’s seriously nothing ground breaking here. 

    Don’t get me wrong iOS looks great and it’s easy enough for
    first time smartphone users but it’s also simplistic and restrictive.  I’d love to see someone take the Apple branded
    blinders off and give an unbiased review like we commonly see targeted at other
    OS’s.

     

    No offense Gary I just expect more from CoolSmartPhone.

    • Take the apple branded blinders off? Mmm, your opinion is noted but all Garry is doing is telling you about his thoughts regarding the iOS 5 beta he’s been using.

      Apple are very clever at what they do. They take something that someone else already made (take the mobile phone for instance) and make it so anyone can use it. That’s the genius about it. Smartphones were in the minority now look at them! Yes part of this is to due with the boom of the internet and how accessable this is now and the fact that everyone wants to use it wherever they are.

      It would be interesting if coolsmartphone got 3 or so devices, like the HD7 Windows Phone, a Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone 4, give them to people that know nothing about any of them and see what they think.

      At the end of the day different devices for different people. I literally cursed the iPhone when it first came out. This huge touchscreen device that did most of what my small and sleek HTC Touch Diamond did. The screen on the Diamond was miles better and it was a lovely device to own, but to use, it just didnt compare to the smoothness of the iPhone, in my opinion.

      It’s also about marketing. If samsung, HTC etc don’t let customers know about their devices then the average customer out there won’t want to find out more about them.

      Take the iPad. There have been loads of tablets released out there but the iPad, thanks to the apple marketing bods, is on most people I know’s wishlist. Everyone I know wants an iPad. They don’t want to be messing about downloading firmware from here and there, customising there device, making it do stuff that it shouldve already done. They purchase an iPad because they can go on the internet, play casual games, look at their emails, and use the various apps that are out there. That’s all they are bothered about.

      I agree, other mobile manufacturers have been doing what apples been doing for many years. The first SPV phone was way above everyone else, but it was seen as being a very geeky phone, I remember people having a chuckle at me because “I could listen to my music” or “check my emails” on my phone. Yet at the time it was light years ahead of most other phones out there.

      I used to always be looking at mobile phones and changing my device every couple of months trying to find a device that suited me, that changed with an iPhone. I admit that the app store is very clever as whenever you purchase an App from it, your making it harder for yourself to switch to another device. Im not purchasing the same software again on another device.

      I do love how Windows Phone 7 (7.5) is shaping up and I follow it intently wishing apple would improve their home screen.

      I welcome other mobile manufacturers to exceed apple and the iPhone and keep pushing what devices can do as this will ensure healthy competition and encourage apple to up their game. Different people want different things. If you want to customise your device, view flash websites, an iPhone isnt for you. If you want a device that literally anyone can pickup and use, the iPhone fits the bill.

      Wow, I have just looked at what I have been typing, ignore what I have been waffling on about, the Gadget Show is on and they are reviewing toothbrushes!!!!

      Peace out!

      • Some good points and I
        didn’t mean to go off on Gary for an Apple review.  

         

        What frustrates me in
        this is not that the Apple stuff is good or that people like it just that
        its often given credit for innovating when it’s actually just
        stylizing at best and it’s rarely ever as good as it’s been given credit for.  Had this been a windows phone review it would
        have been chided for adding things that others already had.  I honestly had no idea that tabbed browsing
        was an improvement as I’ve come to take it for granted as an assumed feature.  Likewise OTA updates, wireless sync and
        activation and even the notification updates are just catching up to the
        competition not breaking new ground in anyway. 
        I’m sure that whatever they’ve done will be elegant and stylish but a
        simple acknowledgement that they were behind rather than doing the job of Apple
        marketing would really be appreciated.

         

        As for the point about
        comparing phones it’s hard to compete with the AOL, PalmOS and my first
        smartphone simplistic approach of iOS but I think windows phone could give them
        a run for their money.   In fact I do think that windows phone
        has the potential to take over if it can get past the perception
        wall.  For some reason people want to
        believe its 1994 when they look at Microsoft software and too many reviewers
        seem to want to perpetuate that stereotype.

         

         

        Anyway, all I’m after is
        a little parity in the way the different OS’s are approached. 

         

         

        Fid any cool
        toothbrushes?  J

        • Anonymous

          I think Garry was just trying to give his impressions rather than get into who copied who. 

          I highlighted the copying a bit more in my article a few months ago http://www.coolsmartphone.com/2011/06/24/ios-5-beta-hands-on/

        • I understand where you coming from. Thats the thing with the Gadget Show, there is only usually a couple of things worth seeing on the whole show!

          Toothbrush wise, nothing of interest! Think I will stick to my manual toothbrush! Cheaper!