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


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.

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