Is iOS 5 a Game-Changer?

So… iOS 5. When it was first shown off, I was left a bit underwhelmed. It’s just a collection of (granted, a whole lot of) small upgrades and enhancements, rather than an entirely new version of an operating system.

It’s got some nice functionality enhancements. But to me, it feels more like an incremental upgrade from iOS 4.3 to 4.4, or what have you, than something worthy of a wholly new version. Let’s break down what’s in version 5.0, and you can judge for yourself.

  • Notification Center: compiles all of your alerts in one place — new email, text messages, friend requests, and app notifications.
  • iMessage: basically iChat for iOS devices
  • Newsstand: iBooks for magazines & newspapers
  • Reminders: to-do list app
  • Twitter: the ability to tweet is now built into any and all apps, as part of Apple’s basic interface
  • Camera: open your camera app from the Lock screen, and then press the volume-up button to snap a pic.
  • Photos: iPhoto-type picture editing on your device
  • Safari: save webpages for offline reading; iPad gets tabbed browsing
  • PC Free: cut the cord! no more tethering your device to a computer
  • Mail: lots of added functions, like rich text editing and adding your own mailbox folders, making it more like Mail on your Mac
  • Wifi Sync: you don’t need a wire to sync to a computer anymore; syncing is done over your wifi network

There are a few other goodies as well, such as turn-based gaming built into Game Center, using multi-touch swipes to switch between apps, and a nifty new function for broadcasting everything happening on your iPad’s screen onto your Apple TV. It doesn’t stop there – there are actually 200 new features built into iOS 5, but most of them are building blocks for developers to use, tools like “automatic reference counting” and “location simulation.”

So… yeah. It’s a fairly significant upgrade. But is it earth-shattering enough to deserve a new version number?

What say you?

About Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

Comments

  1. Apple has done a great job with iOS 5 , it fill in the gaps of what was lacking. Amazing new features. Superb.

  2. well, iOS 5 finally completes iOS. it adds all the up to now obviously missing features/options and polishes all the little details. it is also the first iOS edition designed as part of Apple’s new iCloud ecosystem. and the wireless mirroring of iOS on to your HDTV via Apple TV is a much bigger deal for the future than most realize at the moment – the start of a whole new iOS expansion zone (goodbye HTPC). so yes, it’s not a breakthrough, but definitely deserves a new whole integer – 5.0. it comes as the start of a new era.

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