A look at some of the key the features makes it appear like Apple has copied features from competing platforms and services and integrated them nicely into the iOS 5 update. Think of features from BlackBerry, DropBox, Android, and a host of others rolled up into one.
Briefly, here are a few key features:
- PC-independence – Hallelujah! iOS is free of it’s mandatory dependence on a PC, especially for device activation
- Incremental OTA updates – During updates, the entire OS is not downloaded but just the needed bits, and entirely independent of a PC
- Notification Center – A ripoff of Android’s dedicated screen that you open by pulling from the top of the screen downwards to view and manage notifications in one place without interruption.
- Newsstand is a new place to house all your magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
- Twitter integration – With a single sign-in allowing a multitude of apps to make use of your Twitter credentials. covers. You can now Tweet from Contacts, Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube and Maps and your contacts are automatically synced with their Twitter accounts
- Reminders – This is, yes; reminders but intelligent enough to remind you to do things based on your location.
- A new split keyboard
- iMessage – the iOS version of BlackBerry Messenger. It lets you send text messages, photos and videos between (and exclusive to) all iOS devices
- iCloud – Not exclusive to iOS. Syncs your content (Contacts, Calendar, Mail, App Store, iBooks, backup, Documents, Photos and iTunes) synchronized across your devices
There is little on the list that is a novelty. As usual, it is Apple playing catchup, but probably implementing those features better. Apple labels some of the above as “innovative”, but there is nothing innovative about adding features that have existed for years on other platforms.
Still, iOS just got better with the addition of these features. Users can expect the iOS 5 update to be available from September. Don’t forget that iOS 5 will be compatible only with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, iPad 1 and 2, and iPod touch 3rd and 4th generation.