Apple iOS 5

#TechReview: Initial thoughts on Apple iOS 5

IMPORTANT UPDATE: No features, no matter how great and wonderful, can make up for a crappy battery life on mobile devices. I am now contemplating rolling back to an older backup. This stinks! I RECOMMEND WAITING FOR APPLE TO FIX.

200 new features? Should I care?

Update 10/16/2011 POST UPGRADE OF IPHONE
Honeymoon is winding down and I am finding the pet peeves and some confirmations of love.

Syncing Joy
I just added a record to my iPhone via Card munch, yet another LinkedIn app made for iPhone but not iPad. The entry was updated in iPhone then immediately synced to iPad vi the iCloud. Awesome. Of course blackberry did that five years ago and Microsoft windows mobile does it as well but …. Better late than never.

Syncing issues
roh!!! iCloud resulting in duplicate everything. I am now paying for the workarounds I had to do while unable to sync to the cloud. iCloud is not smart enough to see that the calendar on my iPhone is exactly the same as the one on my PC and thus exactly the same as the one on myiPad. Thus, most entries appear in my calendar THREE TIMES!

Splitting Keyboard is obnoxious
Annoying and strange. The device is till way too big to hold in your hands like an iPhone so the split keyboard functionality makes no sense to me. I also keep accidentally splitting the keyboard which is VERY ANNOYING!!! I cannot overstate how much I DETEST the slitting keyboard. In the midst of this update, my keyboard has split three times.

Update 10/16/2011
I still like the update a lot and am now ready to take the risk with my iPhone. I am more excited than before about the syncing. It is great to buy an app on either device and it magically appears on the other devices and on my PC. I am becoming less of a fan of the notifications. I think Apple should have made the default NO notifications and allowed you to add as you wish. It starts out REALLY annoying and you have to go app by app to customize and turn things off. And there are so many options, you think you have turned everything off and then up pops another notification.
I also have found several apps have made pretty cool updates for the new iOS, a nice touch. I thought I would like the “When I leave” functionality more but now think it will be a novelty more than anything else and I will use Wunderlist for reminders and tasks. I need to experiment with the Reader a bit more. Still seems cool but I have yet to fully test it out.
Day by day I get more annoyed by Newstand and the fact that it is so hard to get rid of the darn app and icon. I DO NOT WANT YOU Newstand!

Original Post 10/14/2011:
As I tweeted earlier this week, I am testing the new iOS 5. Testing on iPad first. While I can do without my iPad, my iPhone is indispensable so i will try to test it for a few days before upgrading the phone. I will update this blog post as I discover new features I like (or do not like) as well as when I finally test it on my iPhone.

Things that I like thus far:

The CORD DISAPPEARS!
Nothing annoyed me more than having to leave my iPad attached to my PC patiently waiting for the newest iOS upgrade to download and install or to sync my contacts, apps, and music. Sync via WiFi will allow me to get rid of some cords attached to my PC. (yes, I have a Win7 PC…)

Also, I can finally sync my calendars. Up until now, I would have to accept an invitation on one device, sync that to my PC via USB, then sync my other device to the PC. I opted to use gmail calendar but did not want to have to use that generic email address instead of alswharton.com

“When I leave” reminders
AWESOME!!! I typically try to add todo items to my calendar at times I expect to leave the office. I HATE having to put “pick up eggs, go to drycleaner, stop by H&M for boxer briefs” in the calendar my assistant and many team members see! Until now, however, the reminder function was weak in prior versions of the iOS.

Safari Reader along with twitter integration

Safari Reader

Safari Reader

Yes!!! The ability to find, read, and share content both between devices and with connections on Twitter is greatly enhanced by the new Safari Reader (sorry Google) and native Twitter support in the new iOS. I love that they connected Twitter to my contact book and I was able to search my contact book, and add twitter handles and photos automatically.

A helpful guide I found online for using the new Reader is here >> Safari Reader

Notifications in iOS5

Notifications in iOS5

Notifications and Banners
I like the new notifications center. This was a function on my Droid 2 that I actually liked. It was great to be able to see at a glance all that was going on without having to open each application. The iPhone version, better than Android if I recall, allows you to customize which apps are shown, how much, and in what manner. In the prior iOS, it was annoying that some banners would pop up and you had to act on them to close the message. With the new version, you can choose to have a banner appear at the top and simply disappear with no action required. If I leave my iPad laying in the kitchen locked, its nice to have Facebook and Twitter notices show up but it was really unnecessary to have them stay there until EVERYONE that enters my kitchen can read them or I close it. It’s also nice to decide which notifications can be seen when you are away from the iPad and it is locked and which only show up when you are active.

Moderately useful …

Photo Editing
When I take a photo and want to share it on Facebook or Instagram, I often have to paste without cropping, and often the photos have redeye. When I get home, I then edit the photo and reupload it from my PC. The fairly basic editing functionality built in to the new iOS helps reduce the bad photo posts. But, it is VERY BASIC. You can crop, you can remove redeye, and they have an autofix that as far as I can tell makes your photos worse everytime.

Now, what I will likely NOT use…

Messages

imessage_iconThis feature has been touted for so long that I almost forgot it was coming. It was promised to be what ends all text messaging and loses millions in revenue for AT&T and other iPhone partners. Not so sure. With AT&T I pay a flat fee every month for unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling and unlimited texting to anyone on any network. I do not have to know whether my friend has an iPhone, Droid, or Windows phone when I want to send them a text or photo. I just do it. I have zero interest in using this new tool if it only works if the person on the other end has also set up the service on their iphone. I can also do the exact same things with Facebook, whose app already works fairly well with the iPhone and iPad.

Newsstand
Like iBooks, an also ran to Kindle, completely unnecessary with Kindle or even Safari access and individual apps for the newspapers I want to read. I am annoyed they make it so hard to delete the icon or put it into groups with other icons.newsstand_icon

Siri
Sounds ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC but is only available with 4s phone. I will not be buying the new iPhone until my iPhone 4 is end of contract with AT&T so will miss this smart voice recognition feature. Interesting that in this case, Apple is stealing thunder from Microsoft’s mango software on the Windows Mobile device.

Find My Friends
If I want you to know where I am, I will let you know. This new feature creeps me out and I imagine it will be featured on episodes of “Cheaters” or “Spies like us” as people take advantage of people who neglect to appropriately filter this feature. Not everyone in my Contact book is a “friend”.

Must wait for iPhone to test…

Custom vibrations and ringtones
One of the few things I miss about my BlackBerry is the ability to create VIP contacts thT ring differently AND can have different vibrations (for example:1 vibration for annoying people, 2 for my team, 3 for my boss and family). The LED blinker and this custom vibration will be great for me and other former BB users. The ability to customize text message ringtones ROCKS so I’m excited.

Still missing …

Photo Sorting and Folders
I hate that I still cannot move photos to different folders on the device, and that the only photos I can delete are those that are in the camera roll. I have created folders of favorite photos on my PC. They are synced to the device. When I take a photo on my iPhone or iPad, I would like to be able to move them to these special folders. Instead, I have to RETURN TO THE CORD. I have to connect to my PC, copy the photos from the device, then paste them into the folders for another sync. Annoying.

More to come….

Best,

Adam

Adam L. Stanley
Follow me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/alswharton
Connect with me on Linked In http://www.linkedin.com/in/adamstanley
Or at http://www.alswharton.com/in

One comment

  1. I had a problem with battery life, then visited Apple center and was told to reset phone and reload OS. Worked for me!
    I also dislike the inability to move photos to different folders.
    The find me feature is a little Orwellian, and I suspect it will be misused. However for an older family member, it would be a great locator.
    I tested Siri in the Apple store. It is awesome, there is no comparison to anyother voice activated system that I know about. It is hands down the best.
    Me: ‘What are you?’
    Siri: ‘I’m you’re personal assistant.’
    Me: ‘What do you look like.’
    Siri: ‘I most resemble an Iphone.’
    Me: ‘Smarta–!’
    Siri: ‘Would you repeat that please?’

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