Need to know – iOS 5
The operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches gets a major revamp this autumn (date still TBC). In come over 200 new features – out go annoying notifications and fiddling with iTunes.
How many times have you shouted at annoying pop-up messages when you’re in the middle of a game or browsing the web? New look notifications will peek over the top of the screen and wander away – you can check them all at once in an extremely Android-esqye scroll-down Notification Centre. You can also use notifications to jump straight into an app from the lock screen.
Going on Safari
Watch out Readability and Instapaper, Apple is gunning for your users with its new text-extracting Safari Reader tool. A button lets you hijack text from distracting page furniture (and ads), placing even multi-page stories in single, easy to read column of text. It’s easy to clip and share stories too, even across devices.
Get ready for a flood of Congresspeople’s pouches as Twitter integrates seamlessly into iOS 5. Log in once and then you can enable Twitter in all kinds of apps with just a permission, plus you can tweet pictures straight from the camera, videos from YouTube and Maps with a single tap.
Apple is launching its own walled-garden messaging service, iMessage, just for iOS devices. Looking very much like the current SMS client, you will be able to send words, pictures, videos or contact information to anyone else with an iOS 5 gadget. Annoyingly limited, then, but you do get delivery and read receipts.
Forget shutter lag – lock-screen lag is the cause of many more missed photos. iOS 5 will let you leap into the camera app by double-clicking an icon on the lock screen. If you’ve got a passcode set up, you’ll still be able to snap a photo – but not see any others until you log in. There’s also new editing and enhance tools and built-in red-eye reduction.
Over the air everything
Apple calls this feature PC Free but we prefer iTunes Free. In iOS 5, phones will be able to run through their initial set-up and install firmware upgrades without a USB cable in sight.
Odds and ends
Other new features include a swish Newsstand for digital mags and newspapers; smart Reminders that can be triggered by a location instead of a time; an updated Game Centre; Mail tweaks and a split keyboard for thumb typists.