You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

iOS 5 - Everything You Need To Know

AppAdvice iOS 5 Web resource

At the company’s recent WWDC keynote presentation, Apple unveiled the upcoming upgrade to its mobile operating system - iOS 5. The update certainly looks good, but is it what we were expecting? Read on, and find out everything you need to know about iOS 5.


Apple has added a new built-in application in iOS 5: “Reminders.” This application is the perfect replacement for your current GTD app, allowing users to create tasks (and tag them by location), and even set alert notifications. The application displays completed reminders and current reminders - both of which are searchable. Adding new reminders is simple and easy, as is “ticking off” completed tasks. Reminders can be viewed either in a list or by date, and they can also be synced to Google Calendar or Microsoft Exchange. Support for iCal (on OS X) and Outlook (on Windows) is expected to arrive when iOS 5 launches.

Here are the key features of Apple's "Reminders" app:

  1. "Reminders" app

  2. Location-based reminders

  3. Google Calendar support

  4. Microsoft Exchange support

  5. iCal and Outlook support expected


In iOS 5, users can add, rename and delete cameras from directly within the Calendar application, on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Additionally, attachments can be viewed from within the app, and on the iPhone, calendars can be viewed in landscape mode (as well as portrait). When in landscape mode (on an iPhone), a week-view is automatically displayed. Further features include default alert times (when adding new items in the Calendar app, users can have default alerts set). On the iPad, a year-view is now available too, which is a handy feature.

Here are the key changes Apple has made to the Calendars app:

  1. Ability to add, rename and delete calendars

  2. Ability to view attachments

  3. Landscape week-view

  4. Default alert times

  5. iPad year-view

Notification Center

One of the biggest and most-praised features Apple has added in iOS 5, is a brand new notification system. In iOS 5, users can choose exactly what kind of notification is displayed for each application - with a new, banner-style notification becoming available in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. These notifications aren’t intrusive, and simply appear along the top of the screen. Touching the banner opens the relevant application. However, swiping a finger down (from the top of the screen) opens “Notification Center.” Here, missed notifications are displayed, along with two built-in widgets: “Weather” and “Stocks.” Other new notification features added in iOS 5 include custom vibration patterns and LED flash alerts, both of which can be activated from within the “Accessibility” section of the Settings app.

Key features of Apple's improved notification system include:

  1. "Notification Center"

  2. New notification system

  3. Choose notifications for specific apps

  4. Banner-style notifications

  5. Widgets

  6. Custom vibration patterns

  7. LED flash patterns

[caption id="attachment_190759" align="aligncenter" width="364" caption="Notification Center: Widgets and missed notifications are displayed here"][/caption]


Apple has tweaked the keyboard in iOS 5, adding a “split keyboard” that moves around users’ thumbs, when typing. Additionally, users can easily add an Emoji keyboard in upcoming mobile operating system.

Changes include:

  1. Split keyboard

  2. Emoji keyboard

Cutting the cord

A major emphasis of iOS 5, was the idea of “cutting the cord.” Essentially, Apple wants its customers to be able to use an iOS device without the need for a personal computer. This makes sense - especially if Apple is touting the iPad is a PC replacement. Features of this include Wi-Fi Sync, Automatic Downloads, the ability to use a device while it’s syncing and over-the-air software updates. These are definitely handy features - although, if you’re planning on using multiple Apple IDs with iOS 5, be sure to read this article first.

Here's how Apple is cutting the cord:

  1. Wi-Fi Sync

  2. Automatic Downloads

  3. Ability to use a device while it syncs with iTunes

  4. Over-the-air software updates


One of the biggest features Apple announced at its WWDC keynote presentation, was iCloud - the company’s cloud-based service. Features of the Cupertino, CA company’s iCloud service include the syncing of email, contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, notes and even photos across users’ various iOS devices; Find My iPhone; online backup and “iTunes in the cloud” (including “iTunes Match”).

Here's what you can expect from iCloud:

  1. Everything in-sync

  2. Photo Stream

  3. Find My iPhone

  4. Online backup

  5. iTunes in the cloud

  6. iTunes Match

[caption id="attachment_190760" align="aligncenter" width="364" caption="iCloud also has its own area in the Settings app"][/caption]


In iOS 5, users can activate “multitasking gestures” for their iPad 2 (and original iPad, via this hack), and even mirror their iPad’s display wirelessly, using AirPlay. Users can purchase new tones from Apple’s Tone Store, and assign individual tones to contacts. Now, the “iPod” app is called “Music,” and in it users can tab and hold on song names to view more information on the track. These details can also be sent to others via Bluetooth. Furthermore, it’s now possible to delete individual tracks in the Music application. New icons have been added for Hotmail, Google Mail and Microsoft Exchange accounts, and in the Mail app users can drag email addresses between fields. Additionally, before the Mail app sends an email, it will alert users if no “subject” has been inputted. The Notes app now displays the total number of notes, and all toggle buttons (such as those in the Settings app) are rounded. Application data can be deleted, and traffic can be hidden in the Maps app. Furthermore, users can now choose to make their Game Center private - just one of the many improvements Apple has made to its gaming network.

Here's the list:

  1. Multitasking gestures

  2. AirPlay Mirroring

  3. Tone Store

  4. Tones for individual contacts

  5. "Music" app

  6. Information on tracks

  7. Send song details over Bluetooth

  8. Delete individual tracks

  9. New icons for Hotmail, Google Mail and Microsoft Exchange

  10. Enhancements to the Mail app

  11. Enhancements to the Notes app

  12. Rounded "toggle" buttons

  13. Application data can be deleted

  14. Traffic in the Maps app can be hidden

  15. Game Center improvements


Additional improvements to the Mail app include rich text formatting, and the ability to search through full email messages.

Features of the Mail app include:

  1. Rich text formatting

  2. Search through entire email messages


Apple has also improved the built-in Safari app, adding the ability to browse privately and also tabbed browsing. A “read later” feature is also present in iOS 5 (which syncs with OS X Lion) and a “reader view” has also been added.

Here's what Apple has changed in Safari for iOS:

  1. Private Browsing

  2. Read Later

  3. Reader View

  4. Appearance - black when in private mode

Twitter integration

One highly anticipated feature added in iOS 5 is “Twitter integration.” Now, a single sign-on feature allows users to only have to sign-in to the social network once, and users can also send a tweet from Safari or the Photos app.

Features of Twitter integration include:

  1. Single sign-on

  2. Tweet from Safari

  3. Tweet from Photos

[caption id="attachment_190761" align="aligncenter" width="364" caption="Twitter also has a section of the Settings app"][/caption]


In the Maps app, alternative routes are now displayed. It’s a simple-but-handy feature.

Little has changed in Maps:

  1. Alternative route


Local weather is now displayed in Apple’s built-in Weather app, and an hourly view can be accessed from within the application, too. In Notification Center, a weather widget allows users to quickly check on the forecast.

Here's what's new:

  1. Local weather

  2. Hourly view

  3. Widget


A variety of changes have been made to Apple’s Camera app. First, it’s now possible to shoot an image using an iPhone’s volume-up button. Undoubtedly, this makes taking photographs on an iPhone (or iPod touch) much easier. Additionally, the Camera can be accessed from the Lock screen by double-pressing the Home button. When in the Camera application, sliding your finger up or down the screen will open your Camera Roll, and users can activate “grid lines” in the application, too.

New features include:

  1. Shoot an image using the volume-up button

  2. Access from the Lock screen

  3. Slide for Camera Roll

  4. Grid lines

Game Center

In iOS 5, Apple has added profile pictures to Game Center, along with “recommendations” (either of apps or buddies). And as mentioned, profiles can now be private.

Changes include:

  1. Profile pictures

  2. Recommendations

  3. Private profiles


Apple’s Stocks app now shows “real time” stocks, and these can also be viewed in Notification Center.

Here's what's new:

  1. Real time stocks

  2. Widget


Another major feature of iOS 5 is “iMessage” - Apple’s own version of BBM, if you will. With this feature, users can send instant, SMS-like messages to one another for free on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can configure iMessage to revert to SMS messages when the service isn’t available, and vice versa. A FaceTime button is also present in iMessage. Overall, is definitely a handy feature, and could only be improved via a Mac application.

Features include:

  1. iMessage

  2. FaceTime button in Messages


Apple has added a new built-in application in iOS 5: “Newsstand.” With this app, users have a dedicated area for news publications to live, and can also download more publications via the App Store. The icon changes to reflect its contents, which is a handy feature, and downloads can take place in the background.

Features of Newsstand include:

  1. Newsstand

  2. Download publications via App Store

  3. Changeable icon

  4. Background downloads

A complete list

  1. iMessage

  2. Free instant messages

  3. FaceBook button

  4. Turn on or off in Settings

  5. Read receipts

  6. Configure to use SMS when not connected to Internet

  7. Group messaging

  8. Ability to send photos and videos

  9. Blue message bubble indicate it’s an iMessage

  10. Reminders

  11. Location-based reminders

  12. Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange integration

  13. Support for iCal and Outlook expected

  14. Newsstand

  15. Dedicated area for news publications

  16. Download more via the App Store

  17. Background downloading

  18. Changeable application icon

  19. Calendar

  20. Add, rename or delete calendars

  21. View attachments from within the app

  22. Landscape mode gives weekly view

  23. Default alert times

  24. Year view (iPad only)

  25. Switch days by swiping

  26. Japanese calendar support

  27. Buddhist calendar support

  28. Page turning

  29. Notification System

  30. Notification Center

  31. Displays “missed” notifications

  32. Touching a notification takes you to the app

  33. Clear notifications

  34. Widgets: Weather and Stocks

  35. Weather: Week view

  36. New notification system

  37. Toggle Notification Center

  38. Choose how many recent items

  39. View in lock screen

  40. Banner style notification

  41. Choose which notification for specific apps

  42. Toggle app icons on or off

  43. Custom Vibrations

  44. LED flash alerts

  45. Sort notifications “manually” or by date

  46. Enable or disable badge alerts

  47. Keyboard

  48. Split keyboard

  49. Emoji keyboard

  50. Twitter keyboard, with @ and # buttons

  51. Keyboard shortcuts

  52. “PC free”

  53. Wireless activation

  54. Wi-Fi Sync

  55. Automatic Downloads

  56. Use a device while it syncs with iTunes

  57. Over-the-air software updates

  58. iCloud

  59. Create a free @me email account

  60. Everything in-sync

  61. Photo Stream

  62. Find My iPhone

  63. Online backup

  64. iTunes in the cloud

  65. iTunes Match

  66. iCloud section of the Settings app

  67. Purchase History

  68. Buy more storage

  69. System

  70. Multitasking gestures

  71. AirPlay Mirroring

  72. Tone Store

  73. Tones for individual contacts

  74. “Music” app with new icon

  75. New “Videos” app

  76. Information on tracks

  77. Send song details over Bluetooth

  78. Delete individual tracks

  79. New icons for Hotmail, Google Mail and Microsoft Exchange

  80. Enhancements to the Mail app

  81. Enhancements to the Notes app

  82. Rounded “toggle” buttons

  83. New welcome screen

  84. Application data can be deleted

  85. Traffic in the Maps can be hidden

  86. Game Center improvements

  87. New color for SMS bubbles

  88. Ability to rename a device in the Settings app

  89. Disable Voice Control

  90. Speak selection option

  91. Assistive touch settings

  92. Custom gestures

  93. Native 1080p playback on iPad 2

  94. Set left and right audio

  95. Edit number in Settings

  96. Personal Hotspot moved to “Network” section of Settings app

  97. Remove custom website data

  98. FaceTime section in Settings app

  99. Pick message alert length

  100. Separate settings for music and video

  101. Learn More Links

  102. Configure message alert length

  103. Choose default account for Notes

  104. Turn Automatic Downloads on or off

  105. Unsecured calls warning notification

  106. Multiple Apple IDs for different services

  107. Access applications from the Lock screen

  108. Make FaceTime calls without a SIM card

  109. Define your own words in the built-in dictionary

  110. App fades when crashing

  111. Snooze alarms from the Lock screen

  112. Sort friends using “points”

  113. VoiceOver item chooser

  114. Speak selected text

  115. Multiple downloads

  116. New voice in Voice Control

  117. New maximum for downloaded emails: 1,000

  118. Double-tapping the Home button in YouTube shows author

  119. Configure AirPort

  120. Support for Arabic

  121. Native support for turn-based games

  122. Updated Lock screen

  123. Create and delete photo albums

  124. Mail

  125. Rich text formatting

  126. Search through entire mail messages

  127. Quote level control in Mail settings

  128. S/MIME support

  129. Flag emails

  130. Mark multiple emails as “read”

  131. Safari

  132. Private Browsing

  133. Read Later

  134. Reader View

  135. Open link in background

  136. Tabbed browsing (iPad only)

  137. Twitter integration

  138. Single sign-on

  139. Tweet from Safari

  140. Tweet from Photos

  141. Multiple Twitter accounts

  142. Maps

  143. Alternative route

  144. Sponsored links

  145. Contacts

  146. Social network integration

  147. Twitter

  148. Facebook

  149. Flickr

  150. LinkedIn

  151. Myspace

  152. Weather

  153. Local weather

  154. Hourly view

  155. Widget

  156. Camera

  157. Shoot using volume-up button

  158. Access from the Lock screen

  159. Slide for Camera Roll

  160. Grid lines

  161. Zoom

  162. Game Center

  163. Profile Pictures

  164. Recommendations

  165. Private profiles

  166. New friend request screen

  167. Stocks

  168. Real time stocks

  169. Widget

  170. Newsstand

  171. Dedicated area for digital publications

  172. Download publications via App Store

  173. Changeable icon

  174. Background downloads