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What can you expect out of iOS 5 ?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

/ by Srikanth Eswaran

 


The urge to know more about iCloud made me ponder whether I could go ahead and install the iOS 5 beta on my phone. Since I knew that there was support for the iPhone 3GS, it was time to fuel that urge further. So I googled about and found a website that shared the iOS firmware.


The point here is that to install iOS 5.0 beta 4 version, you also need the corresponding iTunes 10.5 version. With some luck I could find it here and here respectively. (hotlinks to this page won't work)


You must carefully note that this link is for 3GS so if your phone is different read that homepage fully before making a download choice.


Installing iTunes was no difficult. Once done, its the normal procedure of putting the iPhone in DFU mode to start loading iOS 5 firmware. This link explains the steps better.


To continue further, click here :

Please note that in no way will the author of this article or this blog be responsible if the aforesaid procedures brick your phone.


Having said this much, I'd like to be of as much help as possible to get even your bricked phone back to working state. Remember that during the iOS 5 installation its important not to have a power failure as this could lead to undesirable circumstances. So once you install iOS 5, since apple has integrated the cloud concept into this version of software, you have to have a apple developer UDID to register for a cloud id. The phone CANNOT be setup until the UDID is registered.


So what next? There are hundreds of sites offering to register the UDID of your device for a few dollars. iPhoneism website also offers the same thing for free if you like them a few hundred times on social networks, and do what they say. IMZDL website also offers this service. Its obviously against what apple wants, but obviously for what you want.


In my personal opinion, I found this website offering UDID registration for just about $6 which in Indian money translates to 250 bucks which is the price for 1/4th of a pizza today. Or two auto rides. Or a day at the mall. Or whatever.


Alright so why the hell must you rush to create a UDID registration or for that matter download a beta iOS 5 on your phone when you can anyway wait for apple to release it for free in September mid? Its for the so called coveted "me.com" id and nothing else basically. Yes of course its also to enjoy the cloud services and see what apple is offering before they release to public, but its mainly to get your own me.com apple id before someone else takes it. For me its important. For you its your call ! If your name is suresh and you want suresh@me.com, its probably available right now, but you might end up with suresh123, suresh_123 and whatever not later on! Take your call.


But this blog post is not about telling you more about the me.com ID. Its about giving you a glimpse of the iOS installation on the iPhone itself and what it looks like with respect to feature differences.


So lets begin then. I will take you through these screens and how they look different from the non cloud firmwares that have been there so far.


Find my iPhone



 


This application is the core of the cloud concept wherein apple can track down your phone if you have lost it. You might ask whats the big deal about it? Well its not always feeling bad for money spent on it. But moreso that your data, personal contacts and every other information about you can be compromised. Thats a bigger bummer than just losing the phone in the first place.


This application enables you to play a sound on the device in whichever remote corner it is, in whoseever hands. If that is not enough, you can start displaying messages on the device warning the person who has stolen to return it to you. Obviously in a country like India that wont be heeded as well. So you can do a complete wipe of the data as well which is the worst case solution. Atleast your identity and other information would be then safe from prying eyes.


Diagnostics



 


Some basic settings allow you to send back diagnostic data to apple based on your usage and then we are ready to start using the iPhone.


Note that I have already created a me.com even before the find my iphone app was displayed on the screen. You can choose your id and the installation will continue only when you confirm the id you want.


The iCloud



So now its time to explain the iCloud in simple terms. Consider that its a storage space given to you to store your stuff by Apple. Where they maintain it, how its all arranged is strictly no botheration for you. What matters is they offer you 5GB at the moment for free. This is to store your phone data as backup, and you can decide to put whatever else you need to, like documents, syncing calendars, reminders, perhaps the music, videos and emails. These options are configurable from your phone itself as shown. Note the iCloud metallic icon on the first figure.



Backing up on iCloud is done via WiFi only in this beta. It makes sense as 3G plans and pricing is always higher so backing up would make it an expensive affair. It is worthwhile to mention here that a complete backup of my iPhone without the photos and music worked out to 1.5GB !! So I will let you assume how much more you need over and above that.


Twitter integration



In the ever growing social network competition with Google+ launch, while many companies like MySpace shutting down almost, Facebook still stands tall to challenge Google with its yet another drab launch of Google+. With its recent introduction of Skype video, Facebook has everything that Google can provide on a social networking front almost. So who else are we missing here? The good old sparrow ofcourse! TWITTER!


Since the time of inception, Twitter has been a no nonsense thought sharing venture. People who have used twitter will swear by its clean interface, and simplicity of usage. Many celebrities and companies have equally embraced Twitter catapulting its popularity. The best thing about twitter is its mature users who are different from Facebook or Google+ in its own way. Its only natural then that Apple has decided to support this generic, not-for-competition service from its core of the iOS 5. So we find in iOS 5 a direct integration of Twitter in the menus. Apple still mandates that the Twitter app be installed but has ways in which one can tweet directly from certain apps or screens.


Screen and App Changes/Inclusions


As is the expected case, Apple's user interface always gets better with every release of their iOS and this one's no different. You can see for yourself how apple has included a newsstand app along with the prior iBooks. This shows the path apple is taking to include news subscriptions from various companies who are cozying up to the apple way of working.



Note the changes in some of the icons on default home menu screen. The OS now includes reminders as standards kicking the butt of apps like Remember the Milk which were most sought after earlier. These inbuilt reminders are also synced on iCloud.com which then reflects the same across all your i-devices! Its the right time to say here that app-makers always make money only with those apps that Apple does not include as standard and their revenue almost plummets to zero if Apple decides to give the same thing as default !! Note the music icon colour change while the rest of the icons remain the same.



Finer points


And finally the finer points of the iOS upgrade. The home screen now becomes more useful by showing all notifications stacked up as in the case of android phones or others. You can take a look for yourself below. Of course when you slide on a notification it directly takes you to the screen where you can act on it. For example if the notification is an SMS you can slide to reply to it !



Note also that when you double press the home key, you now get a CAMERA option next to the unlock slider. This takes you directly into the camera for that quick snapshot to be taken. Finally apple had to learn it from others who already have a camera key on the hardware itself !


So before we end, here is the cloud storage pricing and the pull down notification slider as well which are interesting to look at!



 


So I hope you enjoyed what I have shown you here as features of the upcoming iOS 5 and iCloud service. If you did like this post, please consider sharing it using the Share this button below.


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