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iOS 5 First Impressions (Update)

by Jon Rettinger | June 6, 2011June 6, 2011 7:15 pm PDT

We’ve only had iOS 5 in our hands for a little bit, but already the OS enhancements seem hard to live without.  We can’t yet speak to beta build stability, but the notifications are already an extremely welcome addition.  We’ll continue to post thoughts as we get some more time with iOS 5.  Below are our initial thoughts and impressions of the first beta build on an AT&T iPhone 4.

  • Notification center is terrific.   You can turn alerts on or off and toggle them between the new app drawer or the old pop up.  There appear to be alert options for almost every app we have on our demo phone.
  • Pinch to zoom in the camera app feel natural.
  • We’re not seeing notifications on our lock screen yet, or the new camera button on the lock screen.
  • Newstand can’t be dragged into a folder.
  • Twitter integration feels smooth and organic.
  • Toggle switches (Turn airplane mode on/off for example) are more rounded now.
  • You can use the device normally while syncing to iTunes … which is more welcome then I thought it would be. (There is a little synch icon next to the time)
  • iMessage does not yet appear active, or installed on this beta build.  (at the very least the messaging icon looks the same, but the send button is a different color green)
  • Flagging messages is here, but a bit hard to find.  You need to have an open message and then hit mark, which is located right next to the date.
  • Audio alerts can be fully customized and you have the option to buy more (text tone, new voicemail, new mail, sent mail, and calendar alerts)
  • Reader is a welcome addition
  • Update: iMessage is working, it just needed to be activated in settings
  • Update 2: The camera button on the homescreen will show up if you double tap the home button.
  • Update 3: Some notifications show up on the lock screen (text messages) others, like e-mail are not.
  • Update 4: E-mail homescreen notifications need to be turned on

Overall things to be humming along nicely.  We haven’t experienced any crashes or glitches.  What do you guys want to see?

[UPDATE: Click here to see more impressions of iOS 5 after the first full day of using it.]


Jon Rettinger

Jon, perhaps best known by his YouTube alter ego Jon4Lakers, has a love for technology that can never be quenched, no matter how hard he tries. If...

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