iOS 5 Hands-On First Impressions

Posted on June 6, 2011 by

iOS 5 is now available to download for registered iOS developers, and BGR has posted some impressions and screenshots of the beta.

Here are some early observations:

  • Preference to open pages in Safari in a new page or in background (amazing!).
  • More alert choices for emails, calendar, and the ability to buy more.
  • Ability to create keyboard shortcuts (autotext) to replace custom phrases. The default entry is “omw” which is replaced with, “On my way!”
  • Software update option in settings to check for the latest OS.
  • Sync now button to wireless sync to iTunes
  • Ability to customize how notifications in Notification Center look — you can customize how many recent ones to show, 1, 5 or 10, if it’s showed in the lock screen, if it’s in Notification Center, and also the alert style, banner or alert style.
  • Twitter installs directly from the settings page if it’s not installed directly, you aren’t even taken to the App Store.
  • FaceTime button in iMessage messages at the top now
  • Tweeting photos is, so so slick. It displays on Twitter as powered by Photobucket, and it’s from iOS.
  • There’s a new option to print out from the Maps app… hilarious.
  • You can make new albums right from the device itself in Photos.
  • You can move and add photos to albums.
  • Doesn’t look iMessage is fully baked in here yet.
  • You can customize the default alert times. This is so needed — so now when you enter a calendar entry, you don’t have to set the default alert time you like — I’m a 15 minute calendar alert type of guy.
  • Email flagging doesn’t look to be enabled in this beta, though S/MIME support is. Never mind, it is. You have to go into the message and tap “mark”.
  • It seems that Reminders sync with Exchange (Tasks basically), but you can’t set location-based reminders if you’re on Exchange, just with iCloud. You can selectively choose where to sync the reminder though, it’s just not streamlined if you use Exchange.
  • You can set the caller ID for FaceTime calls, so if you call someone, you can choose it to display your cellular number or email address.

 

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