I got home from work yesterday and plugged in my trusty iPhone as quickly as I could.
Why? iOS5 is out, people!
For the deep, invasive, and overly analytic take, I’d suggest checking out Ars Technica. For my shallow, roughshod, and scattershot review, read on.
This is the biggie, right? No more modal dialog boxes popping up all in your face all the time like a whiny brat. Just a nice little rectangle that drops down from above, hangs out for a few seconds, and then disappears. If you miss it, just go to The Center and you can check out all your stuff. This is good. There is also more stuff on the lock screen, which can include all the same stuff, only without having to unlock your phone and go into the app. This is good. However, I can already see how all those notifications can get out of hand, much more likely than before when it was just one per screen real estate.
I’m not sure I want to use iCloud full-on-like, but I’ll let them sync my Calendar and Photos for now. My Mail, Contacts, and Calendar are all in Google’s hands for now, and I have such a huge non-iTunes batch of music that syncing it all through iCloud seems like it would overpower their free 5GB limit. Using the Find My iPhone thingy is cool, though.
Brilliant. I need to discontinue my SMS plan since most of the people I text have iPhones. The few that don’t probably won’t make a big ding in my budget. Pairing it together with the existing Messages app was genius so that you don’t even have to think about it.
Jury’s out on whether this will be useful because I use Echofon, and not the official app. The deep integration would be useful, but not so much that I feel the need to switch right now.
The minimal additions for cropping and enhancing photos is keen (and well overdue), otherwise it’s pretty much the same. Being able to get to it from the lock screen and being able to take a picture with the volume rocker is also overdue.
CUSTOM VIBRATIONS AND TEXT MESSAGE TONES
Sweet! I’ve been wanting to make new text message tones forever. The few originals that came with the iPhone 1-3GS were all right, but only 1 or 2 didn’t make me cringe. The batch that came with iOS4 were laughable: too long and way too much reverb. It’s like they were made by someone who lost a “Design the next round of iOS text message tones!” contest. Now, all that is moot because you can make your own, which I will soon. Being able to make custom vibration patterns is definitely one of those neat things I didn’t know I wanted, but know I can’t live without now.
I don’t really want a Newstand or Reminders app, but they are there and functional. The new Airport Utility is boss for people who use Airport Extremes/Expresses. There’s a bunch of other little system stuff that’s fun to play around with, too.
All in all, the hype is probably overrated in that iOS4->iOS5 is more incremental than revolutionary. The Notifications Center is long overdue, necessary, and awesome. iCloud will be useful if I change my stuff from Google to Apple, but I’m not sure I want to in totality. Everything else is neat, but not necessary. There’s no reason not to download it, however.