Apple announced iOS 5 today with 200 new features for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Grab a coffee and settle into your favourite reading chair as we’re going to take a closer look at some of these changes.
There are also several notification styles that can be set on an app-by-app basis. These include badges, the standard box alerts and banners which is the new option. Banners appear at the top of your screen and can show up to 15 recent items. They give you a quick look at what the alert is about and let you decide if it’s worth your time to respond. Unfortunately, you have to be quick as the banner only appears for 20-30 seconds. If you miss it, you have to rely on the good ol’ badges to see what you missed.
All the tray alerts are organised by app. You can tap an alert and it will open the email, redial the missed number and so on. An “X” button will let you clear the alerts for each application. When you combine the collapsible tray with the banner and the lock screen notification, you have the foundation for a decent notification system.
Camera and Photo
You can organise reminders by assigning them to lists that you create. You can have a reminder list for work, home and kids. You can display the reminders by list or by due date. The app even keeps track of completed reminders so you can look back at your accomplishments. Similar to the other iOS applications, alerts appear in the banner and the drop-down tray.
Safari Mobile Reader and Tabs
Apple also added a new Instapaper-like feature that gives you a pristine preview of an article. The browser will detect when you are browsing an article and strip out all the distracting ads and side bars. The pop-up window will display a clean copy that is very easy to read.
Wireless Sync, Mail App, Newsstand
These remaining features are not fully fleshed out in this beta release of iOS 5. The Newsstand app sits on the homescreen, can’t be put in a folder and launches to an empty bookshelf with a note reminding you to add a magazine subscription. That’s great but the link to the Store to get a subscription is greyed out. The wireless sync was also not working as of the writing of this post.