iOS 5 Announced: Top 20 of 200 New Features!

This was the most anticipated announcement from Apple, Inc today at their Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) taking place from 6th June to 10th June 2011. Mr. Steve Jobs unveiled some details about next iOS version for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

iOS 5 is going to be the major release of the Apple’s mobile operating system till date. It will have more than 1500 new APIs which app developers can use to create new applications or use them within existing applications. iOS 5 is also said to have more than 200 new features! Sounds really great to me 🙂

I couldn’t wait and here are the top 20 new features of iOS 5

1: Notification Center

Notification Center was totally missing in earlier versions of iOS and everyone shifted from iPhone to Android talked about its advantage of having it on Android. Now, iPhone will have it too,

As expected, Apple has put their own touch by placing it on top of the screen with animation. These notifications can include Mail, IMs, Facebook, Scores, Stocks, Weather and more.

Another interesting point is: We can slide finger on the notification and it will take us to the application that sent the notification even if we’re on a locked screen.

2: Newstand (News)

Its more like a iBook Store where you can download a book and it gets synced under the iBooks. Somewhat similarly, it is now possible subscribing to magazines like NatGeo, Vanity Fair, NY Times etc. Once subscribed, these will get auto downloaded in the background and will also show up in the new notification center with latest issues.

It makes sense to better organize subscribed newspapers or magazines in to one place.

3: Twitter Integration

It’s not only about having Twitter account access which we already can do! Its lots more. Twitter is now integrated throughout the operating system. This also means that, we only need to sign-in to Twitter account once and all the apps (if we permit them) can use your Twitter account. No need to sign-in every time. Just like we set-up mail account once.

Twitter is also going to be associated with Photos, YouTube, Safari Pages, Contacts. We can also gather contact photos from their Twitter account by default.

4: Safari: Reading List

Safari will have a new feature of Reading List allowing users to quickly save articles which then can be accessed via any of your iDevices to read it later. Something like Instapaper

5: Reminders

Like that? Yes, we can now store list of reminders with or without associating a date and the iPhone will remind us about it.

Further, it can use Geo-Fence from our current location. So, if we set the reminder for leaving the office at 6pm then it will show that you actually have left office if you already did.

6: Camera

With this next iOS, we can take pictures from a lock screen itself via a shortcut. We can also use volume up button to take a photo. This feature was otherwise available through a jailbreak tweak.

We can also set auto exposure, auto focus to lock. Remove red-eye, edit photos, enhance tones, fix shadows and lots more in iOS 5.

7: New Email

Now with new email app in iOS 5 – we can drag addresses, re-order them, remove from To to CC and more. No need to delete & re-adding it. Simple.

It also includes – Rich text formatting, Flag Messages, Search full messages, S/MIME types, encryption for enterprise, Dictionaries and more.

8: PC Free

Apple has finally cut the cord by allowing to setup & activate the phone without the computer. We can setup the new device, get over-the-air software upgrades, minor patches everything on the device without connecting it to the computer. Interestingly, they used the term PC when they said “We’re ushering in the Post PC World. Hence, why should the devices have to be tied to computers!” 🙂

9: New Game Center

The newer version of the OS will have new features in Game Center like, Turn-based games, more achievements for those playing against each other.

10: iMessage (New Messaging System)

Apple is creating a new messaging system for between all iOS devices (not just iPhones). It will have text, photos, videos, contacts, group messaging which will also include delivery reports, read receipts and typing indicators. These messages will be encrypted over the air (just like BBM?)

I think, it will be similar to the WhatsApp Messenger with a twist!

Other Features

  • New music app for iPad
  • Smart Playlist sync from iTunes
  • Speak selected text
  • iTunes Tone Store
  • Emoji Emoticons
  • Personal Dictionary
  • Alternate routes in Maps
  • Improved FaceTime video quality
  • AirPlay mirroring (Mirror entire iPad on Television wirelessly)
  • WiFi Sync to iTunes

Supported Devices

iOS 5 will support following devices

  • iPhone 3Gs
  • iPhone 4 (and iPhone 5! lol)
  • iPad 1
  • iPad 2
  • iPod Touch 3rd gen
  • iPod Touch 4th gen

iPhone 3G is not supported from the version 4.3.x onward.


There are some features that are unheard of as of now and may be they will appear later slowly because including details of all 200 features and 1500 APIs wouldn’t have been practical in a keynote presentation.

Some of such features are: Voice Recognition, Widgets, Flash Support, Fm Radio, Network Printing, Custom SMS Tones etc.

iOS 5 will be available in September 2011 (Just like Apple does with every major release)

It will be equally more interesting to see how new jailbreak and unlock tools will be developed to counter PC Free, wireless software upgrades etc.

Waiting for the same 🙂


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