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#iOS5 Review: Day 1

June 8th, 2011 2 comments
iOS 5

iOS 5

So this past Monday’s WWDC announcement of iOS 5 beta was too tempting to pass up on the chance to give it a little go for myself. First, I’ll cover how I got it.

iOS 5 gold or completed for distribution won’t be available to the masses until this coming Fall, however developers got the chance to test it for the purpose of their scripts and apps within the new operating system. I’m not a developer, however I am an enthusiast and a tinkerer, so with a little Googleage, you too can come up with the needed IPSW file for your device. I’m choosing my GSM iPhone 4 that I use daily. You’ll need along with it iTunes 10.5 beta to install and activate it. Finally, if you actually use your iPhone for phone calls, you’ll need a developer account to add your UDID (viewable in iTunes when your device is connected) to Apple’s database of authenticated users for activation otherwise you got yourself a shiny, pretty iPod touch. If you don’t feel like ponying up $100/year for a developer account, contact some one that already has one and can register your device for the year for you (hint; eBay).

Now that your files are downloaded and your UDID is registered, install iTunes 10.5 beta and sync your device. Added insurance is to right-click your device within iTunes and select ‘Back Up’. Option (OS X) or Shift (PC) click ‘Restore’ and select your iOS 5 beta IPSW file and let the Cupertino magic begin.

The entire process is of course a breeze, and all that’s left is to reinstall your pictures, music files, and apps from your restore backup profile and you now have yourself a fully functioning iOS 5 device to try for yourself. Let’s keep mind that this is beta so expect little quirky shit to happen. You still can use it to your heart’s content and buy shit, update apps, call, text, whatever, but not all third party apps are to be expected to work perfectly and you may experience glitches along the way.

Now, my first full day is updating some settings like the twitter integration and iCloud setup, however most of this stuff is tied into your Apple ID account. My most used and more important third party apps to me worked with no problems, so I’m happy. Double clicking the home button while the phone is in sleep mode gets you the quick camera button for catching another Lindsay Lohan nip slip of the day much quicker than before.

I’m totally loving the notifications banner on the top of the screen instead of disturbing you when you’re in the middle of typing something. The automatic syncing to iTunes is nice, but completely wireless will be a dream come true later. Lock screen now shows missed calls, twitter messages, Facebook messages, and more. Notification Center (swipe down from the top the unlocked screen) is nice, just wish stocks and weather were in the lock screen instead for a quick glance, but not a total downer. iMessage is winning, now killing off WhatsApp and Ping! that have been on my phone, not getting much use anymore.

Overall, the OS “feels” the same, responding like iOS 4 does on the iPhone 4. I do like how they split the iPod app now into separate Music and Video apps, especially since I hardly use my iPhone for videos, YouTube, or Netflix. Since I’m more of a data on the go guy, it did seem like I chewed through more battery than with iOS 4, but mind you I was using 3G rather than WiFi most of today. I’m very pleased with the beta so far and would like to keep it until the final version is available to all later in the year.