Sunday, June 26, 2011

iOS 5 Beta 2 Impressions

I hope you enjoyed the post below on how to install iOS 5 Beta 2 without a registered UDID for your iOS device. I wanted to post some of my thoughts on iOS 5 Beta 2. I realize some of the negatives I provide are likely going to be fixed in the next few Beta releases or the Gold Master release.

iOS 5 isn't as major of an upgrade as iOS 4 came out as. iOS 5, instead, takes the great features of iOS 4 (Safari, iBooks, Multitasking, etc.) and integrates them further with even better features such as Twitter Integration, Wireless iTunes Sync, and iCloud.

So far, I've had the opportunity to test the following features in iOS 5 Beta 2.   

Reader

My two favorite iOS apps are Facebook and NYTimes. I haven't had the chance to download either quite yet but I have a feeling that I won't be using the NYTimes app much with iOS 5.

I generally read the NYTimes every night before I fall asleep and I was having the hardest time falling asleep without the app last night. Since I didn't have my card near me to verify my account, I wasn't even able to activate my iTunes Account on the App Store.

I went against my will and chose to go to the NYTimes site via Safari, even though I dreaded doing this in iOS 4. Particularly, iOS 4 Beta where the NYTimes app didn't start working until iOS 4 was finally released, 3 months later. During these 3 months, I had to read the Times via Safari and the experience was not pleasant at all, especially compared to the native app we're used to.

Enough about my previous experiences. I went onto the New York Times website and read this article. Look at this article on MobileSafari (left), the article fits very little onto the page thus you have to constantly scroll down as you're reading.

The screen shot on the right is of Reader. It's an amazing addition to iOS 5 because it replicates the NYTimes app or any good news reader. Simplicity is priceless.


Wi-Fi Sync

Wi-Fi Sync is an amazing new add on to iOS5. You sort of wonder why Apple didn't do this earlier, though. Better late than never, I guess. Regardless, the speeds for syncing are quite acceptable. I really like that you can still use the iPhone while it's syncing, both with Wi-Fi and USB. Actually, this is one of the best features of iOS5, I used to hate those dreaded minutes where the iPhone would take forever to backup (probably because of my huge Camera Roll, though) and sync. Now, even while the iPhone is syncing all its files with iTunes, you can use your iPhone to your pleasure.  Additionally, you can instantly access synced songs and videos and you can see the progress of songs that were going to be synced. 



To enable Wi-Fi Sync on iOS 5 Beta 2, go to iTunes 10.5 Beta 2 and connect your iOS device via USB. On the Summary page, under Options select "Sync over Wi-Fi connection." After the initial sync via USB you can wirelessly sync your iOS device whenever both the computer and device are on the same network. 

Note: I tried this on my PC, initially, using iTunes 10.5 Beta 2 and the option for Wireless Sync wasn't there. When I resync'd to my Macbook Pro, I was able to enable the setting. 

I took my phone about 15 minutes to sync 1GB of music to my phone. My contacts, calendar, etc. were all synced via MobileMe. 

All iTunes/ iOS functions are available, except Update/ Restore.

The sync indicator spins when the device syncs.
Reminders

This new addition is not really anything to write home about. When you see above, it's the 2nd App on the 3rd row. I think Reminders is very simple to use but it's very simple. I can't believe it took Apple this long to implement a regular tasks app. It's easy to create new tasks and very easy to mark them complete. Just very simple all together. I think people have already adjusted to adding notes in their calendar, ToodleDo, and RTM to make this app very useful from here. 

Final Thoughts
I hope you enjoyed my impressions of iOS 5 Beta 2. It's contains a number of amazing improvements from iOS 4.3.3. If you'd like to download and install iOS 5 Beta 2 (without a registered UDID) see below for my instructions on how to do so.  

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