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iOS 5 for iPad, iPhone: Better Notifications and More

Apple has unveiled iOS 5 for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch during the WWDC 2011 Keynote. iOS 5 includes many features including a better notification system, messaging service, Twitter integration and more.

“iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Perhaps iOS 5’s paramount feature is that it’s built to seamlessly work with iCloud in the Post PC revolution that Apple is leading.”

Notification Center provides a newly designed interface that’s available by swiping down from the status bar (similar to Android’s system). Notifications include weather and stock widgets.

These notifications are available in the lock screen as well:

iMessages is Apple’s iOS messaging system, basically a BBM for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. You can share text messages, pictures, videos and location.

Newsstand is simply iBooks for magazines. The latest issues are delivered in the background, something not possible before.

With Reminders Apple finally added a todo list that syncs between your devices easily. Reminders include location reminders so you can set a reminder that launches when you leave a location.

Twitter will be integrated within iOS 5, you can easily add your account to the settings just like an email account so you can easily launch any Twitter app without logging in. You can also share to twitter from Safari, Maps, Photos and more.

The Camera is faster now and can take photos directly from the lock screen (photo library will be hidden). The volume up button can be also used to take the photos.

The biggest feature in iOS 5 that it is finally PC Free, you can start using a device immediately instead of activating it with a computer. You can sync wirelessly to iTunes and to iCloud as well. Over the air updates are possible in iOS 5 as well.

iOS 5 includes many features and improvements, they are listed on Apple’s iOS 5 site.

iOS 5 will be available for the following iDevices: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1, iPad 2, iPod touch 3 and iPod touch 4. It will be available this Fall. Most likely at the same time Apple releases the 5th generation iPhone and iPod touch.

Here is Apple’s press release:

New Version of iOS Includes Notification Center, iMessage, Newsstand, Twitter Integration Among 200 New Features

Available to iPhone, iPad & iPod touch Users This Fall

SAN FRANCISCO―June 6, 2011―Apple® today previewed iOS 5, the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members. The iOS 5 beta release includes over 200 new features that will be available to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users this fall. New iOS 5 features include: Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption; iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS devices; and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box and get software updates over the air with no computer required.

“iOS 5 has some great new features, such as Notification Center, iMessage and Newsstand and we can’t wait to see what our developers do with its 1,500 new APIs,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Perhaps iOS 5’s paramount feature is that it’s built to seamlessly work with iCloud in the Post PC revolution that Apple is leading.”

With iOS 5 and iCloud®, you just enter your Apple ID and password and iCloud will seamlessly integrate with your apps to automatically and wirelessly keep all of your mail, contacts, calendars, photos, apps, books, music and more, up-to-date across all your devices without ever having to connect to a computer.

Notification Center provides iOS 5 users with an innovative way to easily access all notifications―text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts and more, all in one place, from anywhere in iOS 5. When they arrive, notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen without interrupting what you’re doing. With one swipe you can see all your notifications, and a simple tap will take you right to its app for more detail. Notifications also appear on the lock screen, with the ability to be taken to the notifying app with just one swipe.

Newsstand is a beautiful, easy-to-organize bookshelf displaying the covers of all your newspaper and magazine subscriptions in one place. A new section of the App Store™ features just subscription titles, and allows users to quickly find the most popular newspapers and magazines in the world. If subscribed to, new issues appear in the Newsstand and are updated automatically in the background so you always have the latest issue and the most recent cover art.

Safari is the world’s most popular mobile browser, and with iOS 5 it’s now even better. New features include Safari® Reader, which gets all the clutter out of the way and sets the right font size on a web page, so you can easily scroll and read through a story; Reading List, so you can save articles to read later and they automatically show up on all your iOS devices; and Tabbed Browsing, which makes it easy to flip between multiple web pages on iPad.

iOS 5 includes built-in Twitter integration, so you can sign in once and then tweet directly from all your Twitter-enabled apps, including Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps with a single tap. New APIs give third party developers the ability to take advantage of the single sign-on capability for their own iOS 5 apps.

iMessage in iOS 5 brings the functionality of iPhone messaging to all of your iOS devices―iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Built right into the Messages app, iMessage allows you to easily send text messages, photos, videos or contact information to a person or a group on other iOS 5 devices over Wi-Fi or 3G. iMessages are automatically pushed to all your iOS 5 devices, making it easy to maintain one conversation across your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iMessage also features delivery and read receipts, typing indication and secure end-to-end encryption.

The new Reminders app helps you manage your tasks; create and group related tasks together; and set time or location-based reminder alerts, priorities and due dates, so you can be reminded of a task as its deadline approaches, or when you arrive or depart a given location. Reminders can also be viewed in iCal® and Outlook and are updated automatically.

New features in the Camera and Photos apps give you instant access to the camera right from the lock screen, and you can use the volume-up button to quickly snap a photo. Optional grid lines help line up your shot and a simple tap locks focus and exposure on one subject. The new Photos app lets you crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye, and organize your photos into albums right on your device to share them on the go.

With the new PC Free feature, iOS 5 users can activate and set up their iOS device right out of the box with no computer required, and iOS software updates are delivered over the air and installed with just a tap. Wi-Fi Sync in iOS 5 transfers and backs up your content securely over SSL and wirelessly syncs purchased content from your device to your iTunes® library.

Additional new features in iOS 5 include:

  • Game Center, now with the ability to add photos to your profile, purchase new games from within the Game Center app and easier ways to find friends and new games;
  • Mail enhancements which include the ability to compose messages using draggable addresses, and a new formatting bar with bold, italics, underline and indention controls;
  • AirPlay® Mirroring to wirelessly display everything you do on your iPad 2 right on your HDTV through Apple TV®; and
  • a system-wide split keyboard to make it even easier to type on your iPad.


The iOS 5 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (fourth generation) and iPod touch (third generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products.

You can find the author of this post on twitter: @khaled.

Arabic version of this post on SaudiMac Arabic Edition.

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About Khaled A.


  1. Nothing revolutionary!  It’s all about polished features those exists in other OS’s already. I was expecting some more but having said something is good for nothing.

  2. well, so far the new features are cool and it is somehow at par with other smartphones in the market, especially the Notifications Center and the iCloud. cool and amazing features… i so love my iphone 4 more. 🙂

  3. can’t wait for IOS 5 and icloud for my iphone 4. and also the mac osx lion. im so excited to try these new features. this is the product of the apple brilliant minds.

  4. i have tried the OS 5 beta in my iPhone 4 and it was cool with new additional features… but since it is still in beta, i can observe some bugs or problems with some apps and i find it quite slow. and since i am fond of jailbreaking my iPhone to install some cool and good Cydia apps, OS 5 beta does not support yet most of the useful Cydia apps so i just downgrade back to 4.3.3. i will just wait for the final release of OS 5.

    i have also experienced using OS X Lion and in face it is the OS running in MacBook these days. it is cool with nice interface and the iOS-like feature for the Mac applications.

  5. i downloaded the ios 5 frimware and itunes 10.5 and i restored my ipad on ios 5 ten when i was activating it there was an error message saying : we cannot activate your ipad because you are not a member if you are then register your device in the iphone developing something like that
    what doi do 
    please help

    • i think for you to be able to activate your ipad, is that you must be a member of apple developer. because only apple developer can only download the IOS 5, and os x lion. better if you downgrade your ios back to 4.3.3. 

    • your iDevice’s UDID (iPhone and iPad) should be registered with an Apple Developer’s Account so that it can be installed with iOS 5 Beta. you can check with some sites that offer UDID registration for certain amount. i did the same with my iPhone 4 for USD 5, that’s why i was able to install iOS 5 Beta in my phone. you can do the same with your iPad because you cannot install iOS 5 Beta in it unless you register its UDID.

    • or you can downgrade to OS 4.3.3 as what wilbert was saying…


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