Happy iOS 5 day, folks! (I know, I'm a little late to the party.)

Apple announced their major update, iOS 5, back in June at WWDC, along with several of the 200 plus improvements it brings. Last week at their keynote, Apple announced that the update would officially hit on October 12. The update went live shortly after 12 PM (Eastern) today and is now available to all iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch, iPad and iPad 2 owners via iTunes.

I've had iOS 5 on my iPhone 4 since the first beta released, so I've been digging into the software for some time now. I haven't upgraded to the official release just yet – I've been a bit busy and there were some issues with Apple servers earlier today. So I decided to ride out the rest of the week on the Gold Master version, and I'll update to the official release sometime over the weekend.

Despite not updating just yet, I've had plenty of time to tinker with some of the new features of iOS 5 and have sorted out the ones I like and found many things that I either never use or sorely despise.

The biggest upgrade in iOS 5 for many is the overhauled notification system. I'm going to begin by saying that despite Apple's attempt to improve this area, it's not much better than it was before – they fixed some areas while they made others worse. Sure, having a growl-like notification at the top of your display when something comes in is a little better than a pop-up in the middle of the screen, but at least I could dismiss that right away. There's no quick way to get rid of the preview, and if you're a power user who constantly gets notifications, that portion of your display is almost always taken up. It wouldn't be as big of a problem if the "Back" button in a majority of iOS applications wasn't an on-screen button at the top left corner of the display. But it is and when there is a notification, it's mostly covered up by said notification for several seconds at a time.

On top of that, Notification Center is pointless. (Do I sound a little ranty? Because I'm feeling a little ranty.) It doesn't coincide with any of the other notifications in the entire operating system, and without sliding the shade down (don't get me started on how it's a direct copy of Android's notifications, and how Apple looks down upon others copying), you can't see a coherent, unified display of your notifications. With badges on individual applications instead of a unified area (think BlackBerry or Android's status bar), I'm never encouraged to check the shade, but instead feel that I should check each application separately. It wouldn't be so bad if it was more dynamic or user-definable with more widgets or even toggles (if they're going to rip ideas off people, might as well go the whole nine yards).

As subtle as it is, my favorite feature in iOS 5 is the quick access feature to the camera. When the phone is locked, you can access the camera through the lock screen by double-tapping the home button, rather than unlocking the phone and fumbling around to find the Camera icon. As much as I take pictures, I use this feature more than anything else and it speeds up the process quite a bit. Also, you can now snap a picture by clicking the volume up button in the Camera app. Face it, tapping a display to take a picture was never a good idea or very comfortable.

Coming in at a close second to quick camera access is Twitter integration. If any of you follow me on Twitter (if you don't, you should), you likely know that I tweet a lot. And I tweet a lot of pointless pictures. Being able to take a picture and tweet it right away, rather than having to switch to my Twitter application, is extremely convenient.

iMessage is Apple's rebuttal to Research In Motion's popular BlackBerry Messenger and the million other instant messaging services around. It's a proprietary instant messaging service that allows you to chat with your friends around the world for no extra charge – only if they have an iDevice, of course. Genius, right? Well, it's nothing revolutionary or mind-boggling, and although I've only been using beta builds of it, it seems unfinished to me. There is no way to definitely toggle iMessage or text messaging per conversation, meaning it might be easy to accidentally text an international friend instead of iMessage them. When iMessage is enabled, it is used by default, but I have had it switch intermittently between iMessage and text. Hopefully this has been addressed in the official release.

A lot of the updates in iOS 5 were specific to the iPad, like multitasking gestures, a split keyboard and a redesigned music app. I did use my iPad (before I sold it) on an iOS 5 beta for a while, and the split keyboard was a dream. The gestures were nice to have, especially the swipe up for the multitasking bar. But pinching four or five fingers was a bit excessive just to exit to the home screen.

These are only a few of the features that have stuck out the most to me. Even after several months with the update, I've only scratched the surface. And there are some other major features that I'm not even interested in using at all like iCloud, built-in photo editing, Wi-Fi Sync with iTunes and many more. Overall, I've been fairly pleased with iOS 5. But there are just some features like Notification Center that just don't sit well with me at all.

So tell me, readers. Have you upgraded your iDevice to iOS 5 yet? What do you think so far and what are you favorite features? Are there any features that you don't like? Sound off below, and share your likes and dislikes!

Don't forget to VOTE! Each week, PhoneDog Fans vote for their #1 smartphone in the Official Smartphone Rankings. Vote now and contribute to the industry's most relevant weekly ranking charts

Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Apple iPhone 4 16GB Black

Related posts

Comments & discussions  

100 Reactions to this post

"Now that iOS 5 is finally here, are you impressed?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Brian Cuevas
Brian Cuevas I wonder when Apple is finally gonna impress me.. hmm I doubt any time soon.
Jordan Crawford
Jordan Crawford i was never a fan of updating apple products since i never had that much luck with it and it took long so my computer would shut down or sleep when the computer was on so long but i love htc to death. yes sometimes android has force closes but thats not that bad i would have an apple product but that will be the back up not the primary
Peter Hofer
Peter Hofer I'd never have a iPhone just on it's own. But because u jailbreak it u can get almost every option u can possibly think of. It's like creating ur own Software if u like the feature add it if not boot it. Tats the only reason I wouldn't get a android, blackberry, or windows phone
Zach Cline
Zach Cline @ Danu- Ehh. . I have the droid x now but i'm not impressed by the bionic or droid 3. I'm on my second android device and i think i'm just getting tired of android in general. If i do end up staying with android i'll end up with the htc vigor most likely as i loved htc sense.
Patrick J. Clements
Patrick J. Clements No I thought it would be better! :(
Danu Carrión Perales
Danu Carrión Perales @zach yes i do realize that, i had no problem downloading or installing just had problems with backup and restore.. anyways it was a complete waste of time lol! its basically the same thing with some features that i might not use very much.. also, motorola droid sucks, its old, dated get galaxy s device or a NEW droid bionic if it is that you are on verizon
Anonymous @David Yeah, so android was slightly inspired by iOS, but that's all, did Google ever claim they came up with it themselves? Nope...There's a difference between inspired and stole, Android was inspired by iOS, but Google added so much more that it's now it's own, you can almost say they "improved" iOS for people who wanted customizability...but the notifications for iOS 5 and every other "new" functions are blatent rip offs of Android, Apple didn't even bother to add anything to it other than making it look fancy to simpletons like you, the way you pull it down same as android, and on top of that Apple even claimed they "innovated" it for iOS...
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Nokia sucks
Hywel Thomas
Hywel Thomas Fuck id rather a Nokia 3310 than download iOShit
Shawn Sawyer
Shawn Sawyer Yeah but not with the download time
David Enrique
David Enrique A couple of things... First, before accusing Apple of copying I'd like to ask all you Android fans if you remember how Android looked like before the iPhone came out? I'll give you a hint: Google: Blackberry. There was no fancy visual voicemail, no swipe through pictures, no multi-touch actually there was NO TOUCH at all. You had the same little scroll wheel every other "smart phone" had. Second, people have to understand that every iPhone, iPad, and iPod user (not to mention Apple TV) was trying to download iOS5 yesterday. Common sense would tell you to get in early, or wait until things slowed down. Specially those with older devices who are complaining because their almost 3 year old iPhone isn't running brand new software smoothly. Lastly, if you "lost" all your info blame yourself, not the software or hardware. It's actually a simple process. You back up your data (I know some did) then you hit upgrade. If something went wrong because of server errors, and iOS 5 didn't properly install all you have to do is try again today. Just install from the backup you created-- If you really did a backup as you claim, all your info is still there you just have to upgrade and restore from a backup. It's funny how everyone rushes to blame companies because of user errors. If you don't know what you're doing take your iPhone and laptop to an Apple store, and they'll do it for you...For free. Android users if you have problems, and need help with your device just head over to... Oh, wait! ----- PS. If you think you lost 4 finger multi-touch/ swipes on the iPad you're not looking at your settings closely. Keep looking.
Steven Jones
Steven Jones 4S + 3G = iFAIL
Jason King
Jason King Hey, I use to have an android and Yes android came out with the pull down menu before Apple OK point proven, but did it looks as good and work as smooth NO. It wasn’t consistent at all and no one can tell me it was. But someone please tell me what android handset has created such a buzz? What android device has people in line outside of Cell Phone stores for hrs? What android phone sells over 1 million units in 24hrs? I’ll wait ….. The GSII is an outstanding phone but after how many years did it take them to come with a phone as good as the GSII. So yea IOS 5 isn’t the most innovative but it works perfectly and that’s where they have every other OS Beat.
Hilme Khateb
Hilme Khateb Yah it's stunning on my iPad Very smooth never lag like the shitty android
Wayne Clark
Wayne Clark Not many differences on my iPad
Zach Cline
Zach Cline And there are way too many andrones posting in here.
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Danu
Zach Cline
Zach Cline @ Dani - You do realize that there were literally millions of people trying to download the update yesterday right? That's why alot of people kept getting the error 3200 pop up.Apple's update servers were swamped. And apple products do work, Unlike my DROID sometimes. It took me five attempts to post this comment because my keyboard wouldn't stop disappearing.
Pat Danforth
Pat Danforth but I don't have a 3gs so no update:( will wait for 4gs so can talk with sira...
Camar Green
Camar Green You steal this you steal that blah blah. So appl takes what Google(Android) does and Makes it better Improves it even and then places it in a better Phone... anyways umm...Hey my Zipper is in a boot loop so any of you Droidboyz can come get some of my IOS5 whenever you want.
Pierce G Hohenstein
Pierce G Hohenstein I've had a developers build for a while and I love it!
Bill Speicher
Bill Speicher Awesome!
Boris Crosby
Boris Crosby My iPad updated with no issues. Just took a long time to restore my data. IPhone 4 was the real headache. Took several tries to get the update from apple. Then the restore had issues. After 4 hours of frustration it is running with no issues.
Anonymous @Joe A real phone? We're the ones who should be telling you to get a real phone instead of that novelty fisher-price styled toy you call an i"Phone"... and Android fans getting no love? We're getting a bigger update that doesn't involve stealing functions from anyone else, it's called Ice Cream Sandwich...
Kamil Galimski
Kamil Galimski Yeah I'm pretty sure every android page you go to you see a million iPhone fanboys going nuts too, get over it. Its a cell phone question not specifically reserved for iPhone opinions.
Teron Facey
Teron Facey @ Aaron Su iPhone users do the same thing too.
Teron Facey
Teron Facey lol @ Apple comment about Android 1.5 so true
Joe Martinez
Joe Martinez Very impressed! Gotta love the android fans getting no love... Feeling a bit fragmented? Whateva!!! Get a real phone..
Kurt Boynton
Kurt Boynton Nothing apple does impresses me!
Byktor Urvaes
Byktor Urvaes Nope!
Cyr Parlapiano
Cyr Parlapiano Just got it on my ipt4g. Not impressive. The slide down notifications haved been an option to jjailbroken idevices for some time now. The nitro java engine came with 4.3 and hasent improved.. All in all. Id rather have android..
Aaron Su
Aaron Su Wtf is wrong with all those android fanboys going to every iPhone thread saying stupid shit like "gs2 for life"? It's annoying and retarded.
Steve Park
Steve Park I have an iPod 4th gen & an HTC Amaze 4G. Got the HTC New yesterday & it took less time to setup than it did to update and reinstall all my apps & music & movies on the iPod. Not impressed with Apple's update process at all but now that they have copied Google's OTA update process, may improve.
KJ Thornton
KJ Thornton Don't like the keyboard in the middle of the screen on my iPad, blocking what I'm trying to read.
David Martinez
David Martinez Love it!!!
Hunter Tea
Hunter Tea All you people who like the notification androids had that since excistense apple stole it tried to pass it off add there own then continues to sue android devices pure scum Android,ftw
Matthew Gonzales Landry
Matthew Gonzales Landry Hellz yeah it's awesome!
Jeff Ritter
Jeff Ritter My phone is running a lot smoother with iOS 5. I don't see the need for upgrading to the iPhone 4s. Maybe if apple releases the the iPhone 5 in June I'll get that.
Austin Jae
Austin Jae Lol Android 1.5 is back now for iPhone evidently.
Alexander Sharp
Alexander Sharp Android users are right though. This is old shit. And it's so retarded to download I might just say fuck iDevices. I'm so mad! D:<
Alexander Sharp
Alexander Sharp I'm not. It won't even fucking update! I'm fucking hating Apple so much. I have tried updating at least five times
Tony Torres
Tony Torres Yes it's awesome!!!! Loving it on my iPad!!
Jeremiah Allan Johnson
Jeremiah Allan Johnson NO! they took away 4 finger multi touch on my ipad 1 !!!!!
Kristopher Davis
Kristopher Davis Joshua Garcia's are gay. :p AnDr0iD/ HTC. Ftw
Timothy Settle
Timothy Settle After almost 12 hours of trying, I finally got it installed on my iPad 2.... and other than the "wireless sync", (which isn't really wireless if you still have to plug it in to sync), it was a complete waste of my time.
Kip Count
Kip Count @Stan; Because some of us use both iOS and Android.
Kip Count
Kip Count Not really. iOS is really stale looking. New notifications are good though (thanks Google). No use for a lot of the features. Newsstand is yet another useless icon I can't get rid of.
Joshua Garcia
Joshua Garcia Androids are gay :P
Levi Warfel
Levi Warfel I'm a little disappointed because Android had all of this such a long time ago...
Danu Carrión Perales
Danu Carrión Perales No... this update bullshit erased all my stuff despite that I did a backup and a restore afterwards... I can't believe its such a hassle to update apple devices, with my android device it just says their is a update available, downloads and installs all by itself without even having to connect to a computer... last night I felt like destroying the ipad 2 for the first time, I was so pissed, I should had left everything as it was... so much for "it just works".... stupid brain washed people
Ashley Nicole
Ashley Nicole I am satisfied. I finally have customizable ringtones!
Akiva Green
Akiva Green Awesomeness and anyone who doesn't have a idevice needs to stop hating you no life fanboys
Stan Blake
Stan Blake The question asked iOS users their opinion.Why do android users have to add their comments?
Scott Bitters
Scott Bitters The notifications it's self is a HUGE improvement. It's a great improvement. One apple needed to do.
Richard Cruz
Richard Cruz Yes!!
Colin Cheung
Colin Cheung Nice to see apple are re-introducing Android 1.5
Carlos Tobon
Carlos Tobon Not at all. Even by backing up my content I'm still at risk of not getting it back
Wendy Lindop
Wendy Lindop yes I am.
Josh Tiller
Josh Tiller Bionic > 4s
Michel Shook
Michel Shook NO!! My apps keep closing by themselves at different times and my app store closes on featured and updates... Not impressed!
Jeremie Leduc
Jeremie Leduc I had a lot of errors installing it but beside that it is awesome
Marcos Pineda
Marcos Pineda Gs2 for life
Vanrajsinh Chavda
Vanrajsinh Chavda No ways..
Cory Askew
Cory Askew Yes its retry cool especially the new notification center
Rami Serhan
Rami Serhan I am still trying to wrap my head around it. By the way, I had htc hero 2 yrs ago and it had seem less wireless sync for all google Functions.
Tyler William Garter
Tyler William Garter Not really thought it would be better then the said it would be but its still really cool on the iPad!
Tommy Christiansen
Tommy Christiansen NOTHING from apple impresses me, long live ANDROID ;o)
Jeanette Duncan
Jeanette Duncan Took multiple attempts to get and now some apps ie Facebook are not working properly. Not noticing a major change, just little things here and there.
Dylan Edwards
Dylan Edwards Hell yeah
Eliel Bawse Almonte
Eliel Bawse Almonte Android ftw
Jason King
Jason King This question doesn't apply to android users but they sure love to hate. But of course it's everything apple said it would be. It's the best out right now. Hands down.
Norberto Flores
Norberto Flores Yes but. I lost all my apps. M I can't even listen to my music. I has the songs downloaded but I can't listen to them. Can someone help?
Jerry Parker
Jerry Parker Noooo
Nathaniel McCord
Nathaniel McCord Lol any one want a motorola photon trade for sprint I phone 4 or 4s jk that is a craigslist post
Travis Pinnock
Travis Pinnock I <3 it! Was taking hours and hours to download, then I switched my virus protection off and it did it in 30 minutes! -_- but now I'll appreciate it more (:
Nathan Crenshaw
Nathan Crenshaw I Reyes updating my iPod 5 times.. Not once did it work. I hate you apple.
Shawn Poling
Shawn Poling I like apple and google products. I love the new update for my iPad 2. :)
Kenneth Moyle
Kenneth Moyle Was hoping there would be a way to restrict apps from being moved not just from being deleted. My 2 yr old loves to move my apps all around.
Christopher Manic Johnson
Christopher Manic Johnson I love how fanboyism oozes in these comments. I really want to mess with iOS 5, so when the iPhone 4s arrives on store shelves, I'm def going to go mess w/ one. I'm on Android right now, had a BBerry, played around w/ iOS 4.x and Windows Phone. To tell you the truth, they all have their faults, but aside from aestheticss, all the core functions are generally the same. I have no clue why kids like to fanboy so hard on these things....
Noe Sanchez
Noe Sanchez it's awesome
Paul Li
Paul Li One more thing, amazing....
Anonymous Infact, I think the recent Cyanogenmod is more of an improvement to Gingerbread than iOS 5 is to any otherOSs...
Abinadab Salgado
Abinadab Salgado Jason, try switching USB cables or plugging the USB cable on a different port.
Anonymous But honestly, what is so great about iOS 5? I mean all these functions are already on Android and half of it were already available to the jailbroken iDevices long ago... Drop down Notifications? Already on Android and were available to those who jailbroke their iDevices. iCloud? Dropbox was already available to Android and iDevices. iMessage? Whatsapp was already there for iDevices and Android and BB, plus the 3 could inter communicate, not just within iOS. Siri? Android has Voice Actions, not the one Google came up with(Voice Search) but the other one with the voice AI and Siri was already an App on iOS before Apple bought over it. PC-free Sync? Android already has that… But in the end, iOS is still tied to iTunes…so iOS still sucks…
Chris Malone
Chris Malone Ios5 is a pretty darn good update. I do hate how they like to not include certain things though. Siri via jailbreak here I come.
Isaiah Jamal Frye
Isaiah Jamal Frye Not At all iOS 5 for iPod 4g looks like barley anything changed
Chris Malone
Chris Malone Jacob, quickly press the home button twice while screen is off.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban iOS 5=android 1.5 :D
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban android rules!
Jasey Brown Town
Jasey Brown Town I keep getting update error 3200 iv tried everything I'm waiting untill later and see if the server calms down but looking forward to it
Memo Mrtr
Memo Mrtr No , because I have ANDROID
Jacob Rodriguez
Jacob Rodriguez I have a question to whoever has ios5. My lock screen does not have the camera app. Can I get some help?
Noe Uribe
Noe Uribe I own an iPhone and an android phone and they both have there ups and downs there some things I like about iOS and there some things I like about android that apple doesn't have as far as iOS 5 goes I think it's a great improvement I would of liked if they would of included Siri lol but o well gotta live with it
Myo Thet Oo
Myo Thet Oo No
Danni Ouk
Danni Ouk Google all the way or should I say Android Hahah Apple suck period same as WP7 suck gay phone Android the way......... and yes I had both or tired it so there no changing my mind I'm a Google Fan all the way... all the way... ANDRIOD RULES CELL MARKET....... HAHA......
Bill Stovall
Bill Stovall Can't get documents to work and my MobileMe that transferred over to iCloud stopped pushing emails
Ken Clement
Ken Clement same crap with a new diaper!
Luciano Ace Escobedo
Luciano Ace Escobedo I love android but its time to try apple
Yasan Sui
Yasan Sui its great! period!
Luciano Ace Escobedo
Luciano Ace Escobedo Lmao ok why would I say it sucks if I didnt use one the ui is ugly and most people put android on there shitty wp7 phones anyway! No need to get butt hurt over a comment dude!

Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos
Most popular Videos

Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions
Most popular Reactions

This weeks "People's Choice Rankings" best smartphones
People's Choice Rankings

See all hot devices