Were you one of the millions updating their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad today once Apple released their iOS 5 update? I was and with mixed results. In updating our new iPads at school, I was successful in updating 1 of 3 without issues. Thus, I did not update the other 22 iPads.
Upon Tweeting out to my PLN, a high school student (Jesse Litton
@nottil) from Virginia responded with a link to a long discussion of folks having issues. One response provided a list of URLs to download iOS 5 for manual installation. Fortunately, while I was downloading the manual install the iPad2 having issues finally straightened itself out. After another 20 minutes of restoration and updating I was in business. In exploring Twitter through the newly integrated functionality a link to this article appeared. I have not completely read this share but it impressed me enough to share it. So, enjoy the article as it provides guidance to a successful update along with descriptions of all new enhancements!
iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad walkthrough
Complete feature guide to Apple’s iOS 5 software update for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
iOS 5 is perhaps Apple’s most audacious update since iOS 2, which introduced nothing less than the App Store and MobileMe. The features are almost an embarrassment of riches, including unobtrusive Notifications, the carrier-consternating iMessage, Twitter integration, a location aware Reminders app, and an entirely new UI paradigm in the artificially intelligent Siri voice control system for iPhone 4S.
And for the first time what’s happening on the outside is just as compelling — iCloud. Apple called it “cutting the cord”, severing the post-PC from the PC, and the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad from their subservience to Mac and Windows.
But is it truly transformation or just another bold yet ultimately evolutionary step forward? Let’s find out.
Note: This walkthrough is based on the iOS 5 gold master (GM). While I don’t expect any changes in the release version, I’ll update if any do show up. So, please consider this a living, breathing document for now, and expect additional screen shots, comments, and corrections going forward.
Previously on iOS
iOS 5 adds new features to almost every existing app on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and introduces new apps as well. Still, iOS 5 is built on the foundation of what came before, so for previously introduced functionality, please see our previous walkthroughs.
- iOS 4.3 for iPhone, iPad walkthrough
- iOS 4.2 for iPhone | iOS 4.2 for iPad
- iOS 4.1 for iPhone
- iOS 4 for iPhone
- iOS 3.2 for iPad
- iOS 3.1 for iPhone
- iOS 3.0 for iPhone
- iPhone 2.2 for iPhone
- iPhone 2.1 for iPhone
- iPhone 2.0 for iPhone
iOS 5 includes new system-wide features like Siri for iPhone 4S, PC free, Notification Center, AirPlay Mirroring, and Twitter integration, new apps like Reminders and Newsstand, and tons of new features for existing apps like iMessage, photo editing, Reader and Reading List, and much, much more.
Apple’s video above gives a good overview and I’m going to go over everything on an app-by-app, feature-by-feature basis below. But like I said at the beginning, this year iOS is only half the story…
iCloud replaces MobileMe and iWork.com, and groups together functionality previously included in the iTunes, iBooks, and App Stores. It also does setup, backup, and restore, and a host of other things.
Unlike MobileMe, Apple has carefully avoided calling iCloud a sync service. Instead, they say it wirelessly stores your content on the server and then pushes it back down to all your devices. This probably better frames the relationship between cloud and devices. There’s no single master copy of “truth” on the server, but coequal copies on every device, and on iCloud.com (which Apple notes is ad free. Zing). And just like with iOS, there’s no end-user exposed file system. Your data no longer exists in folders like it did on iDisk. It exists in apps.
Everyone gets 5GB of iCloud storage for free, and iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases aren’t counted against that, nor are Photo Stream images. Mail, documents, accounts, settings, app data, Camera Roll, etc. do count, however. In case they count far more than your free 5GB allow, you can purchase more storage.
- 10GB for $20/year
- 20GB for $40/year
- 50GB for $100/year
Documents in the Cloud
When apps like Apple’s own iWork suite, Numbers, Pages, and Keynote save copies of your files, those documents are stored on iCloud and pushed out to all your iOS, Mac, and Windows PC devices. Apple has made the same functionality available to 3rd party developers as well, so it’s likely many if not most apps that can create and edit files will soon tie into Documents in the Cloud.
(Hopefully games will as well. Starting Angry Birds on iPhone and having to start over to play on iPad or Mac needs to be a thing of the past.)
It’s not a Dropbox killer, or a name-your-favorite-sync-service-with-APIs killer of any kind. I can keep my home directory in Dropbox and use it like I use a filesystem, with the advantages of versioning and sync. iCloud doesn’t — and doesn’t want — to do any of that.
However, some apps that previously used Dropbox merely to sync documents may add iCloud as well or instead because it’s built in, and I’m fine with that. It frees Dropbox up to be my file system.