On Friday, Apple released iPhone 4S, the fifth iPhone, and by far the one with the most personality. Additionally, Apple released iOS 5. This is a major OS update for all iPhones 3GS and iPhones 4, the newer models of iPods Touch, as well as all models of iPad. I had a client tell me about their fear of applying software updates recently, and I realized that for many users of other platforms (and once in a great while, Apple users) updates caused problems.
I would like to urge everyone to update their iDevices to iOS 5. With Apple, the updates historically are only helpful, and almost always unlock neat new features that make the devices even more wonderful. There are three big features of iOS 5 that I think make the update compelling.
iMessage is the newest iteration of the iPhone’s text and MMS app. New for iOS 5 though, is the availability of iMessage on iPad, even Wi-Fi only iPad. That’s right, you can send instant texts from iPad or iPod touch to other iPads or iPods touch, and even iPhones, just by updating to iOS 5. iMessage is automatic, as long as you enable it on your updated iOS device, you will automatically send and receive iMessages from other iOS enabled devices. You can read more about iMessage on Apple’s site, here.
PC-Free/iTunes Wi-Fi Sync
One of the hardest things to have to explain to someone is that their contacts, calendars, and important notes are lost in the wake of a theft or catastrophic damage to their phone or iPad. With iOS 5, Apple has made it significantly easier to back up every piece of data on an iPhone. Now, you can back up your important content for free using iCloud. Even your pictures sync up to the cloud! Creating an iCloud account is easy and free, and backs the important data up quickly and seamlessly.
If you still want to sync the iDevice with your computer, Apple has enabled wif sync. As long as your computer and iOS device are on the same wifi network, your device will sync itself each time you plug it in to power. This means no more remembering to connect the iPhone to the computer once in a while to make a complete device backup; it happens automatically each night I plug in my phone to charge it!
All iOS devices that support iOS 5 are able to be updated over the air. This means that when Apple comes out with neat new features and sends a software update, it will be as easy as tapping “update software” on the phone or iPad to receive all the new features. I was able to use this feature during iOS beta testing, and it makes updating the iOS software simple and fast. No more syncing to a computer and downloading the massive update.
iOS 5.0 is available now. It’s the last update you’ll need to plug your device into your computer to apply. Try it out! Send me an iMessage to let me know how much you like it!