Thursday, October 20, 2011

My thoughts about IOS5- from an average Jo-di!

Approximately two weeks  ago, I ran home from school to upgrade my Iphone have only had it for less then a year, so I wasn't about to go and buy the new phone.  It seemed , Siri was the only feature worth mentioning that I couldn't get with just the update, so it wasn't worth the money.

Before I begin this "review" I should acknowledge that my only credentials for writing this is that I love my iphone and use it all the time.  I use it for work, I use it for fun, I truly don't know what I do without it.  Most people who know me know that, so recently I've had a lot of people ask what I think of it and what features I like or don't like.  This is not a comprehensive review, just a list of the things I've noticed so far.  So, here it is....

What I like: 

Easy access to the camera feature:
I can't tell you how many times I've had the perfect shot, and lost it due to having to open my phone and find the camera app.  Now, all I have to do is double click on the home button and it pops up, even if the phone is locked.  Also, I've noticed that after you take a picture you can go right back to the camera when viewing a picture you just took.  In the last operating system, if you took a picture and then gone to look at it in the pictures app, you'd have to double click and return to the camera.  Now, it's right there ready to go if you decide you didn't like your picture and want to retake it. Makes it easier to get those Karate pics!


I can't believe I'm saying this, but at this point, about 90% of the people I text are (or could be, once I upgrade them) on iOS5. I love the fact that I can send them messages, photos, videos, etc without worrying about texting charges.  The truth is that the texting was never very expensive, but who doesn't like a "deal"?  I like the little ...'s that let you know they are writing back and I like knowing a message was delivered.  

Notification Center : 

I really have been enjoying the notification center.  I like the fact that I can glance at my phone without unlocking it and see what messages I have from all my different apps, missed calls, etc. It also like pulling down the "movie screen" to see what i have missed.  It really is convenient to see everything in one place.  Even cooler is that when you receive a notification while your phone is "locked" you just slide the little slidey thing to the right and it will open directly to that email, voicemail, text, etc.

As my boys would say "loooove it!"

Safari Fun 

I know there are tons of improvements to Safari, but the ones I have been enjoying the most are the addition of Safari Reader and Safari Reading lists.  
Since I have put my purchase of an Ipad on hold for right now, I find myself reading a lot on my iphone.  Sometimes the small screen can become cluttered, and the option of open articles or stories in reader is very convenient.  It is much easier on the eyes and less busy for me.  Likewise, I have been enjoying the ability to save pages or articles that catch my attention for a later time.  Sometimes I follow a link from a tweet only to find that it is a rather long article that I don't have time to read the whole article. I like the ability to save these types of articles in a reading list that I can return to at any time. It's kinda like a mini- version of google reader that is even more convenient!  Also, I like how twitter is integrated right into the browser so that I can easily tweet whatever resource I find.

More control over email formatting :

This one, actually I haven't played with much yet.  But I like the idea that is possible.  Now, you can correct spelling, format (bold, italics, underline) and indent the emails while you type them.  I think this would be something I might use more on an ipad because most of the time when I'm sending a message on my iphone it's a quick one that I just what to get out.  

Multiple Map Options 

This is a feature that the phone desperately needed!  I hated when I would put addresses in and I knew there was probably a better way but couldn't remember the exact street names.  I also think the design of the maps is sharp and easy to read.  


What I wish would get better: 

Location Based Reminders 
When I first heard about the location enabled "reminders" feature, I was super excited.  I liked the idea of setting a reminder to do something when I left school, or when I got to the grocery story. But, here's what they don't tell you: The location has to be stored as one of your contacts.  So, if I want to have a reminder to buy certain things from Dominick's, it has to be listed as one of my contacts.  To me, this seems silly.  Google Maps is already embedded in the OS, so I don't know why they couldn't just have the two apps talk to each other.  I am hopeful that this will be updated/changed soon.

I am pretty sure that this is different, but not better or worse.  In the past, if you wanted to zoom to shoot a picture, you would use the slider at the bottom.  Now it seems you can pinch to zoom, which is OK, but doesn't really add anything (for me).  One thing I really wish would be added (unless I am missing it) is the use of zoom on the video camera.  I really hate the fact that I cannot zoom with the native camera app.  I know that you can add an app like VideoZoom 2, but if this truly just a $.99 app, why doesn't Apple just include it in the OS?  

Twitter Integration 
As I mentioned above, I really like the idea of being able to find a resource and automatically tweet it out.  However, I wish they had a way to shorten the links.  With only 140 characters to use, each one is precious. I think this might be more twitter's issue than the IOS, but it would be nice! 

Stuff I haven't played with yet.....

I do have a full time job and three kids, so once in a while I can't be playing on my phone.  However, clearly there are people who can ;)

So, here are a few resources that I've found to learn about some of the other cool stuff the phone can do....

30 of the Best iOS Features - This page hits a lot of the ones I talked about but goes even further.  Since I have only an iphone (for now), those of you with an iPad might see some of these features more useful.

Hidden iOS features:  There are tons of these and you can find everything from LED alerts to creating your own keyboarding shortcuts.  Again, I haven't played with all of these, but I'm sure some of you will, let me know what you think! Here are some of the sites that have a good collection last thing for you lucky ones who did buy the Iphone4S (or even for us peons who are waiting) , this hilarious site called ShitSiriSays that will give you a few laughs!  

So, for now that's all I got!  I'd love to know what your favorite features or tips/tricks are.  I love my iPhone and it has become more and more essential to what I do

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