iOS 5 is a big improvement, and closes some important gaps where the competition has surged ahead. Forget all the "200-odd new features" spin, there a simply some key usage enhancements - a physical camera shutter button, the volume-up key; picture editing; more secure, easier to read Mail; Twitter integration - though why no Facebook, Apple?; over-the-air updates; and, centrally, a new notifications system - that will make this a must-have upgrade.
Personal favourites: the splittable virtual keyboard on the iPad, making it much easier to type using your two thumbs, and the location-aware to-do list, Reminders, which has the potential to become a very powerful action trigger tool.
iOS 5 Notifications Center
This will be so central to the iOS 5 experience that it warrants separate consideration. It's not merely a less intrusive replacement for iOS 4's modal notification panels, it's Apple's take on UIs like HTC's Sense and even Windows Phone 7. The main notifications readout panel already has weather and stocks displays, and it will surely be extended to become a dynamic status panel to match if not in looks then certainly in functionality WinPho 7's tiles.
Users, we suspect, will quickly come to use the notifications panel in place of the standard Phone and Messages apps - surely set to then disappear into the belly of the OS - and probably many others too. iOS 5's Twitter integration is a case in point, and developers working on apps to tie iOS into popular services should proceed with caution.
How long before it becomes the de facto iOS UI, and the app list sits off to the side?
Apple iOS 5 and iCloud examined
Reg, you've missed the point. The messaging service is integrated so sending SMS or using Apple iMessage is not a choice users need to think about. There is one messaging centre, so when sending a message to a friend with an iPhone, the message is transported using Apple's protocol, when messaging a friend on a non iOS phone, SMS is used. It's difficult to see how this can be a fail, it will simply be used when it's appropriate. Users aren't going to neglect to use it. It won't whither and die. Indeed it is seamlessly integrated with the only universal messaging service available across all mobile devices - SMS.
All this x copied y...
Most of these companies have been working on features for a long time and in parallel.
And also, while I'm on the subject, why is there is the consistent tendency for commenters to misunderstand the difference between invention and innovation (not OhFFS who I'm replying to I should say)?
Innovation is about being active in bring together new products and services and combinations of features to market and is not simply the sum of inventions. There is relatively little new invented in the world. Apple bringing the iPad to market was innovation, not invention, the ideas that went into it had been around for years. So the criticism "it wasn't new,.. Nokia, or Microsoft, or Palm did x, y or z" wholly misses the point.
As does all this point scoring with x invented y that we see in these comment forums. Apple were innovative with the introduction of the iPhone, Google have since been innovative with many features of Android. We all stand on the shoulders of inventors and innovators who have gone before us. Copying isn't bad - it's a good thing when it's a good idea. The only "crime" is if X copies Y, who has a really great implementation, but then X does it worse despite having the good implementation as an example.
Recognising innovation when it occurs is a strength (and we should all be prepared to recognise innovation whenever it occurs). So yes Apple did some great innovation with touch interfaces, and Google have done some of their own, and copying isn't bad per se, unless it's done badly.
Engaging in point scoring about who invented what is usually just being childish.
Sorry, but I had to get that off my chest.
Hmm. If it's really true that iMessage combines SMS and an Apple-only protocol, this hardly can fail. The carriers of course will hate that. Why isn't something like that integrated with Android? Ah, yes, the carriers. Say what you want about Apple but they have the balls to stick it to the carriers now and then.
And having some (limited to iOS users) texting capabilities on iPod touches and WiFi-iPads is better than nothing. The kids will love that, especially since it's free.
You realise, of course (I know you do, you must, no-one could be this dumb), that this article is about iOS, which is 4 years old. Of course, perhaps you mean to leave disparaging comments about 10.7 instead, only that one would be 10 years old.
The only OS that I can find released 7 years ago is Pocket RISC OS...
Still, thanks for the chuckle.
... but for the fact that they are still selling the 3GS (just checked the Apple UK site) so they better support it !