Apple recently released iOS 5, the latest version of its operating system for its mobile devices. According to Apple, iOS 5 sports more than 200 new features, and supports the iPhone 3GS and newer devices, including iPad and iPad 2. We have tested iOS 5 against a number of devices and found it to have a number of useful new features, among which are:
- Over-the-air application updates and synchronization of your mobile device with your computer
- iCloud support – this new service provides 5GB of free space , with iTunes content not counting against your quota. Many iOS apps have been updated to support storage on iCloud.
- A new Andriod-like notification system to notify you about updates and alerts, which replaces the intrusive pop-up alert system in previous versions
- iMessage instant messaging, a system that enables direct communication between iOS 5devices, and also supports SMS and MMS for other mobile devices
- Wireless streaming of video to Apple TV
- Improvements to several iOS applications such as Reminders, Twitter, Camera, Photos, Mail, Calendar and Safari
While we believe that iOS 5 represents a major upgrade to which many will be migrating, we strongly recommend that you keep the following in mind:
- One confirmed issue with iOS 5, that of excessive battery drain, is due to be fixed through the release of iOS 5.0.1 in a few days.
- Any device capable of running iOS 4 is eligible for upgrade to iOS 5, including the iPhone 3GS and the third generation iPod. However, performance improvement is better on the newer models. Before you begin the upgrade, you will need to run software update on your Mac or Windows PC.
- iTunes 10.5 is required for the upgrade.
- Set aside at least an hour or more for the upgrade (the actual time will vary depending on the amount of data on your device) and to update applications after the upgrade that have new revisions to support iOS 5.
- Ensure that your computer is connected to a power source before beginning. Once started, the upgrade should not be interrupted.
- The actual upgrade process is as simple as connecting your mobile device and letting iTunes go through the upgrade process, which will include an automatic backup, the actual iOS upgrade and a restore of your settings and applications. In most cases, this is a straightforward process that proceeds without a hitch. If you experience a problem, you can restore to the previous backup and restart the process.
- iCloud configuration is one of the first steps that you are guided through after the upgrade. Choosing to use iCloud means that a number of your applications that use cloud storage will now be able to use iCloud. Also, you will be able to back up your purchased applications, music etc. and synchronize them across multiple computers using iCloud without counting against your 5GB free quota. Music that was not purchased through iTunes can be included using a $25/year iTunes Match service option. Additional iCloud space can be purchased at a nominal yearly charge.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ITS Service Desk (x4357, firstname.lastname@example.org).