iOS5′s new features

closeHey, just so you know ... this post is now about 2 years and 7 months old. Please keep that in mind as it very well may contain broken links and/or outdated information.

It’s been about a week since I upgraded to iOS5 on my iPhone 3GS (and performed the untethered jailbreak) and I’ve since been learning my way around some of its new features.

  • Twitter: don’t use it
  • Newsstand: don’t use it (I use MegaReader)
  • iCloud: don’t use it (except for Find My iPhone)
  • WiFi iTunes sync: only works when the device is plugged into power, so I might as well just connect it via the USB cable to my PC
  • Reminders: I was excited to learn that iOS5 finally added support for synchronizing my Tasks in Microsoft Exchange via ActiveSync. However, the lack of categories, no sorting by priority (or any sorting at all!), and no way to easily clear all Completed entries quickly led me to dump Reminders and go back to iMExchange 2. Nice first try Apple, but this still needs work. :-(
  • iPad multi-tasking gestures: don’t work on my iPad 1

Ok, now for the stuff I actually do use (why did I upgrade again?). ;-)

  • iMessage: being able to chat other iOS users without using my AT&T text messaging plan (the no-longer-available 200 messages/month for $5) is nice. It’s even nicer that biteSMS seamlessly takes over the the built-in Messages app and supports iMessage too.
  • Notification Center: it’s not perfect, but it is a huge improvement over the previous notification system. I like that SBSettings can integrate with it since I’m already used to swiping down from the top of the screen. I’m still configuring all of my different app notifications but for the most part I’m happy with this new feature. I do wish it was wider on the iPad when in landscape mode, however.

Unfortunately, I have run into some problems since upgrading. Slow/sluggish performance and poor battery life were the initial indicators. Sometimes the phone is so slow it takes one of my taps as a tap-and-hold, or just ignores the tap altogether so I end up tapping multiple times on the same element. I’ve gone through some of the tips to improve battery life, which did help, but it still seems like my battery drains faster than it did on iOS 4.3.3. I’m going to stick with it, though (I don’t feel like attempting to downgrade back to 4.3.3 and setting up everything again). There may be a new iPhone in my near future anyway …

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