And after half a day with iOS 5

Friday and the delivery of my shiny new Apple iPhone 4S can’t come soon enough.

Apple released the latest version of its mobile computing operating system – iOS 5 – which I proceeded to install on my aging iPhone 3GS.  It was a challenging update due to the heavy demand on Apple’s servers.  If you have yet to perform the upgrade, prepare to dedicate a few hours to this task. I would also say that some of my delays were to installing on an iPhone 3GS – a smartphone that now seems a bit underpowered.  It’s possible that it’s too underpowered for iOS5.  Certainly, extended use of iOS 5 powered iPhone 3GS would drive me crazy.  Luckily I only have another day of this.  Come on little iPhone 4S, travel safe.

Regardless, I’ve still had ample time to play with some of the new features of iOS 5 and here’s a collection of thoughts.  Starting with two of the areas I was most excited about – Notifications Center and iTunes syncing over wi-fi.

 

Notifications Center

 

  • To give the notifications center a proper trial, I turned on every notification for every app that used the feature.  Both ways of interfacing with the notifications center worked great – on the lock screen and the pull down interface are great additions.  It’s nice to be able to surface granular details such as who is commenting on your Instagram photos without diving into the app itself
  • The best comment on can give on all the notifications I have turned on is that compiling them into the notifications center makes them less intrusive.  Banners seem to be the way to go.  I think I’ll be shutting off the bubbles and the app icon indicators.  There’s also way too much noise coming from my phone right now, so some sound alerts probably need to go as well.
  • This is a useful notifications setup guide: http://lifehacker.com/5846375/how-to-configure-notification-center-in-ios-5

iTunes syncing over wi-fi

 

  • Sounds great in theory, but I haven’t had it successfully sync this way yet.  I did my first big sync while my phone was tethered.  Then I added a new album into my iTunes Library1 and tried to sync.  Didn’t happen.  One song made it.  And that took about 20 minutes. 
  • Wi-fi syncing really impacted overall performance.  It’s great that you can do other things on the phone while syncing (supposedly).  So while the sync indicator was spinning, I decided to update my Facebook app and try to open up the Twitter app.  I thought my phone might start melting.  Twitter app never managed to open.   Though my FB app has been updated.
  • It says that your phone has to be connected to a  power source to do this.  But I don’t think there’s a sensor detecting this. 

Other random thoughts

 

  • I knew there was a camera shortcut being added to the lock screen. That’s good news. I was worried that this feature addition was going to come in lieu of the music playback shortcuts on the lock screen. It did not. That’s even better news.
  • Did I mention how much I’m looking forward to a newer, faster iPhone?
  1. It was “All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison []

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