Getting Started With iOS 5: What To Do After The Update

Ads by Google

apple ios5The world’s most advanced mobile operating system just got better, or so they say – and I’m inclined to agree. Apple’s latest iOS release finally brings some much-requested features to the iDevice line-up, with even the original iPad and iPhone 3GS benefiting from the update. Whether you’ve got a new iPhone 4GS or an old iPod Touch 3G there are over 200 improvements, additional security precautions and that silky smooth interface we’re oh-so-used to on our smartphones these days.

Here’s a quick checklist for those of you who have updated recently.

iCloud

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months you’ll have heard of iCloud, a smart new way to access your files from multiple devices. In order to use iCloud you’ll first need to sign in from your device, and you can do this under iCloud in Settings.

iCloud includes an @me.com email address which you’ll need to register in order to proceed. Once you have registered your account and linked it to an Apple ID you’ll see something similar to the screenshot below, which controls what is backed up. Remember, you only have 5GB of free storage to start with – though you can buy more in the Storage & Backup menu below these settings.

apple ios5

With your iCloud set-up either update Mac OS X which includes iCloud integration, or grab the Windows iCloud Control Panel from Apple. With this installed, ensure iCloud Backup is enabled on your device and your pictures, contacts, notes and anything else you specified will appear on your PC after each daily backup (when the phone is plugged in, locked and connected to Wi-Fi).

Ads by Google

Twitter

This latest update brings deep Twitter integration into iOS, meaning you can Tweet from nearly anywhere on your phone. This also means that you only need to log into Twitter once and each app that requests access to your account you will only require one-time authorization.

You can find Twitter under Settings, where you can log into multiple accounts. Here is also where you control which applications have access to your credentials, so you can quickly disable anything that’s misbehaving. Once you’ve logged in you’ll still need to download the Twitter app from the App Store, grant it access to your account and you’re set to tweet.

ios5 update

Oh and see that Update Contacts button? That will pull information from your contacts and try to determine whether they’re using Twitter, adding relevant information and pictures. Handy.

Notifications

Finally! Apple iOS users have proper, non-intrusive notifications and a lovely new Notification Center to store them. No longer will you miss a tweet, email or Game Center notification as they’re all accessed by swiping from the top of the screen vertically down.

You can set up your notifications on a per-app basis in Settings then Notifications. Note there are three options for most apps – None which shows up nothing on-screen but plays a sound, Banners which displays a small reminder at the top of the screen without interrupting your Angry Birds session and Alerts which are the notifications seen in iOS 4.3 and below.

ios5 update

I had quite a task setting up Twitter notifications, mainly because the app did not ask me for permission on first boot. If you can’t find Twitter under Notifications and would like to add it to your Notification Centre, reboot your phone and re-launch the app. You should be prompted to allow push notifications, and afterwards you can return to Notifications and add it much like your other apps.

Grab Some Apps

It comes as no surprise that Apple also produce apps for their mobile OS, and a few new ones were released in conjunction with iOS 5. Amongst them is Find My Friends, an app which allows iOS users to locate each other using on-request location detection. It might run your battery down a bit faster than normal use but it’s both fun and useful, especially if you’re a concerned parent or some kind of stalker.

ios5 update

In one giant leap forward for mobile security, Find My iPhone is another addition that’s completely free to use. Once iCloud has been set-up, visit iCloud.com and click Find My iPhone. After supplying a password Apple will attempt to locate your phone provided you haven’t turned off location services in Settings.

For those of you with multiple devices there is an app available for download to help you keep track of your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone from anywhere in the world, allowing you to wipe, lock or send messages to it should it go missing. Lastly iBooks is a handy Apple-engineered eReader and PDF wallet that’s ideal for keeping bus timetables and classic literature to hand.

Finally…

Now that you’ve updated to iOS 5 you no longer require iTunes in order to update your device. Those of you who only ever installed iTunes in order to update can now boldly remove iTunes from your Windows PC or simply forget it exists on a Mac. It’s worth mentioning that if you’re interested in syncing your device with a computer wirelessly you’ll still need it (at least for the time being anyway).

apple ios5

I’ve read a lot of complaints about Newsstand, and how it cannot be hidden in a folder somewhere. Unfortunately Newsstand is a folder and thus will have to be hidden on your final page of apps if you don’t intend on using it.

Conclusion

Of course there are a lot more features and improvements, amongst them incredibly fast page rendering times within mobile Safari and iMessage, a service that’s set to cause a headache for both carriers and BlackBerry, I’m sure. Last but not least you can finally take a picture with the volume up button – now that’s progress.

What are your favourite features of Apple iOS 5? Anything else you’d recommend? Do you like the improvements? Have your say in the comments below.

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Smartphone Photography
Smartphone Photography
54 Members
Awesome iPhone Apps
Awesome iPhone Apps
53 Members
Jailbreaking iOS
Jailbreaking iOS
22 Members
Apple TV Tips
Apple TV Tips
22 Members
Essential iOS Tips
Essential iOS Tips
22 Members
iPhone Games You Should Try
iPhone Games You Should Try
19 Members
Apple News & Rumors
Apple News & Rumors
17 Members
Apple Fanboyism ????????
Apple Fanboyism ????????
7 Members
iOS 9 Beta talk
iOS 9 Beta talk
2 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (11)
  • Denise Stewberger

    So …. who can see what is in my cloud?  Apple?  What if I have a jailbroken device with things that were already on my iPod when I got it and I didn’t legitimately purchase myself?  Will they see that and flag my account?  Curious.

    • Tim Brookes

      Whilst Apple don’t like jailbreaking, it’s been proven legal in a court of law and you shouldn’t have any issues. As for existing apps you didn’t pay for – I’m not sure, hopefully someone can clarify that here? Commenters?

  • Rajesh Metla

    The important feature fir people like me is flash support and able to connect to other devices for transferring data files and media files. And being able to add media and book and other files directly without the help of itunes. Hope they add them too.

  • Debastosluis

    Hey guys, where do I find the leather bacground used in your images?

    • Tim Brookes

      Hi. I think you’re referring to the Find My Friends app, which you can grab on the App Store for free. Unfortunately it’s not a background, just the way the app has been designed.

      Hope this helps.

  • fake

    really a junk article.  no mention of text expansion???  no one really uses twitter.

  • ferdinand reinke

    I didn’t appreciate having to reinitialize all sorts of passwords and settings. It’s not like I bought a brand new ipad. It should have brought my customizations forward. And, I’m not sure that ITUNES on IOS5 does subscribed podcasts correctly. I seem to have to manually download them the shift over to the player. I remember it as more automagic pre-IOS5. 

    Argh! The only good thing was the price. 

    • Tim Brookes

      Yeah I wish that podcasts had been sorted out on the device this time too. I don’t see why iOS iTunes can’t simply subscribe to a feed! It’s not hard manually downloading, but it certainly feels a bit 90s.

      If I’ve missed it and someone knows it exists I’d be delighted in finding out how.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.