Improvements to Safari
iOS 5 also brings major speed improvements to the built-in Safari browser on supported devices, along with tabbed browsing. Yes, instead of the old thumbnail style, Safari on iOS 5 now opens up various webpages in individual tabs.
You can open up to nine tabs at a time and can tap to quickly switch between them without the long loading times of the previous browser.
Some supported webpages will also have a “Reader” icon, which when tapped, will reformat your pages and take away all the ads and various distractions so that you can read it much like a magazine.
You can also add pages to a “Reading List” which saves the link and syncs it across all your devices so that you can read it later on another device.
However, unlike our initial impression, adding a page into Reading List does not save the page for offline reading — it only saves the link and you will still need a Net connection to read the page.
Reading List does however remember where you stopped on the page so you can continue where you left off when you start reading on another device.
Faster camera launching
You can now launch the camera app faster right from the lock screen by double-clicking on the Home button when your iPhone is in sleep mode.
Apple now also allows you to snap a photo by pressing the volume up button on the iPhone, which is certainly more convenient than tapping the screen most of the time.
Photo stream is another one of Apple’s new iCloud-enabled features, and appears as another folder in your Photos app. The idea is simple — take a photo on one device and have it appear on all iOS devices using the same iCloud account.
In practice it works really well, but there is one catch — pictures that appear in the Photo Stream on all your devices cannot be deleted.
For some weird reason Apple does not allow you to delete any photos from the Photo Stream, which isn’t great if you have an embarrassing photo that you don’t want anyone else to see.
By default, pictures will be automatically deleted from Photo Stream after 30 days, but there is a way to clear out the cache immediately by logging in to iCloud.com with your username and password and then choose “Reset the Photo Stream” from the settings page.
However, even at icloud.com, there is no way to delete individual photos.
iTunes WiFi Sync
One of the new features that iOS 5 brings is the ability to sync your device with iTunes wirelessly over your local WiFi network.
iTunes WiFi sync needs to be enabled by first connecting the device to iTunes via the sync cable and then choosing “Sync with this iPhone/iPad/iPod touch over WiFi,” after which the device’s icon will appear permanently in iTunes.
WiFi sync works automatically whenever you connect your device is in sleep mode and connected to power or if you manually initiate it from either the device or iTunes.
Along with iOS 5, Apple has also updated a number of apps, including Pages, Keynote and Numbers to support iCloud.
Now whenever you create a document on any of these apps, a copy is also uploaded to iCloud.
Apart from pure iCloud support, Apple has also just updated iMovie on the iPad and iPhone to not only support 1080p video from the iPhone 4S, but also from a variety of other cameras as well. For example, we successfully imported h.264 format 1080p 30-frames-persecond video from a Nikon D7000 into iMovie on the iPad 2 and it was playable and editable in iMovie.
We have no doubt that video captured on other brand DSLRs will also work if its in the same format and bit rate, although we didn’t have the opportunity to officially test this yet.