Apple recently released iOS 5 Beta 2, the development firmware for the iPhone. With this update we’re seeing a lot of new features that we only heard about before. It’s funny because virtually all of these “new” features have been available to jailbreakers for some time now; however, it’s apparent that Apple is making major strides in eliminating the reliance we have on our computer and iTunes to continually support the phone through new updates and syncing. Apple is really beginning to cut the cords as you’ll see in the features we cover. We’re going to go over five of the new features added iOS 5 Beta 2 that we found to be most compelling.
New iOS Bootup Animation
Apple has decided to rid its bootup sequence containing the monochrome Apple logo and replace it with a new pulsing, animated Apple logo. This isn’t a compelling feature, if a feature at all, but it’s a change in the latest iOS 5 build. Custom iOS bootup screen animations have been part of the jailbreaking/tweaking community for some time now—and most are way better looking than this one.
Wireless Syncing With iTunes
One of the most notable features in iOS 5 Beta 2 is syncing your iPhone wirelessly with iTunes. Wireless syncing not only requires iOS 5 Beta 2 but also iTunes 10.5 beta. Once you setup iTunes to sync your device using a Wi-Fi connection, you can sync your device without having to plug it into your computer via USB. Cord cutters rejoice!
Over-The-Air (OTA) Updates
Similar to wirelessly syncing your device with iTunes, iOS 5 Beta 2 has a new feature for Over-The-Air (OTA) updates. OTA updates lets you update to a new firmware version via Wi-Fi or 3G without having to be tethered to your machine and iTunes. This is another example of Apple introducing a cord cutting feature.
Use Your Device While Syncing in iTunes
iOS 5 lets you use your device while you’re syncing your apps, data, music, books, and more. Gone are the days when you had to stare at the display waiting for syncing to complete before you could go back to using your iPhone. With iOS 5 Beta 2 you can use and sync your files and apps at the same time. As you can see in the photo, installation of the app progresses just as if you were downloading the app from the App Store.
Lockscreen Alerts and Functionality
Apple completely revamped the notifications and alerts feature in iOS 5 Beta 2. Alerts now have a larger typeface and an appropriate icon for the app associated with the given alert. When you receive a new alert, the standard “Slide To Unlock” gesture is replaced for a few seconds with a “Slide To Reply” or “Slide To View” option so you can quickly interact with the given notification.
We look forward to seeing how Apple’s iOS 5 continues to develop and how it will enhance our mobile experience.