The much anticipated iOS 5 launches across the globe over the last 12 hours, letting owners of recent Apple devices add new functions and abilities to their iPhones and iPads for free. It is one of the biggest updates to iOS ever, with the addition of iCloud and wireless syncing along with a Newsstand and much more, but as ever with such a large release – not everything has gone smoothly.
Most notably iOS 5 has brought users access to iCloud for wireless syncing and backup and later cloud music playing; WiFi syncing with your laptop; a much improved notification system; iMessage for communicating with other iOS users; and deep Twitter integration. The recent spats between Apple and Facebook has meant that they are left out in the cold, when in reality Facebook integration would likely have been more useful than the Twitter variety – but Twitter is great for adding that social layer to the OS all the same.
The new mobile OS also added six new Apple apps: Reminders, Find My Friends, Newsstand, Airport, Cards, and iTunes Movie Trailers – all useful additions to the Apple stable.
Reminders adds a simple and efficient to-do list to iOS.
Find My Friends does exactly what is says on the tin with other iPhone/iPad users.
Newsstand lets you have your newspaper and magazine subscriptions update in the background wirelessly.
Airport lets you manage your WiFi connection and connected Apple products.
Cards lets you have cards printed and posted directly from your iPhone/iPad
iTunes Movie Trailers gives you access to Apple’s large trailer archive in iPhone/iPad optimised versions.
A lot of updates and improvements. But as with any such upgrade for millions of users worldwide, there have been some issues:
iOS Error 3200 was trending on Twitter last night as it was the error message users were seeing as their upgrade was failing due to Apple’s servers being unable to keep up with the massive surge in traffic. Of course Apple should have prepared better for this launch, as they knew they would have huge demand – but it is nearly impossible to stress-test servers to this extent, as such spike only happen so rarely. Fingers crossed this was just a minor stumbling block for the Cupertino company though, as more and more of their services will be reliant upon these cloud servers in the months and years to come after the launch of iCloud.
More worrying has been the small but vocal number of users that have seen their music and apps wiped form their iDevice. There is a thread about this over on the Apple Support Forums. It appears users can still see their apps and music in iTunes – so not all is lost if they have kept their iPhone or iPad content synced with a laptop, but this is a major issue for those that haven’t done so. The advice? Always backup your device and its content before upgrading. If you are suffering from this issue – then PCWorld have some steps to follow to get everything fixed.
iOS 5 is available for users with iPhones of the 3GS and 4 variety, and both iPads.
You upgrade by plugging your iDevice into a PC running the latest version of iTunes and syncing – you will be offered to upgrade to the latest iOS version.