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iPad with OS 5: The good and the really ugly

update_ios5_20111005

It’s been an interesting week or so, iOS 5 came out and it has it’s good sides and it’s bad sides.  You will remember that one of my main complaint about the iPad WiFi/3G was it’s lack of 3G support like SMS/MMS (and whatsapp) and it’s inability to share it’s 3G with my laptop. Well, the really ugly? Nothing has changed. Same goes for the App store, no globalisation.

That is where my ranting stops dead, the new operating system has great new features for both the iPad and iPhone, here is my list:

  • Notification Centre, it just works, though  it can get irritating if not set up correctly.
  • The new split keyboard is great for thumb typing whilst holding the iPad.
  • There is a noticeable speed improvement across the board, try to open a PDF or an eBook.
  • I love the new Safari Internet browser tabs, it brings the desktop to the iPad and it seems faster too.
  • The “task switching” by swiping is so easy I am already used to it.
  • Same goes for the button double tapping that gives you access to Music without unlocking and on the iPhone the camera too.

There are things I find utterly useless such as the

  • Message Centre (aka Messages) it’s not SMS friendly so what is the use?
  • iTunes & Videos, until the music store goes global or there is a South African music store, all you can get is podcasts.
  • iBooks, similarly to iTunes there is not South African store, however there is access to various classics from the Guttenberg Library.

Not quiet related to iOS 5 but worth the mention is a few apps that appeared at the same time as iOS 5 (or I just noticed them):

  • Facebook, to my surprise Facebook is now optimised for the iPad.
  • Adobe PDF Reader though it does not read protected content.
  • Kalahari.com eReader, synchronises your eBooks bought on www.kalahari.com and let’s you read them. It’s a rudimentary reader and it does crash but generally it works. For South Africans this is good news.
  • Tomtom, the GPS app that never let me down so far, and thanks for the traffic updates and now also opyimised for the iPad!

Apps that work on the iPhone and wish would work on the iPad but do not or are simply not optimised:

  • Whatsapp, the cross platform instant messenger, I call it BBM for all. (Does not work)
  • Google +, Facebook did it why not Google? (Not optimised)
  • Windows Live Messenger, come on Microsoft you did it for the iPhone now optimised it for the iPad.

I also now added a use to my iPad I never thought I would, thanks to the TuneIn Radio app, I listen to radio, mostly European.

All in all it is a better operating system, you will notice that I make no mention of iCloud, this is because I feel our bandwidth is not suitable as yet so I did not enable the backup part of it nor have I tried to use it to it’s full potential, in a future post maybe?

[Edited on 2011/10/22 – Tomtom]

Pascal Parent

Pascal's day job is as a technologist but you can mostly find him behind a camera after hours. As a passionate photographer he regularly shares his experiences with the world. From how-to to reviews you will find it all in his regularly updated blog and other places.

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