Above the Clouds with Apple iOS 5

Above the Clouds with Apple iOS 5

Today Apple rolls out its latest operating masterpiece, iOS 5. While some suggest it's just another upgrade, that's hardly the case. The new system includes more than 200 new features with a collection of tweaks and handful of other improvements. However the grandest development of them all is the exit to iCloud.

Apple expects the iCloud to signal in what it's calling, the “PC free” era. Using a new wireless sync feature, the new cloud-based service will store and carry files from one iOS device to another. Users will now be able to delete media that's been synced over from a computer and edit photos shot on different devices. No longer will users need to click on the purple icon and wait in angst as iTunes loads because Apple has made sure each built-in application functions fully without it.

According to CNET.com, the iCloud will do many of the same things MobileMe did before Apple purchased them, but with the luxury of few new quirks:

  • A back-up service that can store near-full copies of your iOS device on Apple's servers for safe keeping
  • The capability to re-download previously purchased content from any one of Apple's digital stores
  • A feature called Photo Stream that transfers photos from one device to another in the background
  • File storage for app developers to keep certain files, like documents or application settings

In short, the iCloud safely harbors files that originally needed to be stored on a computer, including photos, e-books, backups, docs and music.

If you're to step out of the clouds for minute there are a couple new updates worth mentioning.

Out of my face, notifications!

Have you ever enjoyed getting lost in the eyes of your iPhone, only for the moment to be shattered by some abrupt, unsuspecting push notification? Well iOS 5 gives users back their private time by eliminating annoying pop-ups and push messages.

Push messages are still available to anyone who needs that “special” reminder, but will for the most part be replaced with a sleek, inconspicuous banner option. Anytime you receive a message from an app, a small banner that lies across the top border of the device will fold down and notify you, only to retract seconds later so you can continue on with your life. In case you're buried in a heated game of Words with Friends, the notification banner will keep a running tab of all notifications until you're ready to view them.

Move over BBMers – iPhone users have their own secret handshake now!

Accompanying the iOS 5 upgrade is Apple's new proprietary messaging platform, iMessage. As with the BlackBerry Messenger platform, iMessage allows iOS users the sanctity of speaking with one another without interference from subservient cultures. The BBM Haters Club is officially open to iPhones and iPads who will finally be able to connect with one another through the first-party messaging protocol.

No telling if iMessage will come equipped with its own versions of the popular BBM hug or BBM dance/raise the roof emoticons, but I'm sure Apple's new language will be worlds above me.

So without further ado, let the upgrading commence!

Have you unplugged into the iCloud? Tell us your experiences below!

Kyle R Sharick is a freelance writer who has contributed to many articles on the web. You can follow him on Twitter, or read his Blog

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