By Sven Larsen (@zemoga)
What could tear your intrepid Canadian correspondent’s attention away from the start of the new NHL season (apart from the stunning mediocrity of the 2011-2012 Ottawa Senators)? Only the release of iOS5 of course!
Like millions of Mac faithful, I dutifully downloaded Apple’s latest operating system the minute it became available. And I’ve been playing with it pretty much non-stop in the twenty four hours since I installed it
Like the NHL season, it’s a little early to be making definitive proclamations about anything (except for the general suckitude of the aforementioned Senators). But I can give you my first impressions, the stuff I immediately liked and disliked. Let’s start with …
THE INSTALLATION PROCESS
Unlike a lot of other users, my download and installation was relatively painless. Granted, I was doing this over the fairly robust connection we have here in the Zemoga NYC headquarters but after an initial encounter with the “Error 3002” page (solved by a quick refresh), my installation was underway. I will agree with some of the critics that it’s a pain in the butt to have to upgrade iTunes first and then download the iOS but the whole process took me under an hour. I would have liked a little more guidance from Apple about how to set up the new features though. In the end, this Mashable post was much more helpful in quickly educating me about the new features (and how to configure them properly) than anything the folks at One Infinite Loop provided.
Once I finished setting everything up, playtime could begin!
By the way, for the purposes of evaluation, I’ve been using my iPhone 3GS (still waiting for the iPhone 5 release!) so I won’t be touching on Siri or anything like that here.
So what do I love so far?
1) NOTIFICATIONS – They look great, tell me so much more than the little red circle ever did, and I love how customizable they are. I also like that I have the option to push e-mail and other notifications to the home screen. It makes me feel like I got back all of the functionality I gave up when I originally made the switch from a Blackberry to the iPhone. I also love being able to pull down the notifications screen with a simple gesture.
2) iMESSAGE – It’s easy to set up, has a completely seamless user experience and anyone who has ever sent a text message already knows how to use it. And, since 90% of the people I know are on iPhones, it definitely has the potential to save me some money,
3) CAMERA BUTTON ON LOCK SCREEN – After I figured out how to pull this up, I liked it a lot. There are a lot of young kids and animals in my social circle so quick and easy access to the camera function is awesome. Especially if I can do it one handed.
4) TWITTER INTEGRATION – I’m not a big tweeter but I will probably increase my posting thanks to the seamless integration of Twitter in to iOS5. If Briana ever moves off of her crippled Android phone onto the iOS system, I could see this being a feature she would use heavily.
What left me with that “meh” feeling?
1) CAMERA EDITING FEATURES – Nice to have but I really don’t do a lot of editing on a three inch screen. Do you? Probably much more effective on an iPad.
2) CARDS – A great idea but in my initial exploration, I couldn’t find a blank card (and the greetings inside were lame). I’ll explore further but if I can’t put in my own greeting I can’t see using this a lot.
3) FIND MY PHONE – I had this app installed already so this didn’t really register with me.
4) NEWSSTAND – Again, I don’t tend to read magazines on my iPhone. Another one that is more iPad focused. Finally (and most importantly) …
5) ALL THE iCLOUD FEATURES – Not because they’re not great. But because I don’t have any way to use them yet. iCloud functionality is not up and running for anyone who hasn’t installed Lion. This is actually a pretty big deal because Apple has always supported backwards compatibility in the past. I’m disappointed that I can’t take advantage of these features right away (hopefully we’ll upgrade to Lion on our work computers, soon). But even if I was running Lion, the iTunes matching service that is the sexiest part of this feature set is still a few weeks away from launch. I understand Apple’s desire to launch iOS5 before the iPhone 4S on sale date but I really wish they had gotten everything ready for rollout at the same time.
Was my first day iOS5 experience positive? For the most part, yes. Unlike the Senators season opener, I definitely felt like the product has been upgraded from the previous version and I’m enjoying the new additions. But like a fantasy league player who hasn’t been able to see all his draft picks play yet (man up, Sidney Crosby!) I’m excited to unleash the full power of iOS5 and see what this baby can really do.
How was your first day with the new system, gentle readers?
image via Apple