Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The “F” in “Five” is Either For “Fantastic” or “Finally”

Quieter, Less-Obvious Features:

I’ve been using the iOS 5 betas since June and I’ve found a few features which aren’t widely-publicised (they aren’t as cool as a dramatically less shitty notifications system).

  • One can now set custom sounds for everything except lock and keyboard clicks. Some will no-doubt be annoyed that they can’t make their phone say “giggity” every time a key is tapped.
  • Speaking of notifications, you can swipe left and right within the weather and stocks widgets. Also, tapping the UI in the Weather app will pull up an hourly forecast.
  • Autocorrect is a hell of a lot smarter. Typing “thenext” in iOS 4 would produce just that, but it corrects to “the next” in 5. Furthermore, it now recognises shorthand. Typing “oz” followed by two spaces now results in an inserted period, followed by a space, and the keyboard will be in lowercase mode. Smart.
  • The Usage screen in Settings has been dramatically redesigned, with a breakdown of how much data is being used by which application. This is carried over into the iCloud usage screen.
  • Swiping left-to-right in Camera will show your most recent photo. You can swipe through to check if the last shot was in focus, for instance.
  • There’s a neat little shortcut menu under Settings: General: Keyboard. You can easily set text expansions (the predefined one is “omw”, which expands to “On my way!”). Also in Settings (under Sounds) is a menu for changing the vibration pattern for phone calls. Very weird.
  • When using an app that hides the status bar, Notification Centre won’t display unless you drag twice from the top, not just once. A nice touch, presumably to prevent accidentally triggering it while in a game.
  • Scrolling an iframe, text area or other small nested scrolling area is now done with a single finger, not two as before.

Complaints:

Just two regarding iOS 5, specifically.

  • Battery life is comically bad on my iPhone, but unchanged on my iPad. I can watch the battery drain in real time on my phone. For instance, while writing this, I left it unplugged for about 30 minutes. It began at 53% remaining, and that has since dropped to 39% remaining. I’m guessing it was uploading photos to Photo Stream or something, because that is remarkably bad. Update: I recently reset my network settings to fix the disappearance of Personal Hotspot. After doing so, the battery life on my phone has improved dramatically. It’s probably a coincidence, but give it a shot.
  • Reminders is a great little application, but there’s still no way to set an arbitrary address. I don’t go to the airport that often, but I’d like to set a reminder upon arrival there to grab one of the bags for liquids. In order to do that, I still have to create a contact with the address of the airport. I say “still” because I filed this as a bug in July.