So it’s the day after upgrading to iOS 5 and I have a few quick observations:
It’s going to take a while to get used to seeing my phone listed in the iTunes side panel no matter where it is in the house, but on the upside, the manual sync is very slick. The automatic sync is, on the other hand, kinda broken. The automatic sync only works if your phone is plugged in, the computer needs to be awake, and iTunes needs to be running. Now iTunes is usually running, and I plug my computer in every night, so that sounds good. The problem comes in when we get to the fact that the computer will go to sleep when I’m not using it, which would be the default mode for me sleeping. So to get the automatic syncing to work, I need to plug my phone in, and then go into the other room and wake up the computer, which kinda makes it not all that automatic.
Another bonus point for the manual WiFi sync is that it can be done with out plugging in, and can be started from either the phone or the computer.
Music and Video (neé iPod)
The old iPod app is out and has been replaced with two apps, Music and Video. The graphics have been polished but there are several strange changes related or caused by this split. The first is that if you have any podcasts that have both video and audio episodes, well, get ready for some app switching. The audio episodes of the podcast will be in the Music app, and the video episodes will be in the Video app, which makes sense, but is god damn annoying since things will be out of chronological order unless you are very careful.
Another change is that the Video app will only show video in landscape orientation. It will work in either landscape orientation (volume buttons up or down) but won’t rotate to portrait. Not really a big problem, but a bit of a change.
The reminders app is very nice, and date/time reminders work great. Geo-fenced reminders though…
Geo-fences work, but you can’t just enter an address, it has to either be the current location, or an address in your address book. Since, chances are the store, your work, or well just about anywhere you want to put a fence is probably not in your address book, you can’t setup a reminder for them unless you are there, which for the “Arrive at…” reminders, makes them pretty useless.
iMessage and Notifications
iMessage is great so far and will probably be transformational for those of us Apple fans. A BBM with out RIM.
Notifications finally don’t suck. There is plenty of coverage around about the changes, but the practical uptake of it is: you can now get multiple notifications with out feeling like you need to drive off a bridge. The weather and stock widgets are nice to look at, and so far don’t feel intrusive. So far it’s great.