Aside from that, Apple added the ability to edit images from within the platform's Photos application. Although it offers cropping, rotation and the ability to remove red-eye, I was a little disappointed by the editing features. Editing images was simple enough, but the tools didn't appear to be as powerful as they could have been, and I'm not sure too many users will find much value in them.
That said, the ability to snap a photo from the lock screen is a great addition. In order to do so, users must double-click the home button from the lock screen. From there, a camera icon pops up, allowing users to quickly snap a photo. It's an addition for which I've been waiting a long time, and it makes catching those fleeting moments much easier.
Apple's addition of Reminders is also welcome. It's easy to add tasks, and the customization options make setting up timed reminders quite easy. The application is a little basic, and there are better options in the App Store. But those who want a simple solution will find a lot to like in Reminders.
Thanks to iOS 5, users are also able to access Apple's free iCloud service
. That offering allows users to store some content in the cloud, as well as sync Mail, Contacts, Calendar and more.
I was pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy it was to integrate iCloud into iOS 5. As soon as the software was added to my iPhone, I was able to configure the cloud service and determine what files and data I wanted to synchronize. What's more, I was able to access the service online, and find my information with ease.
What's nice about iCloud is that it keeps everything up-to-date without requiring users to do anything. So, when I added Reminders on my iPhone, it was immediately available on the iCloud Website
. And when I added a task to my calendar in iCloud, it was added to my iPhone in seconds.
In many ways, iCloud might be a fine solution for business professionals. The Calendar function can be accessed from anywhere, and content is quickly added across all platforms. It's an advantage that many other services don't have, and could be a go-to option for many professionals.
In the end, I was impressed by iCloud. As Apple said, the service "just works" and it makes keeping up-to-date much easier than before. If this is the beta version of the service, I can't help but be excited to try out the release version.
From beginning to end, Apple's iOS 5 Beta 5 was impressive. The process started out with an over-the-air update that took just a few minutes and had no hang ups. Best of all, this evaluation ended with the feeling that this is the best version of iOS so far.
Prior to the announcement of iOS 5, many folks could find several features on Android, BlackBerry OS and even Windows Phone 7 that trumped Apple's option in some way. For some folks, that's undoubtedly still the case. But iOS 5, as a whole, is the best mobile operating system on the market, and it sets a new benchmark for all others to match.
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