Apple iOS 5 iPhone, iPad 2 Hands-on

We just loaded up Apples brand new iOS 5 on our iPhone and iPad 2, and man& weve been waiting a while for this stuff.

For starters, notifications with Notification Center are so, so necessary, and while we havent lived with it for a while, we can already see how much of a difference this will make in daily usage. Also, the Twitter integration? Ridiculously slick and easy.

See screenshots of the new OS on

Now, the really interesting part& iMessage. We havent found anyone to use this with, so well report back, but its tied to your Apple ID which is how your iPad and iPod touch can make use of it, since they obviously dont have cell phone numbers. Well, you know, the iPod touch doesnt.

Here are some highlights:

  • Preference to open pages in Safari in a new page or in background (amazing!).
  • More alert choices for emails, calendar, and the ability to buy more.
  • Ability to create keyboard shortcuts (autotext) to replace custom phrases. The default entry is omw which is replaced with, On my way!
  • Software update option in settings to check for the latest OS.
  • Sync now button to wireless sync to iTunes
  • Ability to customize how notifications in Notification Center look you can customize how many recent ones to show, 1, 5 or 10, if its showed in the lock screen, if its in Notification Center, and also the alert style, banner or alert style.
  • Twitter installs directly from the settings page if its not installed directly, you arent even taken to the App Store.
  • FaceTime button in iMessage messages at the top now
  • Tweeting photos is, so so slick. It displays on Twitter as powered by Photobucket, and its from iOS.
  • Theres a new option to print out from the Maps app& hilarious.
  • You can make new albums right from the device itself in Photos.
  • You can move and add photos to albums.
  • Doesnt look iMessage is fully baked in here yet.
  • You can customize the default alert times. This is so needed so now when you enter a calendar entry, you dont have to set the default alert time you like Im a 15 minute calendar alert type of guy.
  • It seems that Reminders sync with Exchange (Tasks basically), but you cant set location-based reminders if youre on Exchange, just with iCloud. You can selectively choose where to sync the reminder though, its just not streamlined if you use Exchange.
  • You can set the caller ID for FaceTime calls, so if you call someone, you can choose it to display your cellular number or email address.
  • In the weather app, there is a new pane for a current location which will show you weather for wherever you are.
  • When syncing with iTunes you can use the device normally no more syncing screen!
  • You can delete individual calls from the call list I know a lot of people that just got super excited.

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