As you will no doubt be aware iOS5 dropped last night at around 6pm UK time.  Always the eager geek I was setup and ready to accept the latest goodness Apple was due to send to my iPad with anticipation.  This is a quick post to summarise my experience, (which you may have read some of on Ian’s post last night).

I will add this post comes from the view of a 1st gen iPad which is the only Apple device I own these days.

I started as soon as it dropped just after 6pm and firstly the update process was a bit of a nightmare, my download went from 20 mins to 3 hours and then fell over about 5 times at various points, this appeared to be happening for a lot of people and down to Apples servers being overloaded.

I eventually got the full download around 9pm and started the update process, it started to update after preparing and doing a backup which took some time only to fall over with a 3200 “uknown error”, which I believe to be because it couldnt contact Apples servers.

By about 10pm I had actually managed to get it to run past the problems above and it was updating at last!  This took some time and after it had updated it then needed to restore all of my settings, apps and media which took until about 12:30am, a mere 6.5 hours since I started the process!  But it all worked and after getting a short nights sleep I actually got to get stuck in to what was new today.

My first impressions

Are that nothing much has changed, there are a few more settings to contend with and I went through the setup of iCloud which apart from setting my iPad to auto backup I have not really touched yet.  I like that they have introduced WiFi syncing although have not seen it working yet, just tried to force a sync to get some screen shots over but it wouldnt recognise my PC was available.  This is a feature I do like on my WP7 device & hope it turns out to work well here.  It is also setup for future OTA updates and you can check for updated software right from the settings.  Twitter integration has also arrived so you can finally add your contacts twitter details and hit them up right from there.


I started playing around with the notification settings, setting up the apps that I wanted to be bothered by and the way I wanted to be bothered, however up until this point I am yet to actually see a notification appear, not sure why. EDIT: While testing the reminders app I got one! 🙂


Pretty cool they introduced this, I dont tend to use reminders a lot as I have a good memory and anything else goes in my calendar but you can set a list of reminders and have the device notify you at a set time.  Nothing much more to say on that really.


I was really interested to try out iMessage but sadly I have not been able to get it to work so cannot provide my viewpoint yet, I have been trying all afternoon but when I try to send messages they fail and when people send them to me they go MIA!  Not sure if it is a problem with Apple or something to do with me but my account looks to be setup OK and the person I was testing with was exchanging iMessages with other people fine.

A few app changes

Firstly the iPod app has changed to be called “Music” and has had a UI overhall, looks pretty cool and still works in a very similar way to the old app, I think they have actually done a good job here and it is a better user experience.

Second is Safari, they have changed the tab browsing style so rather than having the tabs stacked up behind the browser window the tabs are in line under the address bar like a normal desktop browser, which I like.

Next up they have added a “Newsstand” app, which is the same as the iBooks app but it holds all of your news paper and magazine subscriptions/app, I dont really have any bar T3 so not had chance to properly play with that yet.

One last one I wanted to point out was the “Find your friends” app, had a play with that this afternoon and it works well, just like Google lattitude but the app looks nice and it integrates into your contacts list too so you can easily contact friends and add them in to the app.


I am a bit let down really, the update process gave me a headache, I have not seen much difference in operation yet and a chunk of the new bits I was excited about either dont work or have not been aparant yet.  This is however very early days and I will try and update my post as I discover new things or figure out what the issues are.

Dont forget to listen to TDL Mobile this week as we will be discussing all of this in detail.

UPDATE: I still cannot get iMessage to work, have tried with several people now and no luck, messages to be just go missing in the cloud somewhere and messages I try to send fail.  I have been reading a bit online and it might be Apple ID related.  If anyone can shed any light on it please let me know.  I may pop into the Apple store later if I can battle my way past all the frantic iPhone 4S buyers! 🙂

UPDATE 2: (Saturday 15/10/11) –  I came back home after having drinks with friends last night and all of a sudden my iMessage had started working as if by magic, no idea what the problem was but the messages people had sent to me that I thought where lost in the cloud appeared at once and I can now send.  I am also seeing notifications at last for lots of my apps etc.  Not sure if these 2 things where linked or what the problem was, (possibly due to Apples servers being overloaded?) but iOS5 has now become a lot more usable to me and I am liking it at last.

2 thoughts on “iOS5 – My experience & first impressions so far”
  1. If you want to give the Newsstand a try, download The Guardian app which will appear in Newsstand and update overnight. It’s free until January.

    1. Hi John, yeah I actually gave that a try after writing the post yesterday evening, saw the offer on Hot UK Deals. Really nice app.

      Newsstand is ok, it just groups your magazines and newspapers together which you could do yourself, but at least its automated and you get a nice bookshelf design behind it. 🙂

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