Posted By ] Juli
As you probably know, the details of iOS 5 were released today at the Wordlwide Developer’s conference, and while we’re covering all of the new features that are coming, we wanted to give you a more in depth look at Mail and Safari, both of which are getting exciting new changes.
iOS 5 won’t be released until the fall, but we’ve got a lot to look forward to. Safari is already a very popular web browser, and 2/3rds of all mobile web browsing is done with Safari. It’s always lacked some necessary features, and I’m pleased to say that iOS 5 changes all of that.
Currently, we can’t open tabs, which is possibly the most frustrating thing about using Safari on a mobile device. In iOS 5, tabbed browsing is fully supported and lightning fast. When fall rolls around, you’ll be able to browse the Internet on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch in the same way you browse on a PC or Mac.
Safari Reader is another new browser function that will make reading news articles more enjoyable. It strips out all distractions and excess content, presenting only the text of a web page. It even combines multiple page stories into one flowing piece. This feature will be accessible from a new button in the address bar.
A built in Reading List will allow you to mark pages that you want to read later, much like bookmarking. Your Reading List can sync across multiple devices, so you’ll always know just what you wanted to read, regardless of which device you’re using. Full story and website content can be emailed to anyone (instead of just sending a link), and Twitter integration is included.
Mail, like Safari, is one of iOS’s most used applications. In iOS 5 Mail will be receiving some significant changes, making it more user friendly. There is a new ergonomic split keyboard option, which can be accessed by dragging the keyboard up. This keyboard is smaller, and perfect for typing with your thumbs. Bringing up your Mail inbox in portrait mode is simple – it just takes a single swipe.
There is a new system-wide dictionary that functions like the one in iBooks. In Mail, if you don’t know a word, you can tap it and get a dictionary definition. Searching has been changed and enhanced, allowing you to search through entire messages as well as subject titles. I wasn’t aware that search wasn’t already doing this, but thinking about it, I haven’t always gotten great search results, so this should beef up searching quite a bit.
Messages can be flagged and marked unread, email addresses can be dragged from one field to another (such as to, cc, bcc, etc.) controlled indentation is supported, and most importantly, rich-text formatting has been added so that you can now use functions like bold, underline, and italics to emphasize your messages. Good news for exchange customers: S/MIME has been implemented, and a lock will appear when you’re sending an encrypted message.
These updates of Mail and Safari include some must have features that I have been sorely missing on my iDevices. In fact, a lot of these are things that should have been added years ago, and I’m certainly excited to welcome iOS 5. Are you happy with the feature set being added with iOS 5? Did Apple leave out anything you were expecting?