5 great apps that should get even better in iOS 5


There are a lot of new features coming in iOS 5, and they should enable App Store developers to do a lot more with their software. Here are a few apps in particular that would benefit from what iOS 5 has to offer.

1. Pages

Apple’s own apps will likely be among the first to bring significant changes that leverage the power of iOS 5. Pages will get support for iCloud’s document syncing services, which means that changes you make on one iOS device should automatically be available to on another (and eventually on the desktop too), without any arduous setup requirements. Numbers, Keynote and other third-party editing suites like Documents to Go should get similar improvements in addition to Pages, which will make working with productivity apps on iOS devices much, much easier. Slide presentation apps will also get more useful thanks to Apple’s AirPlay mirroring feature on the iPad 2 that outputs whatever is on the tablet’s screen to a display device attached to an Apple TV.

2. CNN

One thing I initially liked about CNN’s iPhone and iPad apps was that they would provide push notifications for breaking news. Unfortunately, because of the way Apple implemented its notification system, breaking news updates became just another part of the stream of notification alert windows I had to dismiss to get to the home screen. Now, with the new notification bar and Notification Center, CNN’s breaking news updates will act as an unobtrusive daily record of key developments around the world. The best part is, this one doesn’t even require any action on the developer’s part; it’ll just happen when the new notification system is implemented.

3. Instagram

IOS 5 introduces Core Image, a new API that lets developers have access to hardware-accelerated video and photo enhancement as well as editing features. Built-in filters, color correction and facial recognition should make any photo app more versatile, but I think that if properly integrated in Instagram, it could help the photo-sharing service reach the next level. Used alone, or in tandem with Instragram’s existing filter set, individual user photos will look even more distinct, reducing the similarity that photos shared on the network can sometimes suffer from.

4. Real Racing HD 2

This one’s also a sure thing, as Real Racing HD 2 developer Firemint has already said it plans to support wireless AirPlay two-screen gaming once iOS 5 arrives. If you haven’t seen what playing this game on the iPad 2 and your TV with a wired connection is like, check out my video of the process. Doing the same thing without having to worry about yanking the Apple Digital AV Adapter out of your iPod’s dock connector is an exciting prospect, and it should make even more adventurous two-screen gaming applications a reality.

5. iMockups

I really could’ve chose any design or idea notebook app for this one, but iMockups is a particularly good example, because it’s designed with sharing in mind. In iOS 5, developers will have access to iMessage, so that apps can launch iMessage conversations between individuals or groups directly. For teams which have all members using iOS devices, it should make sharing mockup images for feedback with collaborators and stakeholders that much easier, and that much cheaper, too, since iMessage provides the convenience of MMS without the cost.

Have any other suggestions for apps you think will get a major boost from iOS 5?

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