The 5 best iOS 5 features not highlighted at WWDC


Apple highlighted 10 features of iOS 5 at its WWDC keynote Monday morning, but there are over 200 new features coming to iOS devices when the update arrives in July. Here are another five awesome things iOS 5 will do to shake up your iPhone or iPad.

AirPlay mirroring

The iPad 2 can mirror its display, apps, home screen and all, to a TV or other connected display via the Apple Digital AV Adapter and an HDMI cable. But having a long cord tethering your iPad to your TV is no fun. That’s why it’s great that iOS 5 will bring AirPlay Mirroring, which will let you do the same thing without wires, so long as you have an Apple TV (the new little black model) attached to your television. It should be great for watching movies and slideshows, but latency issues could hinder its usefulness when it comes to gaming. We’ll have to wait and see how it performs.

Wi-Fi sync

Apple showed off how its iOS devices will be able to go PC-free when iOS 5 arrives, but if you still want to grab your music and movies from iTunes, you can do so over a local Wi-Fi network from your Mac or PC instead of having to plug your device in. Apple does say “it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes” every time “you connect your iOS device to a power source,” but it isn’t clear if that’s a requirement.

Multitouch gestures

The iPad gets expanded multitouch gestures, which have actually been available to developers before now. They include the ability to close apps with four finger pinches, swiping up to reveal the multitasking bar, or swiping left and right to switch between open apps. I’ve had hands-on experience with these, and they actually make a bigger (positive) difference than you might expect.

Custom vibration and LED flash settings

It’s technically an Accessibility option, but Apple is bringing user-customizable vibration and LED flash settings to the iPhone in iOS 5. You probably can’t make it specific for each contact in your address book, but it should let you know at a glance (or at a feel) whether you’re getting an email, a text message, or an iMessage.

Split keyboard

I have big hands, so I can wrangle thumb typing on the iPad without too much discomfort, but it’s not exactly fun. For those with daintier digits, it’s downright frustrating. The new split keyboard should make it much easier to type out emails without having to deploy an iPad stand and assume a more traditional typing position.

Did you watch or follow the keynote and have other suggestions of your own of great iOS 5 features not exactly given center stage today? Let us know in the comments


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