Monday, July 11, 2011

iOS 5 Beta 3 released with new features, including hints of buttonless devices

iOS 5 Beta 3 released with new features, including hints of buttonless devices: "

ios 5Apple has released the 3rd beta version of iOS 5. Like all other beta versions, it is only available for developers to test. What we all want to know is what’s new! Check out the list after the break, compiled of my own findings and those of 9to5Mac.

  • iCloud is finally launched, partially. Developers can test it both online and on their device. Previously, iCloud was very limited. In this beta version, Apple has turned on support for free email addresses and migration of MobleMe to iCloud. Again, if you are not a developer, you will not be able to migrate just yet. iCloud backups in iOS are also enabled.

  • All online video is now AirPlay compatible. Previously, websites must make videos compatible with AirPlay. Thanks to a new plugin in iOS 5, all videos will now work with AirPlay. Furthermore, Photo Stream will now work on AirPlay and Apple TV.

  • When an app’s notification badge count is reset to 0 by the app developer, any related notifications will clear from Notification Center.

  • AssistiveTouch added to Accessibility features, allowing you to control various functions on-screen, which previously needed to be done with dedicated buttons. For example, you can now lock the device, lock orientation, change volume, and change orientation all from the screen without going to a button. While 3 of these can be done without buttons already, locking the device required the Sleep/Wake button. In Beta 3, this new control panel will cancel that need. This new control panel (which I like to refer to as the “orb”) hints that future iOS devices may not have any physical buttons. Currently, the control panel is listed as an Accessibility feature but we believe Apple will eventually create a button-free devices and add this control panel for all iOS users. Check out a video demonstration of the “orb” below.

  • You can now set different tones for SMS, iMessage, email and other various social services. Those sounds can also be customized by caller ID.

We will update this post as new features come in. However, Beta 3 seems to mostly bring bug fixes from earlier beta versions rather than new features.

Below is a video demonstrating AssistiveTouch, referred to as the “orb” in the video. AssistiveTouch can be enabled via the Accessibility menu on the device.


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