iOS 5.0: My day-one experience

I read quite a few posts yesterday of people who had some rather nightmarish experiences upgrading their iPhones and iPads to iOS 5, some of which resulted in bricked devices. My experience was completely opposite. When I got home, I did the following and it all worked smoothly and without a hiccup:

  1. Upgraded my MacBook to OS 10.7.2
  2. Upgraded iTunes to the latest version (that supports iCloud)
  3. Upgraded my iPhone to iOS 51
  4. Upgraded my iPad to iOS 52

The post upgrade configuration wizard on both devices was easy to use and my devices were working properly.

There were a few things I needed to do once the upgrade was completed:

  1. After upgrading my MacBook, I need to sign into iCloud. The first time I did this, it said my password was invalid, even though it was the right password and it accepted the password and logged me in despite the message.
  2. I configured both my devices for iCloud. Right now, I have everything going to the iCloud except for email3 and the photo stream4
  3. I discovered that by default, the devices are not configured to sync to the laptop wirelessly, so I had to enable that on both devices.
  4. There were a number of apps that required new versions once the upgrade of the devices were complete, so I had to do that as well.

Indeed, I ran into only one minor glitch, as far as I can tell. My iPad was reporting that I had a bunch of videos (a few movies and TV shows), but I could not find them on the device. I took a guess that this was a misreported figure. Either the videos were there and not showing up, or they were not there and the numbers were wrong. So I resynced the iPad, removed all videos, and then put them back on. Once that was done, everything was fine.

And my experience so far…?

  • I love the idea of wireless syncing. I can finally start getting rid of all those cords on my desk. I’ve been wanting to do that forever.
  • More than anything else, the iCloud is the game-changer here. Being able to store data in the cloud seamlessly and access it from all devices is brilliant. Providing an API to app developers to make their applications iCloud aware is genius. I imagine there are still challenges to face (what happens when iCloud is down?) but this is a great leap forward.
  • On a similar note, with the ability to redownload your purchases to your devices, you no longer have to keep large media backups. I backed up all my media (music, movies, videos) to an external disk, which in turn was backed up to the cloud via IDrive. I can now remove that media from IDrive and reclaim some of that 500 GB of backup space for working documents.
  • Love the way messages from various sources pop up and love the one-swipe to bring up the message center.
  • Love the tabbed interface for Safari on the iPad.
  • I’m already making good use of the Reminders app.

I suspect that the update to iOS 5 will make the iPhone and iPad users more productive than ever before and most of that is due to the introduction of the iCloud and being able to seamlessly access data from any machine or device.

I’ll report more as I learn more, but this is the most impressive upgrade I’ve seen from Apple so far.

  1. It took 11 minutes to download the update over my connection.
  2. Apparently, you can’t download both updates at the same time.
  3. I used Gmail so there’s no need to store my mail in iCloud.
  4. I am 1 version behind in iPhoto, but the truth is, I use Picasa for my photos in the cloud and I like Picasa better. Sorry, Apple.


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