iOS 5 is nice–but iCloud changes everything

Installing iOS 5 last night took me more than an hour – and this was just the first indication that a lot of changes to the iPhone / iPad OS are coming our way.

On the surface you find all the stuff we already knew about now for a while and as always I am very much pleased with the low-key and simple implementation.

For the Enterprise use we finally got reminders – or as we Exchange people like to call them: Tasks. Synchronization works immediate – just like email. You can also sync more than one task list – so my iCloud account calendar task-list is synced too (and here you find those cool location based reminders!).

The camera is fast, pictures seem a little bit better in dark light.

The latest additions presented by Apple last week (cards, Find Friends) are not part of the iOS update but standalone Apps you download from the App Store – unfortunately cards uses location information and therefore I have to spend 4,49€ to send a card to anywhere in the world – I hoped it would recognize that I am using an US Apple ID and use the US prices.

The notification center and banner notifications are helpful – however I kind of like the badges and popups from the past, so I will have to see how I use them. Fortunately Apple gives you very granular control over the Notification system.

Many of the other Apps I couldn’t try yet (iMessage, Find Friends) as I need someone else who has already updated (I wanted to test with my iPad but there the update failed last night because the Apple Servers were obviously overwhelmed). So more on that later.

The real killer feature for me this time around is iCloud – especially for the Enterprise usage. I used iWork and dropbox before to have exchange documents with my iPhone or iPad,most of the times I just emailed myself whatever document or presentation I wanted to take with me. Now I can just drag and drop documents into iCloud:

No local installation of any Application on my Windows machine necessary. It takes the PowerPoint presentation and changes it into Keynote format – all you need is Keynote, Pages and Numbers installed on your iPhone/iPad and an iCloud account (for free at icloud.com).

Now the only missing piece is a 99€ Apple TV connected to your Beamer or TV Screen and you can Mirror these documents directly from your iPhone.

Of course iCloud does more than just that, including PhotoStream and making all my Music available to me on all devices at all times. But for business use the seamless integration of Keynote, Numbers and Pages (PowerPoint, Excel and Word) changes the game and will push iOS devices even more into the enterprise environment.

Let me know when you find something else exciting – I will test my iPad next and hopefully the iPhone 4s will arrive on Friday.