Updating the iPad2 to iOS 5
Overall the upgrade process was really easy and for the most part pain free. I did of course sync the device before the upgrade to have a current backup of all my apps and music and stuff. After the upgrade file was finished downloading, the actual upgrade process took only a few minutes and once it was done the device powered on to a few new welcome screen to select options for the new iCloud setup. It then loaded the home screen and the first and most notable difference was the icon for the music player changed from iPod to Music and was a darker color orange.
- Going into the new music interface I was greeted with both some cool changes and some minor annoyances. The biggest issue was that most of my music collections album artwork no longer was displayed in any of the views. I was able to fix that by removing (deleting) albums from the device and then re-syncing the music back onto the iPad. This didn’t take long but was a pain because i had to write down the music I needed to recopy. After my music and artwork was back I found that the music player interface received a polish in just about every view. No major changes other than the GUI but a lot of the screens were improved. This especially goes for the full screen mode and maybe it’s just me but my artwork all seems to look clearer.
- As I am writing this post on the iPad I am taking advantage of another sweet new feature of the upgrade which is the ability to move the keyboard up the screen and it splits it for perfect thumb typing in portrait mode. It is also nice that it lets you drag it around so you can position where you want it and always find your center sweet spot without it getting in the way at all. In general using the keyboard seems to be an improved experience regardless of the mode.
- One of the other noticeable changes is with Safari the browser. It now has a tabbed viewing for all open pages. I personally do not like this change as I liked the windows tiled with a preview. If you are working on a few pages on the same domain the descriptions get cut off in the tabs and makes it difficult to tell which page is what. I really liked that windowed view and can’t believe it is not even an option as they force you to use the new tabs. I heard that Safari on the iPhone kept that since the screen would be to small for tabs, so it would have been nice to at least keep it an option for those who keep many pages open in portrait mode.
- They also added a few new icons for new apps like the messaging app and a reminders app and also a newsstand app for downloading newspaper and magazine content in the little viewer app. All of these new apps seem pretty lame and should have already been built in.
- Something else that is new is the notification area which you can pull down at the top of screen in an orientation, and again I don’t see much use for this. The new multi point gestures are pretty cool as you can easily swipe back to the home screen or swipe between open apps or swipe up to get the multi tasking bar. These are nice improvements and overall the experience on the iPad with the new iOS version is really cool.
Summary is that this is pretty nice upgrade and although nothing major, a few nice changes make this a worthwhile upgrade.