First Impressions: iOS 5 for iPad
By Chris West

We here at allGeek have gotten our hands on iOS 5, and we can’t get enough. We’ve taken a look at the iPhone version, but the new operating system has some perks specifically for iPad users.

Since the first day I owned an iPad, I’ve wished for the ability to send people text messages. While the new update doesn’t allow me to send ANYONE messages, it sure does allow me to send them to iPhones and iPods. I’ll take what I can get. Anyone with an iPhone will feel right at home. The interface and sounds are the same, except that your message list and the message window appear at the same time. Now if they could just add this feature to OS X it would be perfect.
(Click the images to see them full-size)

The iPhone gets this too, but I actually wanted to mention what the iPad version is missing. The ability to have a reminder sent when you arrive based on your locations is not available (on the iPad 1 anyway), and it’s the same story with the 3GS.

Newsstand seems like a really great way to keep track of all of your magazine subscriptions. This is available on the iPhone as well, but it just works and looks so much better on the iPad. Simply browse the iTunes store for your favorite magazine and add it to the stand. You can purchase a subscription or buy individual issues of the magazine or newspaper once inside the app.

Hurray for tabbed browsing! The new update makes switching between tabs as easy as it is when you’re on a computer. No more opening up a separate window and flicking through icons. Another great feature that was added is reader. This gives you the ability to remove all the ads and clutter on a web page and read it like you were reading a book.

Multitasking Gestures
I would love to tell you all about the Multitasking Gestures for the iPad, but unfortunately they are unavailable on the iPad 1. C’mon Apple!

Splitting Keyboard
A very good addition to my iPad. Typing with your thumbs when in landscape mode can be a bit uncomfortable at times, and this gives your thumbs a little more relaxation. Simply grab the keyboard down button with one thumb, and pull the keyboard apart with the other. It’s such a simple addition, but it works so well.

While the addition of the year view in the calendar was just a small change, it really does come in handy. It gives you an easy way to look at your entire year, and then zoom in on a month or day from there. Simply tap what you want to look at and it changes the view for you.

Notification Center
Another shared feature with iPhones, the notification center makes it just a little bit easier to use your iPad. It doesn’t take up the whole screen like the iPhone version does, and simply lets you know everything that is going on. Reminders, calendar events, iMessages, and almost anything else can be configured to show up on the little screen that is pulled down from the top.

At the end of the day, I would call this a great update. Apple added a decent amount of features that everyone had been asking for. We’re still missing a few things but any complaints at this point are minor. Go download iOS 5 for yourself and let us know how YOU like it!

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  • Teknisyan

    I’m not sure about the splitting keyboard. I think the split-keyboard is leaning more to the iPhone/iPod users than iPad users.