iOS 5: What we didn't get

Now that the excitement has died down after the WWDC keynote, let’s consider what is missing from iOS 5. There has been a huge amount of speculation over the last few months about what to expect. This often leads to huge disappointment when the actual details are revealed. These are a few of the areas that are still lacking in iOS 5. Of course things could still change and get added into iOS 5 prior to its debut in the Fall.

  • System Wide Voice Control, not a single mention of this. It is still an area where iOS needs to catch up with Android.
  • SMS Messaging application is still basic compared with the jailbreak alternatives like BiteSMS; despite what Scott Forstall would like you to believe. No quick reply options to be had and you still have to go into the app each time you want to reply.
  • Themes and Customizations are still missing. The 20 icon screen layout is here to stay for at least until iOS 6. Still No customized Email tones either.
  • Folder Passwords would have been a simple addition to iOS 5, a simple way to keep your personal information and apps away from others.
  • Synergy, this one was a bit of a long shot but would have been a great addition in iOS 5. The ability for your iPad and iPhone to talk and work together would have been great. HP can do it why not Apple?

Are there any more glaring omissions from iOS 5 that you can think of? Let us know in the comments!


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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iOS 5: What we didn't get


I think System Wide Voice Control will be introduced with the new iPhone in Sept. All the other stuff are not things that I really need for my iPhone so I'm pretty much happy with iOS 5.

I totally agree iPhone 5 will probably have system wide voice controls + will probably have a new led indicator light (like the one on the magic mouse and apple wireless keyboard).

Multi-user capabilities. Sharing an iPad sucks. eMail, facebook, twitter, GameCenter, whatever - we need to be able to switch user profiles easily on iPads - unless they want to release a $100 iPad so I can buy one for each family member... At $500 we have to share.

That's what I was Going to say. User profiles for the iPad. Having to filter through my daughter's apps is lame. Makes me long for the Window's start menu.
Auto app organization would be cool too. Move the most frequently used apps forward.

Has he tried not allowing others to use his device?
No pity. No one handles my devices but me... unless they want to trade me with their wallets or purses to nose through.

Same here. I'm very possessive on my devices. Unless she's hot. Then it's another thing. Rare it is finding hot girls interested in my devices though.

Two slow home button clicks, three if you're in an app already, to get to Spotlight.
Guess there's another feature we can add the list in the article that HP has with Just Type easy and quick search.

To be honest, I am impressed that this list is getting pretty small. I am not a iOS kind of a guy but apple's strategy of laying in the heavy hitter features first and then filling in with the basic features seems to be paying off.
I wonder if the whole voice control thing is just not ready for prime time, they have the code for it, or if it just needs beefier hardware so they are holding it out to make iPhone 5 a meaningful upgrade.

One of the latest rumors is that Apple are working on system-wide voice control, but it wasn't ready in time for the keynote. So we might see it once iOS 5 comes out. I'm taking it with a huge planetoid of salt, tho, as it is just a rumor at this point.

Having your game saves backed up to the cloud as well. Especially ones with Game Center.

This can be done by the developers using iCloud. They can store key value pairs and complete files if needed.

Transfer in app content. Most talked about would be game saves would be great to transfer from old device to a new one.

Yeah, the customized SMS/tones is still missing, but I would think that has to be soon? Sure they want to make money on selling ringtones, but you can't customize any of the "simple tones" as I call them.

I agree with the messaging, I love BiteSMS, my main reason for jailbreaking, the notifications is a step in the right direction but not good enough. Personlized SMS tones, i.e. AnyRing or UnlimTones from Cydia are both great, and of course SBS settings, who can live without that? All would have been easy additions to iOS 5. Other things I could live without if I had those, like themes etc. Nevertheless, I will be jailbreaking iOS 5 at my earliest convenience, Dev team, geohot, comex, greenpois0n, etc. (sorry if I left someone off) are my heroes...

Customized email tones or do you mean customized email tones based on sender? I saw a screen shot on Engadget that appears to let you change the New Mail tone.

On a sidenote, what we also didn't get is continued compatibility with Netflix (and supposedly Hulu Plus) in the iOS 5 upgrade. It will no longer stream. Chalk it up to an API issue or some other incompatibility.

This is why they release developer previews, so that the developers of applications can get their applications working in the new OS. The new versions of the apps, for at least most of the major players, are important to the success of a new OS, so they might even have had the developer preview versions of iOS before the "developer public" got a hold of it.

It could also be a way to force them to go through app approval again so Apple can force them to all add in-app subscription purchase options. We'll just have to see how it eventually plays out.

They are still missing widgets, and I feel like that was rumored on a lot of sites, but maybe that's a sign that apples doesn't want to go in the direction. And if they did/do, they are gonna put their own spin on it to make it their own and nothing like android.

How about getting AirPrint to work on ALL printers like it was originally designed to do in iOS 4??? I guess that got swept under the rug. I also would have liked to have been able to do FaceTime over 3G, but I'm more bent out of shape about the printing. There is no reason why I can't print from my iPad without buying a special HP printer. Wi-Fi print sharing has been around for years now. WTF?

If you are willing to leave your PC or MAC on, then get AirPrint Hacktivator. Enables airprint to any printer - Free too.

Jailbreak and buy TruPrint - works great. It installs the drivers for whatever printers you would like.

Thanks - but that's part of the problem. I shouldn't have to jailbreak for what I consider to be basic functionality.

the key here is that it's what YOU consider basic functionality.
Do you know how often I print? well, lets just say my ink dries up before it ever runs out.
of times I've wanted to print from my iPad ever: 0
of times I forsee it happening: 0
And I know I'm not alone on that. Printing is a niche, believe it or not.

Actually I think that not wanting to be able to print is more of a niche, especially since Apple is trying to push their products into the business space just as much as they are trying to push them into the consumer space.

I was watching the keynote and at 1:17 they showed a list of more user features to come and one of them says iTunes tone store. I hope that's tones for email and SMS.

Regarding themes and customizations -- I'm pretty sure I saw a reference to "iTunes theme store" (or something to that effect) on the screen when Scott was talking about all the other features that he didn't get to discuss.

Yes, it was the iTunes Tone Store, where ringtones will be available. Also on the screen behind him in smaller print (to Scott's left/your right as you watch it), there was a clear reference to customizable tones (I don't remember the exact wording of it).

I still want to be able to remove the core apps like Stock, weather and Voice Recorder. I never use them and could use the space (no matter how small the apps are)

Honestly, when we're having to dig this deep (short of the quick reply, BiteSMS-style notification handling), Apple's doing pretty good. iOS 5 will be, in my mind, the game changer for the iDevice. Many (if not all) of the general user's gripes have been addressed, and that's the magic recipe to increased sales.
That being said, let's hope that battery life doesn't take a hit on the current devices (iPhone 4/iPad 2/iPod Touch 4G) as a result of these updates.

I agree I'm wondering what the constant connection to icloud will do to my battery life.

Apple is taking the same approach they have always taken with OS updates. They add a couple of "major" features and introduce numerous tweaks and minor updates. This strategy works for them. If you want a phone that you can completely customize then you should not have bought an iPhone.

I don't even care about system wide widgets but PLEASE...a LIVE UPDATING weather icon!!!! Would it be hard to add a dozen or so animations and a changing temperature? The calendar widget changes, has since day 1. Give the user the option of push frequency if you're worried about battery life.

Battery life is not a concern here - the main squirt of juice is already used to get the hourly update for the lock screen. Since the same data could be used to change the icon, I could see Apple adding this in short order. It is a little more design work than the calendar, since the icon as well as the text must change, and the text must respect preferences (F or C), but it is probably on Apple's to-do list.
What I'd really like to see is this polling mechanism, as well as lockscreen/icon presence, opened up to other apps - for weather specifically, I would take Weatherbug, TWC, or Shine over the stock weather app. But that will be a long time comin'

Tons of apps have this feature. Ranging from 99 cent apps to $100 apps, from small apps that require a network connection to 2GB apps that have all the maps without any internet needed.

Here's what apple does. They make great solid products but they always leave out key OS features. How long did it take for them to implement a better system notification? 5 iterations? They will always continue to sell their products short so that it gives them room to push their new products and ios every year. That way it keeps people interested and they all go ohhh ahhh yay go apple good job! Sad really. I just can't understand how they haven't changed some key features in their ios yet. These same features introduced yesterday have already been done. Like custom SMS tones. A small gripe but really apple is it that hard to do?

I know that you'd just love to think that it's some big conspiracy to keep us buying products, but as a system software dev, let me tell you, adding new features is FAR from trivial. The rate at which Apple's been adding stuff, and the sheer number of features introduced since the first iPhoneOS, is staggering in scope. Could they have added more? Probably not without sacrificing somewhere else. And that's not Apple. Do it right, or don't do it.

Um ... Besides system wide vice control (speech to txts capabilities) and the lack of improvement to the messages I'm really excited about iOS 5. It didn't really boost my needs to jailbreaking, but it didn't kill them at all. I think that "stock" iOS 5 might be good enough to try and wait for and "official" jailbreak. Previous versions, no. (imo)

I thought of a few things in question that immediately came up for me
User X created this event, would like to view this event? (for shared cloud calendar) versus just syncing it in the background. Give a notification. I mean people have wives that are going to say, "well, I added it to your calendar, why didn't you see it?"
Send invites to view your cloud photos. If I have 3 iPhones in the house and my wife or girlfriend takes a "pic" for me, or wants to sext a little. I don't want to worry about that info getting auto beamed to my kids iPhone.
This could be a problem. Then you have guys out there that want to play at the office, maybe with a cute new co-worker, wife sitting at home watching the entire conversation get updated in front of her eyes. Disaster waiting to happen. So convenience turns into total chaos, and a divorce. Lol stay single guys. I like it this way!

Exactly my thoughts. Auto updating of contacts too could cause issues for some. Hopefully apple will allow you to opt out if syncing certain pics,docs,contacts etc or control which devices they are shared to

If the iPhone 5 does not carry more than what we saw in iOS 5 I will be taking a break from the iPhone. I still love my MacBook but this is getting ridiculous.

I was disappointed not to see some sort of Palm Synergy-style live updating contacts. I may have found an alternative in the "Friends" app from Taptivate (although it's not in the app store right now for some reason). It combines a bunch of social networks in one so you can view a person's posts all in one place:
Quick-reply for SMS would have been amazing. I used to have BiteSMS when I was JB'd and it was a lifesaver.

Need to be able to forward a calendar event! I get meeting invites from my customer and can't forward them to appropriate coworkers? That's nuts for business users!

iCloud IS there form of synergy. To be fair it does provide a lot of great functionality with iWork. Also you can easily transfer links now via the reading list or via email. It's not exactly Palm Touch Pad stuff, but that's not really Apple's thing right now.

Whats missing... most important in my book, FLASH. So annoying that my Droid X does more than my iPad when it comes to internet browsing.

The notification is good. But not magicly impresive since android had it first (i honestly admit it). And with the features of iOS 5, apple is trying to convince me that i still need cydia at my iDevice.

PROFILES PROFILES PROFILES...!.... had this years ago on old WinMobile phones and the like. I want to have groups of contacts that can have different ringtones etc (groups, not individuals). Plus more importantly I want a work and home mode, maybe location active that sends any of my work contacts straight to voicemail out of hours etc. Maybe a setting for personal contacts to go straight to voicemail and/or receive a friendly instant text when I'm in a meeting which iOS would know as it says so in the calendar. How simple would it be? The technology is 7 or 8 years old as it is.

I am so with Rene on the Synergy feature. It wold have beebn really night to recieve text messages and phone calls using the Bluetooth technology like what HP is doing with the Pre 3 and TouchPad. I was so hoping Jobs was going to say that yesterday.

You forgot ponies and money trees! ;)

  1. Smart agents. Based on my usage patterns, the OS should know what I'm about to do next. I'm serious here. It should load the weather app and update the weather when my alarm goes off in the morning. It should load the Calendar and tell me what my schedule is by 8 am. This isn't something it knows to do right away, but will learn from my usage patterns and then start prefetching, preloading, start-in-time, whatever you call it. I shouldn't have to set my alarms either. And it should be location aware.
  2. Honey-do pushes and reminders. My SO can just send a push, with proper notifications, reminders of what I need to do. Based on my life patterns, it'll also remind me that I need to pay/check my bills, mow my yard, do my run, play some sport, take the kids somewhere. And no, entering it to the calendar won't work. It just needs to know based on location and maybe a little input.
  3. Drag-n-drop items with application split-view. Multifinger drag an app, stop with the two apps partially in view, drag-n-drop what you want.
  4. Natural language interface for both voice and keyboard. I can write something like: What is the grocery list from the SO? or Remind me to reply to Joe Smith about the foo widget on Tuesday? or what's the weather this weekend? It should as deep as possible.

Themes and Customizations are still missing. The 20 icon screen layout is here to stay for at least until iOS 6. Still No customized Email tones either.
The part about customized email tones is actually a feature now

although Lime's reasoning is... well... "questionalble" I have to agree - we have 5 iDevices amoung 3 users all syncing on the same iTunes account - will iCloud be able to differentiate between the 3 users? I don't want my son's & husband's emails/music/photos etc but we will still want to "share" some apps & music.

System wide voice control... yeah that needs to be their next area of concentration. I think we'll be seeing that in 6.
I think SMS is a bad thing. I like the surprise of iMessage. Let them work on a FREE alternative to overly expensive SMS plans then work on the messaging app itself. Quick reply is a nice to have but such a small thing compared to all the data syncing they did. Messages are good, SMS is bad. Once true message networking is worked out (messaging based on the internet) then it will be a good thing.
Themes are bad. Themes don't add to an interface, they just "look cool" and potentially take away from an interface. Themes don't help you get work done and could make the interface go slower, and in phones could drain battery life. Just look at the motion wallpaper on Android. Seems nice, until you realize it kills your battery life.
Folder passwords seem silly. It's a personal device, meant for one person, if you don't want to put information on the device, don't put it there, or keep a lock on the device. Be a parent. Sure it's nice to have but now you are just reaching for things to write about that are inconsequential.
Synergy... dude... the new paradigm is Cloud. This synergy thing is totally out date and you really are writing about inconsequential things. You really are reaching. It's 2011... if you want true synergy use a cloud app like Google or iCloud. Google's app work great for me and I plan on trying out iCloud when it comes out.
The only thing of note in this post is the lack of voice control.

iPhone yes. But iOS works on the iPad 2. I think you'll agree that you could have multiple users for an iPad, no?

I've been hoping for the ability to import and export files onto an SD card via the camera connection kit. While Apple has made a point of avoiding file management functionality in the interest of user simplicity, I think it would be great if I didn't have to jailbreak my iPad 2 and load iFile just to view files other than photos on an SD card. iCloud is elegant but not much use without Internet connectivity and decent bandwidth.

Look this virtually the same looking ui since 2007. It's old and dated. The features in iOS 5 are great but it's really time to add some new polish to ui. One thing they could do is use the icons on osx instead of the rounded squares.

I agree with what you're saying...but the old statement of "if it's not broke, why fix it" seems to be working for Apple. Even with an old design, millions of people are still flocking to the experience. I do hope a refresh comes - but I wouldn't expect anything too drastic.

Sorry if this was asked or has been announced - but what about multiple email signatures? I hate having to modify my signature depending on which of the 5 email address I am sending from. No, I don't want to jailbreak, and even then I heard the application that permits that is a pain to use anyway. Is this a new feature in iOS5?

From the way the AAPL stock's tanking after the keynote, I'm assuming the stock holders/investors were expecting something other than this small list. Any thoughts on what that was (well, other than the next iPhone)?

By all metrics, AAPL is undervalued. But "stock" value has a large emotional component, and there's are a few emotional ones holding it back.

  1. The so-called law of large numbers. AAPL has the largest stock valuation for a tech company and 2nd overall. It'll take long term, proven performance with locked-in revenue streams for it to breakthrough the current levels.
  2. Steve Jobs simply does not look healthy. He's had not visual improvement over the past few months. Maybe he is actually better, but he certainly doesn't look it.
  3. AAPL won't break through current levels until they've proven that they can create hit products to follow the iPhone, iPad. And they have to do it without Jobs to prove to investors that the company has institutionalized it's hit product making ability.

This is why I've sold all my AAPL shares save one symbolic one. I expect a stasis in the stock until AAPL has proven they can make hit products without Steve Jobs. There will (hopefully) be a low where I can by back soon.

I would like to see app updates pushed to a notification instead of having to open the AppStore to see them.

There should be a way to blacklist & whitelist telephone numbers. A call filter option ( like Mcleaner in Cydia ) would have been of great help

the one thing i think apple is missing out on is putting your photos in seperate folders instead onf one giant folder or do they already have that and i just dont know it yet ??

This functionality has been added now. (Ability to move photos into folders on the iOS device)

Now they only have to let you manage/browse/explore files and folders in your device's hard disk. That is something I have been missing since my very first ipod and I do not like the apps available for that. That would make my iphone as smart as BBs and Android devices.
What about an "attach file" option in the e-mail app?
Seriously, great phone for anything but productivity IMHO.

You could already do photos in folders. You had to do it on your computer and in iTunes u can just check the folder u want to add to ur device. I have all my photos in specific folders already.

ios 5 needs to catch up sooo badly...
notifications are already 2010, custom SMS ringtones are something I had on my V3i, custom sms apps were introduced in 2006, and STILL they are in the lead... I am switching from ios to android and frankly, i am glad to do this.

Go for it, we won't miss you. I hate it when people say "oh my 10 year old phone did that and Apple now calls it innovative?" damn straight. even though a lot of these features have been seen in the past with lesser phones, Apple is the only one to implement them beautifully. If you can't appreciate that, then by all means go to Android. fyi I'm not an apple fanboy, I love most their products don't get me wrong, but I also love android and everything they've accomplished.

How is that? Because I said that Apple implements their software much better than other companies? I think most people would agree.

Yeah, nothing like implementing most things half way, but doing it so "beautifully", that everyone praises them for it. Kind of like building a beautiful looking car, but only including a box for a seat and two ropes tied to the wheels to turn. Never mind it functionality is outdated. At least it "looks pretty". Sounds pretty Fanboy-ish to me...

If you think Apple software is elegant, is because you never used iTunes on Windows. Anyway, 1000archangels raised valid points, OTA sync is being done by Nokia for years now, beautifully, it just works. Notifications on Android are also implemented beautifully, just works too. Apple has no monopoly on innovation or decent implementation. Only fanboys go about hating people that criticize Apple or raise valid points. Guess what, everybody hates people who hate.

We can't just jump to conclusions. It's still the first beta after-all, and they said there's over 200 new features so there's still hope. We won't know for sure until it's publicly released.
@kevin - they already have that lol it's in another post on here.

I believe you actually can have custom email tones for sent and received. You'll probably be able to buy some from that mysterious "iTunes Tones Store"....

The NUMBER ONE issue for me since I got my first iPhone and tried to move from my Treo is the lack of programmable calendar alerts and snooze (ie. remind me in 5 minutes).
I know there is a crude work-around to set an alarm to match your calendar alert, or as I do: only create appointments in google web and make the default to send an sms 45 minutes before and an alarm 20 minutes. Both of those options are a pain and it doesn't "just work". I have missed so many alerts since I got the iPhone due to it's inaudible "dieing cricket" alerts.

Customized text sounds?
Ability to forward text messages?
Ability to save text attachments, such as a video clip or sound file?

And please, please, please, why do I have to scroll all the way down my e-mails to see the attachments?

Dude you can forward text messages-- Tap edit and mark the text you want to forward. Saving audio and video clip would be nice. Maybe it is one of those 200 features or some third party app can handle.

I think you missed some things Chris:
-There are now options for custom email & sms tones, etc.
-There are options for quick replies in Messaging (ie, omw = On My Way, can set up custom ones too)
-iCloud can do almost eveything HP's Synergy does, including leaving a message on one device & picking it up on another
-Many websites have already reported that Voice command & voice to text was planned to be demoed, but they didn't finish it in time for WWDC. It should be in the final ios5 according to those reports.

I have iOS 5 installed, and you CAN set custom email and text tones. Right now, they're limited to the "new" text tones, but there is a link to "buy more" so, it's almost certainly going to eventually work with the "iTunes Tone Store." I'm actually of the opinion that iTunes ringtones will get rolled into the new "Tones Store"

Hmm 200 features and a new tone store that wasn't announced and LED notifications on calls and alerts and the first beta is out and yet people still find faults without even giving it time to breath.

It's missing profile switching like jailbreak app MyProfiles, or like Blackberry has had with "Bedside Mode" for years. Plug the iPhone in to the charger between the hours of 11pm to 7am (customizable), and it turns off all tones and alerts except phone calls (also customizable) and switches to the alarm clock. I also configure it so that when I connect to my car's bluetooth, it turns off WiFi. When I'm in the office and it connects to the company's WiFi, it turns down the ringer to a very low level and turns off bluetooth. Android has had this for a while baked right in.
Also, seconding on SB Settings and BiteSMS functionality. I can't understand why they don't add this. Infinidock would also be nice.

Well, I'm pretty satisfied with iOS 5, and I'm just happy that all the major stuff (like notifications & PC-free synching) finally got added; all the little minor things it still lacks would be nice to have but aren't that big a deal. iOS finally feels "complete" to me now; I put it in quotes 'cos there's always room for further improvements, refinements, & expansions to the OS.

Wish there was a customized homescreen option instead of having to be stuck with the same old app icons.

“iOS 5: What we didn’t get”... Flash. i understand ALL of the reasons why we shouldn't run flash on the iphone, but why should it be up to apple to decide for me whether or not i should drain my battery and such? we're americans. land of opportunity, options. give me the OPTION to go to a site that contains flash or not. don't take some of my freedom.

I actually liked it very much, I think they're going well, I consider that if they were to add everything at once, it would be very difficult to learn every new feature. So it's good...

I 100% agree with you there.
I am guessing that with android, there are millions of things that don't arrive of which were expected.
If they done everything at once, they would have billions of flaws. I am starting to here good things about android but the bad things from android have kept me well away and will always do. Windows 8 looks amazing, all the live tiles of apps but I still will stick with Mac os and iOS as my main os based devices, even if it does require a hack to make it work for you 99.9%.
I did not want to jailbreak my iPod but seeing some of the things with a jailbreak, I can not live without it. And I have also made such a long p.w for root and ssh login. It is 57 characters long. The longest that I am guessing anybody in any of my schools/youth clubs have been able to do.
So I know that nobody is going to get past my aluminum case very easy.

  • An ability to empty the inbox with one button to clear out those 100+ duplicates that are on my computer
  • A Facebook-like update swipe on the Inbox screen - just swipe the screen downwards to check for mail.

To note: Synergy isn't what you think it is. webOS's Synergy is the way Contacts are grouped and matched across all your networks, and an individual network login becomes a "Provider" of certain services. A Google login becomes an Email, Contacts, Calendar, Chat, Video upload and Image upload provider. Facebook will provide Contacts, Calendar, Chat, and Images. An Exchange account provides just Email, Contacts, and Calendar. Synergy is used across the system, making all your networks totally integrated. Next to the card metaphor, this is the killer feature of that OS, and to my knowledge, nobody else has anything even close.
What you're thinking of is called Touch to Share, the ability that the Pre3 (which was never released) and the Veer (which only just got the ability through a software update, despite the product now being cancelled) have of sending information to the Touchpad on a tap. It was pretty cool, but there are almost no consumers who ever got a chance to actually try it.
That said, Android 4.0 is going to have a feature called "Beam" which looks an awful lot like it using the NFC coils, but goes between any two devices. That'll be nifty.

Agree with you that the lack of customization--and launcher apps-- is a disappointment! That was great fun with the Palm PDAs.
I'd really prefer a tabbed home screen (left hand side) to the folder tapping.
But the absolute biggest omission is the continued lack of a Snooze function for the alerts. That has screwed me up many times. Palm had that way back in the 20th century, 10-15 years ago!

Thought of one other feature-- the lack of ability to customize the top status bar and the lock screen. I'd like to remove the time in both places! I can see others wanting to add such things as date, weather symbol, moon phase, etc.

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