iOS 5 brings a lot of great new features to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad but more than that -- it lets developers bring us even better apps and games! Whether it's a great old app that's been updated with amazing new functionality, or a brand new app that never would have been possible before, they now get access to everything from Documents in the Cloud to AirPlay Mirroring to Twitter integration to Newsstand, to persistent location and more.
There will no doubt be a flood of them soon but for right now, right this minute, here are a list of our favorites, the ones we think are the best -- TiPb's Top 5 apps that support awesome new iOS 5 features!
iWork Numbers, Pages, and Keynote (Documents in the Cloud)
Apple's iWork productivity suite includes the Numbers spreadsheet, the Pages word processor, and the Keynote presentation maker. While not as powerful as Microsoft's ubiquitous Office suite, for smaller jobs they can make for even more beautiful, better laid out documents. And now, Documents in the Cloud. It only makes sense that Apple is right out of the gate with iCloud support for their own apps, and that the support is pretty good. Any Numbers, Pages, or Keynote document that you start on your iPhone or iPad is stored up on iCloud and pushed back down to all your other devices, including -- eventually -- the iWork apps on the Mac.
There's no file system, no file management. The idea is for you to simply open your apps and find your documents there waiting for you, up to date and ready for more. If editing on all your iOS and OS X devices is important for you, iWork is now a powerful, easy way to do it.
Note: iWork apps are universal, so you only have to buy once to use on all your iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad. However, each app needs to be bought separately, and the Mac versions need to be bought separately as well.
- Numbers - $9.99 App Store link
- Pages - $9.99 - [App Store link](mt=8 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pages/id361309726?mt=8&at=10l3Vy
- Keynote - $9.99 App Store link
Magazine and newspaper apps (Newsstand)
While many people seem to hate even the presence of Newsstand on their home screens, it actually manages to very neatly solve several problems previously associated with subscription media like magazines and newspapers. It's really just a custom folder, and magazines and newspapers are still served up as apps, but Newsstand keeps them all in one place, updates automagically when new issues "come out", and takes you to a subscription section of the App Store so you don't have to wade through games and novelty apps to find your periodicals.
Those magazine and newspaper apps had to update for iOS 5 to support Newsstand, but many already have and many more will update shortly. If subscriptions are your thing, Newsstand, if not perfect, is certainly better.
Note: Some apps are universal, many aren't. Check for the + symbol on a case-by-case basis.
- Variable - App Store link
Real Racing 2 and Real Racing 2 HD (AirPlay Mirroring)
FireMint is always at the cutting edge of iOS gaming and iOS 5 is no different. They've already updated Real Racing 2 for iPhone and Real Racing 2 HD for iPad to support the new AirPlay Mirroring feature. It lets you stream your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 interface -- including any app or game -- through an Apple TV to a big screen HDTV. FireMint takes it to a whole new level -- they offer full on Party Play. What that means is you and up to 4 people total can each use an iPhone 4S or iPad 2 to race, multiplayer style, on the big screen. Not only is that a whole lot of fun -- it's a shot across the bow of every console in the casual gaming space.
Hopefully soon we'll see all sorts of board games, shooters, and other great titles support to feature. Until then we'll be busy playing Real Racing 2.
Note: It's not a universal binary, so you'll have to buy it separately for iPhone and iPad if you want it on both, but right now it's on 40% sale so it's as close to a no brainer as you can get.
iQuick Tweet (Twitter Integration)
iOS 5 has built-in Twitter integration so you can rapidly tweet a photo, YouTube video, etc. iQuick Tweet smartly took that rapidity and made it the focus of a dedicated app. You launch, you type a Twitter status, you hit send, you're done. It's just that simple and it's just that fast.
If you want to read timelines, search through @mentions, explore profiles, check trends, or do a lot of other stuff besides tweeting, there's an embarrassment of full fledged Twitter clients on iOS, but if all you want to do is blast off a message, iQuick Tweet has you covered.
- $0.99 - iPhone App Store link
For iOS 5 users, foursquare now offers the new Radar feature, with ability to alert you when your friends are near and doing something fun -- even if your iPhone is in your pocket. This awesome -- or terrifying -- new feature means you don't have to have your iPhone out and foursquare open all the time, in constant fear you might miss out on what's happening around you. While it's not as granular as Apple's new Find my Friends app, if your goal is to know where the cool stuff is happening, foursquare Rader is a lot more powerful.
- Free - iPhone App Store
Bonus: Instapaper (Brightness and Dictionary)
Favored as the best way to devour web articles by geeks everywhere, Instapaper proves that it's not just the big, flashy iOS 5 features that can make a difference -- the little ones matter too. Support for the built-in dictionary and native brightness controls means downloading the app is faster, and reading your saved articles is more comfortable than ever. (The UI has also received an excellent overhaul.)
Note: Instapaper is a universal app so you can buy it once and use it on all your iOS devices.
- $4.99 - App Store link
Addenda: Jailbreak apps
A lot of Jailbreak apps and tweaks are also being updated to support iOS 5. If Jailbreak is where your heart lies, keep your browser locked on TiPb.com/Jailbreak for all the updates.
Your favorite new iOS 5 apps?
iOS 5 is only a week old and we've only just begun to scratch the surface of what iOS 5 apps and games will bring to our iPhones and iPads. Did we miss any of your favorites? Did we leave any of the best new apps and updates out? Is there anything else that should have made our top 5 list?
If so, speak up and let us know in the comments!
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
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