After the long wait, I got my hands on iOS 5 both on iPhone and iPad and it turns out there are plenty of features that you don’t know of, when they said over 200 new features, they were not lying. So, In this post I’ll be providing you with a complete guide to make the most out of the new update, you may know many of them but not all. So let’s begin.

Notifications:
The long awaited feature is here and works like a charm, not only you get a wonderful banner-like messages on the top, you also get to have them on your lock screen. The thing you may not know is that you can customize this screen, you can get rid of stocks and weather and most importantly you can choose what is allowed to notify. By default, most apps choose the banner-messages but you may also revert to the old pop-up, you can customize all this at Settings>Notifications and from there you can set what appears on lock screen or not.

iCloud:
Works great, though it can be complicated at first, this is an alternative to mobile me, go to iCloud.com and merge your information and forget mobile me.
Everything backs up like it should, photos, music, etc. You can now backup either to a computer like you’re used to or backup to the cloud and restore from anywhere else. Another interesting bit is that your device backs up wirelessly whenever it is plugged into a power source. You can edit the settings and what to back up on Settings>iCloud.

PC Free:
All further updates can be made on the device itself, and it won’t be a large download as only new changes/additions will be affected.

Airplay Mirroring:
A simple fact, only iPhone 4s and iPad 2 can mirror the entire screen onto Apple TV. You can still use other features built in apps where you can stream videos from iOS to Apple TV.

iMessage:
IM for all iOS devices, you can message on one device and carry on with a conversation over your other device. You can can switch on/off this feature from Settings>Messages.

Automatic Downloads:
So you just downloaded a song/app/book from one device and you want it to be on all your other devices? iOS will re-download any new thing you download to all your devices including computers while connected to Wi-Fi or 3G if you want to. To access options go to Settings>Store.

Camera Quick Access:
When you’re on the lock screen, double tap the home button and a camera icon will appear, click it and your at camera! you can use “Volume +” button to take a photo. Photos App also adds nice editing options.

Safari:
one word, tabs.

Music:
iPad built-in iPod music app now has a beautiful new interface.

News Stand:
Yes, I was sick of magazine apps not being unified. Newstand is a beautiful feature which downloads newspapers and magazines newest issues autimatically. These Apps are not part of iBooks, they can be found in the App Store under the “News Stand” category.

Game Center:
Game Center was a good start but was rather empty, the new update adds lots of goodness, ability to add your own picture, it will recommend friends based on what you play and overly improved achievements.

Multitasking Gestures:
A feature I’ve been waiting for so long which lets you use four fingers to swipe between active apps or pinch out works as if you clicked the home button. For some weird reason it is iPad 2 only. I like my fat iPad1 and the iOS 5 beta had this feature on iPad 1, someone explain why they chopped it off!

Great Apple Apps for iOS 5:
1) Find My Friends:
This app lets you follow your friends on a map, you send/receive requests and the stalking begins. Don’t worry, you can remove people and you have a switch to disable your location as long as you want.

2) Apple Movie Trailers:
trailers.apple.com is the best place to watch trailers and it now launches on iOS. It works great and the UI design is gorgeous.

3) Find my iPhone
We had this before, now you can use your Apple ID, forget mobile me. A new nifty feature is the ability to set an option to email you whenever your lost/stolen device is connected back online. That’s not all, you can also find your computers! just incase you forgot your iMac at your friends house ;p

4) Reminders:
To-Do’s done the Apple way. Set reminders according to time or exact location when you arrive at.

That’s it, I’m pretty sure there is more but these are my essential features of iOS 5.
Hope you liked it.