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iOS 5 Beta 2: The New Features and Changes, What We Know So Far [Gallery]

If you have been following our blog, then you know that Apple unexpectedly rolled out the iOS 5 Beta 2 last friday. And needless to say, people jumped in and upgraded their firmware immediately in order to find out what the iOS 5 beta 2 has to offer. Note that this is only the second beta of the iOS 5 and before its final release this fall, it is highly possible that Apple might drop several more beta updates. We have compiled a comprehensive list of changes and features that the iOS 5 have so far. So what are the changes and new features for the iOS 5 beta 2? Read on to find out.

iOS 5 Developers Beta 2

LockScreen Notification UI Tweaks

iOS 5 Beta 2 Lockscreen Notifications
Just as we have reported here, Apple had made some changes to the UI of the lockscreen notifications in iOS 5 beta 2. In the previous beta, the notifications appear in a list that is grouped according to applications and in order to read a notification you will need to tap on a notice and drag it your fingers to the right just like how you would unlock your screen. In the new lockscreen notification, the notification appears on a bubble (similar to the old system) and it replaces the other notification when it arrives. After a few moments, the previous notifications will appear again on the lockscreen. ItsAllTech explains it rather well:

When you receive a text message, for example, the notification appears in a bubble like on iOS 4. As soon as another notification is received, the previous one goes to the top of the lock screen and is accessible by dragging down from the top of the time area. The new notification is shown in a bubble again.

WiFi Syncing

iOS 5 Wifi Syncing
Another feature that we have covered here. Probably one of the most significant addition to the iOS 5 beta 2. To enable this feature you will need to have installed iOS 5 beta 2, iTunes 10.5 beta 2 and OS X 10.6.8 or OS X Lion. This feature is enabled automatically when you connect your iDevice to a power source that is paired to the same network with your computer. For first time syncing though, it seems that you will need to connect your device to the computer so iTunes can detect it.
iOS 5 WiFi Syncing Settings
As of this writing, this feature is only available for Mac users only.

3G Over-the-Air Updates

iOS 5 3G Updates
Also another feature that we have reported here. When the folks at 9to5Mac were snooping around the iOS 5 Software Development Kit, they found some evidences that this beta version of the iOS will support OTA updates via 3G. But it seems that there is a limitation to this feature. Certain firmware updates may not be supported over 3G especially if the file is large. This is probably a concern that involves carriers.

Cosmetic Changes to the Settings UI

iOS 5 Beta 2 iCloud Logo Settings
iOS 5 Beta 2 iCloud Settings
A very minor change which concerns the iCloud's logo. The icon of iCloud in the Settings is now like its official brush metallic logo.

Music App

iOS 5 Music App
Another minor update and this time it is a new revamped look of the Music App.

Receding Keyboard in iMessage

iOS 5 Beta 2 iMessage
Another minor change but may help in improving the user experience when using the iMessage app. Now when the user scrolls down the message history, the keyboard will then recede in order to provide a better view of the message logs.

Welcome Screen

There have been several changes to the Welcome Screen in the iOS 5 beta 2. First, check out the neat new boot logo animation as demostrated in the video above from iJackPhone.
iOS 5 Beta 2 Welcome Screen
For the initial setup, the new welcome screen will display your device's UDID number. And in order to access the home screen, the user will be asked for an Apple ID.

Other Changes:

For the meantime in beta 2, Facetime is disabled so no video calls can be made using this service. iSpazio has a speculation that this is due to Apple migrating its servers to the data center in North Carolina.

iFans also listed some changes:

  • iTunes 10.5b2 can’t sync iOS 5 Beta 1 devices
  • iOS5 Beta 1 devices can’t iMessage iOS5 Beta 2 devices and vice-versa
  • You can now backup to iCloud or the computer when setting the device up
  • If no notifications are available, Notification Center shows the text “No New Notifications”
  • Stock widget in the Notification Center is now off by default
  • Stock wallpapers are back, but are the same that were in iOS 4
  • General speed improvements, kills bugs that were present in iOS 5 beta 1

Where to download iOS 5 Beta 2?

Just like the previous beta, iOS 5 beta 2 is only available to those who have signed up an account in Apple's iOS Dev Center. Aside from the annual fee of $99, there are no known requirements for enrolling an account. Refer to this guide on how to download iOS 5 beta 2.

No Developer Account?

Similar to iOS 5 beta 1, it didn't take long before someone found a workaround on how to completely bypass the UDID checks. We have provided a tutorial here on exactly how to do that. But keep in mind that installing beta firmware on a non-developer hardware is NOT recommended because of the risks involved. Better to enroll for an account or have someone who does, add your UDID to their account, aside from benefits like immediate access to future betas, you also get to have that much-needed peace of mind.

All in all, there are about 148 changes and fixes to the iOS 5 beta 2. And since it was made available, more and more users are finding new features and changes. So we will be expecting more and be sure to bring you all the juicy details.

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