Note: This article was written in a slightly crazy brain-storming-like environment. If it sounds odd or a little incomplete by society’s paragraph relation standards, well, that’s why.
Well, it was definitely a bit troublesome for me to update to iOS 5.
First of all, you couldn’t update. I spent a few hours looking for an update IPSW for my device, the iPod Touch 4G, with no success. I had to export a list of packages and apps using the remarkable AppInfo Cydia app, and then I synced my iPod with iTunes 10.5, making sure to right click on it and choose Transfer Purchases so my apps would be backed up. I also made sure to backup my SHSH blobs with Tiny Umbrella and iFaith, and ran xBackup to backup my package files for restoration. Next, I right-clicked on the iPod in the list and backed it up, and then after the IPSW download completed I shift-clicked the Update button and received error 3002. After a bit of researching, and later facepalming as I realize the “Restore” string at the end of the file name, I shift-clicked Restore instead.
I given an 3194 error after it had extracted the file. Thinking it was a bad IPSW, I went and got one from another source. Same error. After a little hair pulling, I decided to open Tiny Umbrella 5 up and start the TSS server. This time, it was error 17. So, I had Tiny Umbrella pull the SHSH while my iPod was in DFU mode and then disabled both “Set hosts to Cydia” and “Request SHSH” options in the Advanced tab, then started the TSS server again. This time, it went through without a hitch.
I was greeted by the shiny new welcome screen,which took me through the process of activating the thing. Fun, actually. Had to connect to the Internet, then enter my Apple ID, and a couple other things, then came to the part where it would try and activate via Apple. So, I decided to test UDIDead by StanTheRipper and got the bundle in redsn0w 0.9.8b1 and jailbroke the device. On reboot (using the boot tethered option) it was activated and I’m quite pleased with his work.
Yes, I know about the welcome screen exploit. Problem was, Emergency call wasn’t loading, so apparently my firmware doesn’t contain the phone features. If you want to activate your iPod Touch, you’ll have to use UDIDead or pay a site.
Well, I got in. There’s not any improvement that you notice right off the bat, just a couple new non-deletable apps on the screen, 3 or 4 I think. Then there was the popup asking me to set a passcode, which I was able to do on the home screen, which is pretty neat. I’m not liking the fact there’s nothing I can do to get rid of those apps off the bat. Like for example, I don’t need Stocks or Newsstand, they’re completely useless to me. However, I did play with iMessage with a friend, and it’s pretty cool, though it’s definitely a modified version of the current Messages app for iPhones. I was able to send pictures and all that was advertised for it on the Apple keynote, which included read receipts and typing indicators. Both my friend and I were a bit irritated that tapping in the messages area wouldn’t hide the keyboard, but I suspect it may be a bug to be fixed soon, or maybe it’s that way on iPhones.
Anyway, back to the upgrade story. Turns out xBackup crashes on launch on iOS 5. Probably for the best any way, if I ever go back to 4.3.3 I’ll have it and my exported list in my email to restore all my tweaks with. But the iTunes backup restored all my settings perfectly. After the restoration of the backup, I set it to sync my apps, and my apps that I had backed up by using the Transfer Purchases option were transferred intact. And all this was done while I had full access to my iPod, with a small spinning double arrow in the upper left corner. Smooth.
Reminders is ok, I think iOS has needed a good app as default for a while, I know I needed a checkbox note list like the OneNote app. Newsstand is just annoying, takes a couple seconds on top of the annoying folder open time, which I’ve always replaced those crappy folders Apple’s given me with FolderEnhancer. The Notifications Center, oh man. So similar to Mobile Notifier and Android’s solution. The new way of notifying you of things is great, and you can even customize in the Notifications settings the way each app alerts you, including the top of the screen, a popup, or none at all. You can also change whether it plays a sound or not. Take a look at this screenshot:
One thing annoys me though. There’s a horizontally-scrolling stocks info widget. Darn people are so obsessed about stocks these days…
So while I was exploring, I stumbled across another cool feature that in my opinion should have been included long ago. That’s right, you can create albums and add pictures to them in Photos. That’s pretty much a no-brainer, but I’m glad to see it.
Mail has improved slightly. When you select text, there’s now an additional option in the small menu to make it bold, italic, underlined, or adjust the nesting of the quotes.
Twitter integration? Well, it’s definitely sleek, and it works great too. I can share pictures and websites. I just have a problem with the small popup’s keyboard, the spacebar isn’t where I’m used to tapping it in landscape mode.
I’m considering installing SBSettings, I know it sounds redundant, but at the moment I doubt iOS developer qwertyoruiop’s UISettings tweak meets my advanced feature requirements at the moment. I think if he supported the installation of SBSettings toggles into his tweak, he could go far with it and it would make me switch.
But if the developer of SBSettings puts the whole UI on the Notifications Center, with a few adjustments, I think that would work great as well, and I’d have all my functions.
This was definitely worth the trouble I had to upgrade. I’m really impressed with the whole OS, everything feels smooth, at least for now, I guess really used to the FakeClockUp tweak. There’s one bug I encountered, and that was icons losing their icons, if that makes sense. It’s just the icon title sitting there, and it happens on random icons. Well, it is still in beta after all. I’m looking forward to any future improvements they make.