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iPhone 5: New Features Review

By Jason Lisnak,
Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The new iPhone 5 – what do you think?

Anyone who has picked up a newspaper or read the Internet over the past two weeks since the iPhone 5's much anticipated release knows it has issues. The black model scuffs too much. Pictures look too purple. The Maps app is horrible. Everyone seems to have an issue with at least some new feature of the iPhone 5.

But in my observations, there is one thing that stands out among all those articles and negative reviews - everyone has an iPhone 5, and nobody can stop talking about it. And that's rightfully so!

The iPhone 5 comes preloaded with all the new features of the latest iOS, and it rocks. Below I've highlighted a few that you may find most intriguing. I know I've left a lot out (a review of 200 features would keep you here all weekend!), but I’ve tried to highlight some of the most significant changes.

line at the apple store in new york cityMail

The mail app is just as simple as before and just as reliable. It’s quicker than previous versions simply because the entire device is quicker, but now Mail has a few cool features to make email that much better. First up, VIP. This allows for a list of people of your choosing whose emails always get filtered to a special folder so you never miss one. The best part is, it works. The worst part? I have no excuse for missing one of my boss's emails.

There's also now a whole "right-click" menu. You can click on a word and highlight it to bold/underline/italicize and even define. You can also easily insert pictures and videos. It seems like a basic feature, and it is, but the new method for doing so makes it simple and quicker and thus makes me more efficient!

My favorite feature is the ability to create separate signatures for each email account. Now my friends can see my personal quote, and my clients can see my professional company signature. It sounds silly, but it definitely makes quite the difference.


It took Apple a little while, but since Google released the Chrome app for iOS, Safari has been truly lacking. With iOS 6, they seem to be running neck and neck. Safari's reading list feature from iOS 5 - the feature that allowed you to bookmark webpages - now allows for entire webpages to be cached for viewing later. For those that take the subway, use this! You can open our Hedge IT blog, cache it, and read it on the subway every day!

iCloud Tabs is a really cool feature, too. This is a feature similar to what Google does for Chrome. It essentially allows you to see what tabs you have open in Safari on your other devices and sync them via the iCloud. Beautiful. Start reading at your desk and continue reading on your iPhone when you get on the train. This makes life simpler - something Apple seems to be very good at.


The personal assistant you can talk to is still in beta, but she can do a lot more. Apple kept her personality (which I actually enjoy) and gave her access to a multitude of new databases. She can answer questions now spanning from sports scores for your favorite team to movie times at your local theater. And my favorite new task - Siri can make reservations for dinner, so I don't get caught off guard and yelled at for forgetting. Overall, she’s simple, elegant and even more useful.


Ironically, most people forget that the real purpose of the iPhone is to make and receive calls. It’s something we all do but never pay attention to. It’s also something Apple seems to have neglected and hardly updated over the past few years. Until now. Here’s a look at a few new features:

  • First up, users now have the ability to ignore a call and auto-reply with a text. This is a great feature. With just two clicks, I can ignore a call and let the caller know I’ll call back later. Brilliant!

  • Call reminders are another cool way to deny incoming calls. Click the button, and the phone will remind you later, at a more convenient time, that your mom called so you don't forget and make her angry by not calling back.

  • You can also put your phone in “do not disturb mode” at night so it doesn't wake you. Simple. Smart. But there's more, of course. What if you want the ability to answer important calls only? Set certain contacts to bypass this feature. What if work calls me? Do I want my boss to wake me up? I can tell my phone that if it's important and he calls me twice, my phone should ring the second time. That's spectacular.


Like I said, there are over 200 new iPhone 5 features, and I know I haven't begun to scratch the service. From more Facebook integration for the addicts like myself to the new camera features, there are plenty more for you to love. So ignore the bad press and remember: nothing’s perfect. With millions of owners, you need to expect a few unhappy ones out there.

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*Image credit: Bloomberg Tech Blog

Categorized under: Trends We're Seeing  Communications 

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