Now well into its fifth year of life, iOS has always been known for its exceptional polish — and also, its glaring feature holes. But, just like clockwork, each year since its 2007 debut, those shortcomings have been addressed one by one in a sweeping annual update. In 2008, the platform was opened up to developers giving us the App Store, 2009 saw the introduction of copy and paste — which we’d argue is still the best implementation to date — and last year “multitasking” finally made a presence. So what has Apple chosen to rectify in 2011? Well, for starters, notifications gets a complete overhaul with Notification Center, tethered syncing dies at the hands of iCloud and messaging gets a do-over with the birth of iMessage.
If you recall, we first got acquainted with iOS 5 in May after downloading the developer preview, but how does the final release stack up? And does it have the chops to compete with the latest from Mountain View and Redmond? After drudging through seven betas, we’re ready to conquer all that the final release has to offer, so join us, if you would, past the break.