On Oct. 5, 2011, six weeks after stepping down as CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs lost his seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The world lost one of its most prolific innovators. Jobs leaves behind a legacy of revolutionary products, including iOS, Apple’s renowned mobile operating system.
A week after his death, Apple released iOS5, the latest version of the company’s mobile operating system. There are more than 200 new features in iOS5. Here are 10 of the coolest features for real estate pros:
1. ICloud. ICloud has been one of the most anticipated applications with the release of iOS5. Apple states, "iCloud stores your music, photos, documents and more and wirelessly pushes them to all of your devices."
Despite being in its infancy and having an incomplete Web interface, and no Photo Stream or iTunes options available in the browser, iCloud has some super-cool features that could have significant value to real estate pros.
If you created an elegant listing presentation in Keynote on your Mac, showing it to a client on your iPad is a breeze! Sure, other cloud platforms such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 offer something similar, but I have to say this is sleek, sophisticated and hassle-free.
Important note: To set up and utilize iCloud on your Mac desktop or laptop, you must be running the latest version of OSX Lion.
2. Reminders. Reminders is a simple "to-do" manager that can be integrated with iCloud, iCal, Outlook and Microsoft Exchange. It allows you to organize your to-do lists, and a calendar mashup is included.
My favorite feature of this app: location-based reminders that prompt a notification upon arriving or leaving a location. For example, you could create a reminder for lockbox instructions and be notified automatically when arriving at the property. It’s very cool and easy to use.
3. Twitter. Native OS (operating system) support for social media applications is not new to the Android platform, but it’s a welcome addition to iOS5. Twitter is fully integrated in iOS5.
What does that mean? If you take a photograph with your iPhone, you can select the options menu and tweet the photo right from your photo library. There is no need to even launch your Twitter app. Want to tweet your latest blog post? Just select options and tweet it, as simple as that!
4. Camera. The iPhone camera has come a long way since its initial release, and there are many new features with iOS5. Pressing the "volume-up" button now enables the new shutter button. This is particularly advantageous when shooting a house in landscape mode.
There is also quick access, which allows you to access the camera from the lock screen and photo editing. Photo editing lets you crop photos and reduce red eye. Photos are automatically stored in iCloud with Photo Stream, which is a fantastic tool for real estate.
5. Mail client. The updated mail client in iOS5 delivers some long-awaited features, such as rich text formatting and the ability to flag messages. The mail client now supports bold, italic, underlining and more. "Select and Define" is another nice option for definition lookups, and includes a sleek pop-up window that is easy to navigate and scroll through.
Flagging messages is useful, as well — although I wish Apple would add Gmail Label support in the mail client.
6. Safari. The addition of tabbed browsing to Safari is the biggest upgrade and should instantly improve workflow, especially for agents lucky enough to have a cross-platform multiple listing service. The new Safari also includes Safari Reader, which is great for removing clutter or reading RSS feeds.
7. Split keyboard. So many agents at my company have dumped their BlackBerrys in favor of iPhones and Android phones. Former BlackBerry users will appreciate the split-keyboard feature. This feature let’s a user split the keyboard in half, to the left and right side of the screen, to free up thumb typing.
You can even "undock" the keyboard, which moves it up the screen. To enable these features, just tap and hold the keyboard icon and select your choice.
8. Notification Center. Android users probably won’t be impressed with this one, but Apple has totally revamped the notification system in iOS5. And it’s about time. The Notification Center consolidates all of your alerts in one place.
Just swipe down from the top of the screen to activate. You can access your calendar, events, reminders, weather, text-messaging and more.
9. IMessage. Unlike the BlackBerry Messenger, you do not need a separate app to utilize iMessage. It is fully integrated into the existing SMS module. Sending a message from an iPad will be fully integrated with the iPhone messaging app. The only catch is that iMessage only works with iOS devices running iOS5.
And one more thing …
10. AirPlay Mirroring. AirPlay Mirroring just might be the best iOS5 feature for real estate pros! With the iPad 2 or iPhone 4S and AppleTV you can wirelessly stream content from your device or mirror the display right to a HDTV display!
Just imagine the wow factor during listing presentations or a training session. This is a super-cool feature, and the possibilities are endless.
IOS5 is packed with features and new additions. The iPhone 4S is currently available as well, boasting new apps such as Siri. However, the most intriguing application on this list is certainly iCloud. I’ll be following the platform’s development very closely.