While much fuss has been made in the Appleverse about today’s Let’s Talk iPhone event, most of the speculation has been focused on new iPhone devices. Among the announcements today are the official feature list of the next-generation iOS 5.

Significant upgrades to the Camera and Photos apps are included in the new OS. The full list of features is now posted to Apple’s website. Even if you’re not getting one of the new iPhones, click past the jump to read about the new features available if you choose to upgrade to the new iOS 5. >>>


One of the new features that I really like about the new iOS update is the ability to access your camera from the Lock screen without unlocking your iPhone. This is particularly convenient for those of us who password protect our iPhones. Camera used to be accessible from the Home button in previous versions of the operating system.

The Volume-Up button on the device now also functions as a hardware shutter release, not unlike the old VolumeSnap feature from Camera+ 1.2.1 from over a year ago.

Camera now also comes with Rule-of-thirds gridlines and focus and exposure locks — features that have been staples in third party camera replacement apps for years.

Here’s what Apple says about the new Camera app:

Capture the moment at a moment’s notice.
Since your iPhone is always with you, it’s often the best way to capture those unexpected moments. That’s why you’ll love the new camera features in iOS 5. You can open the Camera app right from the Lock screen. Use grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap focus and exposure locks to compose a picture on the fly. Then press the volume-up button to snap your photo in the nick of time. If you have Photo Stream enabled in iCloud, your photos automatically download to all your other devices.

New Edit and Crop features in iOS 5


Photos has also been enhanced. Basic editing features, including crop, rotate, and auto-enhance have been added. In particular, I can’t wait to get my hands on the auto-enhance feature. Lately, it seems, that the flow of Dynamic Range Correction apps has slowed to a trickle. There haven’t been any updates of DRC apps like Perfectly Clear or TruSight Pro in quite a while. The new auto-enhance tool of Photos looks pretty bare bones, but it looks like it can do much of the day to day image enhancement and color correction — but without all the cool additonal features, such as custom settings, adjustable parameters and noise reduction that Perfectly Clear offers.

Here’s what Apple says about the new Photos app:

Enhanced photo enhancements.
Turn your snapshots into frame-worthy photos in just a few taps. Crop, rotate, enhance, and remove red-eye without leaving the Photos app. Even organize your photos in albums — right on your device. With iCloud, you can push new photos to all your iOS devices. So if you’re taking photos on your iPhone, iCloud automatically sends copies to your iPad, where you can quickly touch them up before showing them off.



New Autoenhance features in iOS 5

Both apps got some good and badly needed updates. I really like the new features of Photos. This new version could reduce the need for one or two apps on your iPhone, clearing up valuable screen space. Camera got some good new and long overdue new features as well. Camera now stacks up favorably to the top photo apps of 2008. The return of Camera accesibilty to the Lock screen is probably my favorite new feature of the iOS 5 camera.

iOS 5 will be available on Wednesday, October 12. More info on Apple’s iOS 5 can be found here.



Images in this post courtesy of Apple Computer.