What’s New in iOS 5 Messaging. And, is Apple Planning to Buy Twitter?

Apple’s iOS 5 communications and social networking features borrow a lot from Android and, to a more limited extent, Windows Phone “Mango” (which is not released either).

iMessage gives iPod touch and iPad users unlimited text messaging to other iOS users. Photos, videos, location information and contact information can be sent too. Like the upcoming Windows Phone Mango, iMessage lets you send group messages. However, Mango does not restrict you to a single platform like iMessage does.

Mail gains rich text formatting, message flagging and full-text search. You can also drag addresses when composing email.

Notification Center borrows heavily from Android with notifications appearing in a top-of-screen status bar and a pull down window to provide details about reminders, calendar events, email and messages. Stock ticker information and weather is available in the Notification Center too.

Reminders brings back the old, and very much missed by me, task list that was available in platforms like Handheld PCs and the Pocket PC. It is separate from the more formal calendar events. However, Reminders are visible in a calendar-like view.

Twitter integration is an interesting one. With the exception of Google Maps, Apple has not really integrated third parties they do not control into iOS. Twitter, however, is integrated deep into iOS 5. Content from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube and Maps can be tweeted directly from those apps (with location information added as an option). You have to wonder if Apple might buy Twitter and make it part of their iCloud strategy.