The first thing that caught me off guard is that after seeing the notification centre which collates all notifications in one place I expected to see all the same information on the lock screen. However this is not how the lock screen works. The lock screen only displays notifications that have come in since the last time you unlocked your device. This kind of makes sense but is not the most obvious conclusion to jump to when you’re trying to work out why you can see loads in the notification centre but nothing on the home screen.
iMessage is quite nice (and brings very useful messaging to a WiFi only iPad!) however I think that the time it takes to send a text message is greater by iMessage over cellular connection that sending an SMS. It is very quick when your phone is using WiFi and there are some neat tricks you can do to start a conversation on one device and then continue it later on another.
The camera button on the lock screen (available by pressing the home button twice) brings a rapid way of getting to the camera along with the sensible volume up button to “shoot” a picture all go along way to improve the devices appeal as a point and shoot camera.
I haven’t noticed my iPhone 3GS slow down with the new iOS 5 installed which is a pleasant surprise and although at first I managed to drain 24% of the battery in and hour and a half (which is extreme!) this turns out to be because I was pretty much using it constantly during that time listening to music while hunting through the phone trying to find out why the locked screen wasn’t showing notifications!!