I'm in the midst of what is apparently the multi-hour upgrade to iOS5 for my iPod touch 3G. Having figured out that I can play with the iPod while iTunes is apparently locked up on "Restoring iPod apps..." (it's not locked up, just taking forever and not giving any feedback at all!), I've been looking at a bit of what's new.
iCloud. My reaction... what's the point? Seriously. I've been syncing calendar, e-mail, and contacts to Google for a couple years now, so that aspect of iCloud is worthless to me. And backing up my apps, music, video, etc. to iCloud? First, Apple is only offering 5 GB of storage for free. Secondly, I've got a 64 GB iPod that's almost full. It's going to take forever to upload all my content, and then Apple's gonna want to charge me for it. No thanks.
I will say that the pull-down notification screen is nice to have. Looks a lot like the one on my Android phone... for a company that just patented "Slide to Unlock", Apple isn't showing much innovation here...
Anyway, so far iOS5 is underwhelming. I went into settings and told it not to backup to iCloud, hoping that it would then revert to a traditional sync to my PC. No such luck. So I'm still stuck at "Restoring iPod apps..." with no end in sight whatsoever.
Tip: When prompted to use iCloud backup, say NO.
iMessage... again, what's the point? How many messaging apps do I already have? Do I need another? Besides, even as much as I like Kik, Skype, Google Talk... SMS text messages are still the only universal standard.
So far, colour me unimpressed by iOS5. I at least hope that wi-fi iTunes syncing doesn't disappoint me.
Update: After it finally completed (seriously Apple, you let such a terrible upgrade process out into the public?), I was able to try out wi-fi sync. It works beautifully, and is really the best reason to upgrade to iOS5.
One thing that didn't work so well... a lot of my apps are no longer in their folders, so I'm having to re-arrange my apps again. Some of the folders seem to have disappeared, with apps being littered throughout the home screens, and other folders were only partially populated. It does appear that all my apps restored, although I do have about 3.5 GB more free space than when I started...
Summary: Terrible process to upgrade that takes hours, and what you get out of it is an Android-style pull-down notification screen, and wireless syncing. Those two features make it worth doing, but be prepared for aggravation while you do the upgrade. Hopefully over time there'll be other niceties that reveal themselves.