Ok… so I have been following the iOS 5 live blog at CNET. Here is what I have seen as the “NEW” in iOS 5.
1) Better Twitter integration.
2) Browser improvements – Reading list, tabbed browing (for ipad)
3) In built photo editing app (Red-eye reduction etc)
4) “PC-free” – OTA updates etc
5) Better mail “Rich text formatting, can do bold, underline. Can indent. Can drag addresses between the to, cc, bcc. Flagging and unflagging. Search can also now search within messages, not just the from, to and subject lines” (from CNET)
6) Split keyboard!!!! (Sorry MS)
7) iMessage for iOS – like the BBM in Blackberry devices.
Of all this – the last one is a cool feature I think – will push iOS adoption further. (Edit: Having said that one can do this on any device using GTalk or tens of other apps such as Whatapp…etc. ) But for the main part I think iOS 5 is just getting upto speed with Android. This is crowdsourced innovation at its best… take the best parts of third party applications and put them into the core OS. This will hurt third party developers… or maybe push them to innovate more. But I think so far – iOS 5 is just “Plain Ketchup”.