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Apple fixed Reminders! I am very excited about this. Reminders had a very big flaw. You could not reorder items on a list. This drove me crazy! When I make a shopping list, I like to put items in the order I will buy them. The inability to re-order lists was a major flaw. I had to continually scan my shopping list and figure out what I would buy next. For example, you typically want to buy frozen food last, so it doesn’t thaw while you are shopping. Apple fixed it, and also added a nice calendar widget, making for a much better user interface. It took them long enough. This should have been patched a few weeks after iOS 5 was released. I’m glad they fixed it, but it took them too long. I still used Reminders anyway. The iCloud functionality allowed me to write a shopping list on my iPad, and have that same list on my iPhone. I used to email myself lists, which was cumbersome. It is also nice to be able to tick items I have purchased. I no longer scan my shopping list over and over. Of course, the lists still have scheduled and location-based reminders. It always amazed me that they thought of these features, but not re-ordering the list. It’s like putting your shoes on before your socks!
The Clock app is a nice improvement. It combines a configurable world clock, stopwatch, alarm clock, and timer. I personally don’t think I will get much use out of it. I am mostly a telecommuter. However, the road warrior will find it immensely useful. Note that the world clock also shows the current weather. Unfortunately, many smaller cities are missing. If your intention is to use this to find comprehensive weather information, it doesn’t do that.
Podcasts have been removed from Music and iTunes Store. All aspects of Podcasts are now managed from the Podcasts app, which has greatly improved. It no longer “sleeps” or has weird echos. The App Store and iTunes Store have undergone a redesign. I like it. They no longer resemble Mac/Windows version of iTunes. The designs work much better for tablets and smart phones. Most noticeable is the new coverflow-like carousel at the top of the screen. It looks neat and is smooth as butter. Some may claim this is a rip-off of the Kindle Fire. However, Apple really invented the “coverflow” UI element, so they just ripped off themselves. Coverflow has been around on Macs for years. It is a great way to browse files. I use it all the time, for photos, videos, and even code!