Apple iOS 5
Apple’s iOS 5 – the newest version of the operating system that drives the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, will launch on 12 October. iOS 5 represents the biggest step forward yet for Apple’s portable operating system, with a raft of new features and improvements. It will be available as a free update for existing models of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, we decided to take a closer look. Read on for our definitive guide for all you need to know about iOS 5
Fed up having to dip into different parts of the iPhone in order to get access to your email, texts or phone messages? iOS 5 will change all of that. Now you’ll be able to view all updates – including messages, app notifications, missed calls and calendar reminders – from anywhere on your device, even when it’s locked. The new Notification Centre will appear at the top of the screen and you’ll be able to pull it down to view all the latest updates, regardless of what you’re currently doing. It’s hardly revolutionary – in fact, it’s quite like Android – but it’s a welcome improvement on what went before, and brilliantly incorporated, in typical Apple fashion
In the clouds
When you want to wirelessly back up, restore or sync your iOS 5 devices, you’ll be using Apple’s new cloud-based storage system, iCloud, which will replace its existing offering, MobileMe (this will be phased out and officially retired in June 2012). iCloud will give you 5GB of free storage space to play with (and apps, purchased music and books, and your most recent 1,000 photos you take won’t count towards that total). This means any iTunes purchases will be available to you on all your iOS 5 devices, no matter which you bought it on, and past purchases will be available to download from the iCloud as well. As for any music in your library that you didn’t get from iTunes, sign up for iTunes Match (set to be priced at $24.99 per year), and you’ll be able to effortlessly sync all your ripped music without necessarily having to upload it first. iCloud will scan your music and if the songs in question are in the iTunes store (and there are 18 million to choose from), iCloud will download a 256Kbps DRM-free version automatically (even if your version was of lower quality).
On the surface, iMessage looks just like the iPhone’s app for sending and receiving text messages, only rolled out to iPad and iPod touch too. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll see iMessage is closer to the likes of Skype and Windows Live Messenger, providing similar functionality in the form of text-based chats, sharing tools (photos, contacts, videos and even locations can be shared) and support for group conversations. One nifty feature is the fact you can switch between your iOS devices seamlessly – your chats are kept in sync via the iCloud, allowing you to move from iPhone to iPad and back again. There is one major drawback: you’ll only be able to communicate with other iOS 5 device users, which might have consequences for your social circle.
The future is iOS 5
iOS 5 launches on 12 October, just two days before the iPhone 4S. Not that you’ll need to shell out for another Apple product to get hold of it – the good news is that iOS 5 will be available as a free update for both iPads, iPhone 3GS and above and for iPod touches (third and fourth generation) too. It’s safe to say that iOS 5 is shaping up to be the most revolutionary update for iOS yet. One thing’s for sure, once iOS 5 is installed, your iPhone or iPad will never be quite the same again.
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