Apple launches iOS 5 and iCloud, coming Oct. 12

Apple launches iOS 5 and iCloud, coming Oct. 12

Summary: In addition to the iPhone 4S, Apple used its October 4 event to officially launch iOS 5 and iCloud -- which will be available on October 12, 2011.


In addition to the iPhone 4S, which clearly stole the show, Apple used its October 4 event to officially launch iOS 5 for iPhone, iPad, and the iPod touch and iCloud.

Unlike the iPhone 4S, which is only an incremental update, iOS 5 is a major upgrade that changes the complexion of Apple's mobile OS and adds a number of new features.

Most notable new iOS 5 features:

  • Notification Center — Track new email, texts, friend requests, and more in one convenient location
  • iMessage — Send unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to other iOS devices
  • Newsstand — Lets you access your favorite publications which can be purchased from the App Store
  • Reminders — To-do lists with due dates and locations
  • PC Free — Over-The-Air activation, updates, and syncing
  • Camera — Available from the lock screen, use the volume button as the shutter release
  • Photos — Crop, rotate, enhance, and remove red-eye directly in app
  • Safari — with Reading List and tabs on the iPad

Other notable features in iOS 5 include:

  • Siri, voice-driven "Intelligent Assistant" (Currently in beta, iPhone 4S only)
  • Task syncing
  • System-level dictionary support
  • iPad keyboard improvements
  • Enhanced gesture support

Some will be nonplussed by the iOS 5 and iCloud announcements, because they debuted at WWDC11 in June, 2011.

iOS 5 is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (third and fourth generation), and the iPad and iPad 2 but not all features will be available for all devices. iOS 5 will unify all compatible devices to the same version of the OS for the first time since iOS 3.1. More information on iOS 5's features can be found on the Apple website.

In addition to iOS 5, Apple also officially announced its iCloud service, a cloud storage, syncing and backup service that's tightly integrated into the new version of iOS and OS X Lion. iCloud replaces MobileMe (which is going away in June 2012) and automatically syncs music, documents, and photos between all your devices.

Sadly, Apple didn't announce a replacement for its MobileMe Gallery, hastening my migration Picasa Web albums.

iOS 5 and iCloud will be available on October 12, 2011.

What's your take on iOS 5 and iCloud?

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Cloud, iPhone, Mobility, Operating Systems

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  • Love it all

    Extremely excited about getting iOS 5 on iPod Touch and iPad but also very dissatisfied at the many folk who are slating the 4S. Apple never promised anyone an iPhone 5. This is the result of people getting hyped up too much in the rumours and speculation that people spread. Personally, I think that 4S is a natural evolutionary step and leads the field with Siri. 6 months from now, all smartphones will be trying to get you to talk to them. Now, back to business and hurry up Oct 12th.
    • RE: Apple launches iOS 5 and iCloud, coming Oct. 12

      Most android phones ,including the Samsung galaxy s2 which i use already has voice commands ,voice talk and Google voice search ,so I would say Samsung leads the way and is available now. iphone is just catching up with the 4s. the screen is still too small as well.
    • RE: Apple launches iOS 5 and iCloud, coming Oct. 12

      @chief1981 You can actually get iOS5 right now I have had it since last night and it works nicely.
  • Nothing special

    I'm not very impressed with the list of new features in iOS 5. The notification center will be a nice improvement, but it's still just a minor usability and cosmetic improvement. Oddly enough though, it's the thing that most caught my eye.

    iMessage isn't significant since there are already a plethora of apps that allow you to send free messages. In addition, if you have a google voice account, you can already send and receive free SMS text messages.

    News Stand is just another way to make money off the consumer. No real win there unless you are a big magazine reader.

    Reminders and to-do lists? That feature ALREADY exists. You just create an appointment on your calendar and set a reminder. Voila. Perhaps this feature has been repackaged to be more usable which would be a nice touch, but it's not necessary and certainly doesn't win any noteworthy attention as a "new" feature. However, if this allows you to sync with outlook, Google or Yahoo!, that'd be much more noteworthy. I'm not sure what "Task Sync" means.

    The rest of the improvements seem pretty vague or unspecific. However, the Siri feature sounds intriguing. I'll reserve judgement on that one though until I've actually used it.