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iCloud is without doubt the crucial feature to iOS 5 which brings all of your devices together, from MacBooks to iMacs, iPod touches and iPhones -- even to the web. You can synchronise almost anything over the web, from mail to contacts, notes and reminders, to photos and music. iCloud also offers 'iTunes in the Cloud' bringing your music to you wherever you are, and iTunes Match which takes your pirated music collection for $25 a year and 'legitimises' it.
Notifications are not new to iOS 5, but how it stores and displays them is. You can now see all of your notifications in one place by swiping down from the top of the screen, and display notifications in a different, more discreet way. If you are playing a game, it bubbles up from the top without interrupting your game play.
iMessage is Apple's equivalent to the BlackBerry Messenger service. So many people flock to the BlackBerry to have encrypted instant messaging conversations with their friends; well, Apple now has its own encrypted, secure messaging solution. In a very similar fashion to "BBM", you can send messages, photos, and other content -- and see when messages have been delivered and read.