Apple Releases iOS 5

Posted by at 11:38 am on October 12, 2011

In keeping with its usual preference for a 1PM Eastern update, Apple has posted iOS 5.  The update is available when the device is plugged in through  iTunes and users check for a new version.  It should be the last version Apple  releases that is available solely though a computer and can’t arrive through the  device itself.

Among other updates, iOS 5 is the first “PC-free”  update from Apple and lets users update over the air instead of through an  iTunes sync.  At least minor updates should arrive as delta updates that only  reflect the changes and download much faster.  Wi-Fi syncing saves those who do  have iTunes libraries from having to plug in.

The 5.0 revamp is one of  Apple’s largest yet for its mobile platform outside of this, adding an  Android-style notification tray and direct shortcuts to apps with notifications  from the lock screen.  iMessage brings Apple a BlackBerry Messenger-style  instant messaging platform that works across all iOS 5 devices.  The camera app  is now both quicker to access and has more advanced pre- and post-shot editing  features, and Twitter sign-ons are now built into the OS itself and let users  post updates without having to first turn to the app.

More improvements  bring Newsstand, an area for optimized magazine and newspaper apps that can  automatically download in the background.  Reminders let users set notices that  can be cued by location.  Reader and Reading List make their way from the  desktop Safari browser to mobile, and the iPad version of Safari now has  tabs.

Some features are hardware-specific: AirPlay Mirroring for wireless  video out is limited to the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, and only the iPhone 4S  currently gets Siri voice commands.

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