Apple releases iOS 5

Right on schedule, Apple pushed out iOS 5 to users this morning. The company claims the software brings some 200 new features, including an overhaul to its notifications system and a new messaging tool.

After a four-month wait, Apple released iOS 5 to consumers this morning.

The new software, which powers Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, comes after seven beta versions of the software, dating back to June when iOS 5 made its debut at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.

iOS 5, which is available as a free update, brings an overhaul to Apple's notifications system, alongside a new messaging platform called iMessage that lets iOS users text and chat with one another free of charge. The software is also deeply tied to Apple's iCloud service, which ferries photos, applications, and settings back and forth between iOS devices, and serves as a built-in backup solution. Perhaps most important of all, iOS 5 lets iOS devices stand on their own, removing some of the ties to Apple's iTunes by letting users update their software and edit media right on the device.

The new version of the software can be found by plugging your iOS device into iTunes. It's compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, third- and fourth-generation iPod Touches, and both the first- and second-generation iPad. Users with older iOS devices remain on older versions of the system software.

Below is the full change log:

iOS 5 Software Update


This update contains over 200 new features, including the following:


Notifications

  • Swipe from the top of any screen to view notifications in one place with Notification Center
  • New notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen
  • View notifications from lock screen
  • Slide the notification app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app

iMessage

  • Send and receive unlimited text, photo, and video messages with other iOS 5 users
  • Track messages with delivery and read receipts
  • Group messaging and secure encryption
  • Works over cellular network and Wi-Fi*

Newsstand

  • Automatically organizes magazine and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen
  • Displays the cover of the latest issue
  • Background downloads of new issues

Reminders for managing to do lists

  • Syncs with iCloud, iCal and Outlook
  • Location-based reminders when you leave or arrive at a location for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4

Built-in support for Twitter

  • Sign-in once in Settings and tweet directly from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari and YouTube
  • Add location to any tweet
  • View twitter profile pictures and usernames in Contacts

Camera improvements for devices with cameras

  • Double click the home button when device is asleep to bring up a camera shortcut on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
  • Volume Up button to take a picture
  • Optional grid lines to line up shots
  • Pinch to zoom in the preview screen
  • Swipe to camera roll from preview screen
  • Tap and hold to lock focus and exposure, iPad 2 and iPod touch (4th generation) only support exposure lock

Photo improvements for devices with cameras

  • Crop and rotate
  • Red eye removal
  • One tap enhance
  • Organize photos into albums

Mail improvements

  • Format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts
  • Indentation control
  • Drag to rearrange names in address fields
  • Flag messages
  • Mass mark messages as flagged, read or unread
  • Customize mail alert sounds
  • S/MIME

Calendar improvements

  • Year view on iPad and new Week view for iPhone and iPod touch
  • Tap to create an event
  • View and add event attachments

Game Center improvements

  • Use personal photos for your Game Center account
  • Compare your overall achievement scores with your friends
  • Find new Game Center friends with friend recommendations and friends of friends
  • Discover new games with custom game recommendations

AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S


Multitasking Gestures for iPad

  • Use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen
  • Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar
  • Swipe left or right to switch between apps

On-device setup, activation and configuration with Setup Assistant


Software updates available over the air without tethering


iCloud support

  • iTunes in the Cloud
  • Photo Stream
  • Documents in the Cloud
  • Apps and Books automatic download and purchase history
  • Backup
  • Contacts, Calendar, and Mail
  • Find My iPhone

    Redesigned Music app for iPad


    Hourly weather forecast


    Real-time stock quotes


    Wireless sync to iTunes


    Keyboard improvements

    • Split keyboard for iPad
    • Improved autocorrection accuracy
    • Improved Chinese and Japanese input
    • New Emoji keyboard
    • Personal dictionary for autocorrection
    • Optionally create keyboard short cuts for frequently used words

    Accessibility improvements

    • Option to light LED flash on incoming calls and alerts for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
    • Custom vibration patterns for incoming calls on iPhone
    • New interface for using iOS with mobility-impairment input devices
    • Option to speak a selection of text
    • Custom element labeling for VoiceOver

    Exchange ActiveSync improvements

  • Wirelessly sync tasks
  • Mark messages as flagged, read or unread
  • Improved offline support
  • Save a new contact from a GAL service

    More than 1,500 new developer APIs


    Bug fixes


    Products compatible with this software update: iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (3rd generation)


    * Normal carrier data rates may apply. Messages will be sent as SMS when iMessage is unavailable, carrier messaging fees apply.

    For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

  • Updated at 11:18 a.m. PT with additional details from the change log.

     

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