As reported by CNET News.com, available on AOL 5.0's new "Welcome Screen" is something called "You've Got Pictures," which was developed in conjunction with Eastman Kodak and allows users to share photos online as easily as they would send an email message, the company said.
The "You've Got Pictures" icon appears with an audio message when photos arrive. The photo feature began testing this week in three cities, the company said.
AOL's latest version also features an interactive calendar called "My Calendar"; a new "My Places" feature, which will allow members to personalize their AOL "Welcome Screen" with a list of sites they use most often; and AOL Search, its latest search product, which will let members search the entire Internet and AOL's exclusive content without having to leave the AOL service.
As a part of the company's "AOL Anywhere" initiative, AOL 5.0 also offers email functionality for 3Com's PalmPilot handhelds. With this feature, AOL members will be able to send and receive email via their AOL accounts from 3Com's handhelds.
In addition, the new software will support all broadband technologies, the company said. When a member connects to a service through broadband access, AOL 5.0 will "automatically" deliver "richer" online content, such as video, catalogue online shopping, games, and radio.
The latest version of Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer 5.0, will be integrated into AOL 5.0, the Dulles, Virginia-based ISP also said.
AOL said it relied on member feedback and suggestions for this upgraded version of its software. As a result, AOL 5.0 will let members retrieve recently deleted email from the "Mail Center" for up to 24 hours, allow members to more easily save and transfer the information from their "Address Book" and "Favorite Places" to another computer, help members locate and open downloaded email files more easily through the new "Locate" feature, and offer a "signature" option available with a member's email account.
AOL 5.0 will begin its beta testing stage within the next few weeks, the company said.