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iOS 5 hands on (photos)

CNET takes a hands-on tour of some of the new features of Apple's newest mobile operating system, iOS 5.

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Kent German
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Notifications

Swiping down from the top of the screen (much like Android) will open the long-awaited new Notifications Center. You'll see a complete list of your missed calls and messages, app updates, a stock ticker, and the current weather.
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Lock screen

Notifications also will show up on the lock screen.
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Over-the-air updates

The "PC Free" feature enables wireless device activations and software updates. The updates will serve only the changes, so they'll be shorter.
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Wireless syncing

Thanks to the new iCloud service, you'll also be able to wirelessly sync, back up, and restore your device.
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App updates

App updates will happen over the air as well. As you might have guessed, the idea is to never have you plug your device into a computer again. Or if you prefer, you won't have to own a computer at all.
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Photo stream

iCloud also will deliver a photo stream of stored images to your device.
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iMessage

The iMessage app looks just like the text messaging feature.
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iMessage settings

iMessage will let you send text and multimedia messages to individuals or groups.
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Camera

The option to add grid lines now appears above the HDR control, which shows a tweaked design.
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More camera

After taking a photo, you can crop and rotate your image and access color correction and red-eye reduction controls.
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Tweet a photo

You'll be able to post a photo to Twitter directly from the media gallery app.
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Twitter integration

And speaking of Twitter, the social network service will get tighter integration with your device. You'll be able to add a location, sync Twitter with your contacts list, and tweet directly from YouTube, Safari, and Maps.
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Tweet time

Here's the interface when tweeting. It's user-friendly and the @ symbol is prominently surfaced.
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Mapping

When planning a route in Google Maps, you can select from multiple route options.
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Safari Reader

The Reader option in the Safari browser will strip down articles into a simple, easy-to-read format.
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Reading List

Also in Safari, you can save bookmarks for later perusal.
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Reminders

With this new app you can save multiple to-do lists with dates for each event and categorize reminders by location.
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To-do list

And once you're finished with a task you can check them off. Reminders can be shared between devices and sync with iCal on the Mac with CalDAV, and on Windows with MS Exchange.
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Newsstand

The Newsstand app's design is similar to iBooks. You can add subscriptions from the App Store and new issues will be delivered automatically.
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Personal dictionary

Thanks to the personal dictionary you can avoid future auto-correct mishaps by adding slang, acronyms, and other unrecognized words to your device's dictionary.
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Define this

Get a definition by tapping unfamiliar words.
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Dictionary

You'll then jump directly to the definition.
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Game Center

The Game Center gets new features like profile photos, achievement point comparison, friends of friends, recommended friends and games, and support for turn-based games.
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Purchase games

What's more, you can buy apps directly from the app.
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Accessibility

iOS 5 also adds new accessibility options including LED flash and custom vibration settings to let you see and feel when someone's calling.

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