So it’s that time of year that every apple owner has been counting down the days to and now you no longer have to, because from 6pm GMT, the latest iOS software was made available for general download.
This includes loads of fantastic features that will change how you use your iDevice completely.
Here’s a quick rundown of the main new features of the iOS 5 software
iCloud is like your very own hard drive in the sky. Starting off by giving every iOS 5 user a free 5gb worth of storage space, you can completely upload all the contents of your iPad including music, photos, videos, etc. This can let you sync your stuff between all your devices that run the iOS 5 software.
Thanks to support for iCloud and over-the-air software updates, you don’t need to use iTunes with iOS 5. But if you want to keep using iTunes to manage, play, and purchase media on your computer, you can now synchronize iTunes with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad wirelessly.
You’ll need to connect your device to a computer via a USB cable and synchronize at least once the old fashioned way. Once you’ve done that, click on your device in iTunes, open the settings tab, and under General find the “iTunes Wi-Fi Sync” option to get started.
Notifications have changed. No longer will you have to get a stupid blue bubble appearing on your screen to let you know someone’s messaged you or sent you a tweet. This will now be done in a sleek new Notification Center which you can find by swiping your finger down from the top centre of the screen. This will present you a list of all the recent alerts from all the active applications that you have set up within your settings.
There’s also room for little widgets in the Notification Center, allowing you to view weather forecasts and other information.
Apple has built support for Twitter right into the operating system. If you have a Twitter account you can login with your username and password and automatically add your Twitter contacts to your phone’s contact list.
You can also use Twitter to login to applications that support Twitter IDs, and upload photos or other content to Twitter by opening the sharing menu in many applications.
Apple is launching its own instant messaging platform, allowing users to send messages to one another in real-time. The iMessage app also supports photo and video sharing.
Unfortunately iMessage only supports iOS at the moment, which means that while you’ll be able to chat with your contacts using iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad devices, you won’t be able to message your Android or BlackBerry-toting friends unless you use a third party instant messaging service.
You can get our guide for how to use iMessage by clicking on this link.
The new reminders feature lets you set notes for yourself and create to-do lists. You can synchronize these tasks with iCloud, iCal, or Microsoft Outlook.
There’s also support for location-based reminders which will give you an alert when you arrive at a specific location. This feature currently supports the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
Apple has added a new digital magazine and newspaper stand to iBooks. You can subscribe to digital periodicals and read them on your mobile devices using the new service.
One of the most impressive new features in iOS 5 is only available on the iPhone 4S.
It’s a voice-recognition system called Siri, which allows you to launch applications, dictate text messages or emails, or perform other actions. But you can also ask Siri questions and get actual answers. For instance, you can ask it to do a math question, or find local restaurants.
Siri gathers data from Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha. Apple acquired the technology from a company that had originally developed Siri as a standalone app for iOS — but now it’s built into the operating system, as long as you have a supported device.
Get yourself iOS 5 today for your iDevice. If you don’t have an apple device then grab your free iPad 2 or any other apple device you want by heading over to the main site now.