iOS5 Released Today

Apple has today released the latest iteration of their mobile operating system: iOS5. This new update - which is free - is available for the following devices: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch (4th Gen), iPads. In order to download it, simply connect your device to iTunes.

iOS5 brings with it a slew of new features. Here are the highlights:

  • Notification Centre. This has been mostly 'appropriated' from Android, but that doesn't make it not worth having. All incoming messages on your device, such as SMS and emails and iMessages (see below), are now collected in a single place, which can be accessed easily, even from the lockscreen. Simply swiping the specific notification will take you to the desired app. Best of all, notifications fade in briefly at the top of the screen, but no longer interrupt other tasks you may have open.
  • No need for iTunes. Apple have finally done away with the need to connect your device to iTunes in order to activate it or to update it. This is a major improvement for organisations running iPhone fleets, since it will make keeping each device updated much simpler. On this note, you can now sync your device to iTunes wirelessly.
  • iMessage. The iMessage App allows you to send unlimited text, photo and video messages to other iOS5 users for free, although if you aren't on wi-fi it will use your monthly data allowance.
  • Camera. It will now be possible to take photos straight from the lockscreen. There have also been a number of enhancements to the camera functionality, such the capacity to lock focus and exposure, and gridlines to help compose shots.
  • Email. The email client has seen some improvements, with the ability to better format text, to flag message, and to create and remove folders, among other things.