The new iOS 5 and iCloud service will be available starting October 12th, two days before the new iPhone 4S will hit stores.
According to Scott Forstall, senior VP of iPhone software, the new OS will be available through iTunes 10.5 as a free update. It was also announced that another application, Find My Friends, will be available soon. This will let you see where your friends and family are if they have chosen to share it. There will, apparently, also be a way to prevent kids from turning it off, making it a great application for families.
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Among the new additions of iOS 5 there is also a notification center which combines all notifications in one place, and it can be revealed with only a swipe down from the top. Missed calls, emails, sports scores, Facebook updates and much more will be in one place, but none interrupt your activities. For example, if you’re playing a game and you receive a text message, that notification will appear at the top of your game and then it will disappear, without interrupting the game.
A new feature will be iMessage, which will sync across iOS devices. You can opt to access delivery reports, read receipts and typing notifications so you know when someone responds to you, much like the BlackBerry Messenger. According to Apple, the messaging feature will be available over 3G and Wi-Fi and all data will be encrypted.
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Apple’s iCloud application will now store your content in the cloud and wirelessly push it to all the other devices, including iTunes. So, if you add a new contact, take a picture or make any other modification, it will automatically be put into the cloud. Up to 10 devices will be supported for free, and everyone will also get 5GB free storage for music, docs and photos.
Apple has invested 3 billion dollars to application developers so far, more than 500.000 apps residing in the App Store, Forstall said, over 140.000 of which are for the iPad. In the past three years, users have downloaded a total of over 18 billion apps.
Tim Cook prided in the fact that since the launch of Mac OS X Lion in July, 6 million copies were sold, 80% more than Snow Leopard.
“It took Windows 7 20 weeks to reach 20% of their install base, we did this in two weeks,” he boasted. There have also been 100.000 developers who have tried the new iOS 5 since June.
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