Oct. 4, 2011 at 1:42 PM ET
The next major release of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 5, will be available on October 12. It brings over 200 new features to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. Here's a review of some of the highlights.
Notifications: Apple listened to users' pleas for a better iOS notification system and created something called the Notifications Center. It's a central spot for all your notifications — including those from apps — and it can be accessed by swiping your finger down from the top of your iPhone. (This might sound rather familiar to Android users ...)
iMessage: Apple has created a new messaging service that'll work between iOS users. You'll be able to send texts, photos, videos, contacts, and group messages between the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The feature basically sounds a lot like BlackBerry Messenger and will show delivery receipts, read receipts, and typing indicators. Messages will be pushed to all your devices — and encrypted. Of course the whole thing works over either Wi-Fi or 3G.
Reminders: This little feature is basically a central to-do list which will keep you organized. As it's location aware, it can even remind you of events based on where you are.
Twitter integration: Due to the incredible popularity of Twitter, Apple has chosen to fully integrate it into iOS. This means that you'll be able to tweet directly from the Camera, Photo, YouTube, Maps, and Contacts apps. You can even use Twitter to automatically update the photos in your contact list.
Newsstand: Apple has created something called Newsstand. It's supposed to act as a direct line to magazines, newspapers, and other media. It allows for background downloads of media and places it into something that resembles the iBooks app.
Camera: The Camera app has finally received a lock screen short cut so that you can start snapping photos even faster — without even having to enter a passcode. As a bonus, you can now use the volume up button to take a picture. Oh, and you can pinch-to-zoom right in the Camera app.
Photo editing: You can now do basic photo editing — such as cropping, red eye reduction, enhancements, and such — directly on your iPhone and right out of the box.
Game Center: The iOS Game Center now has photos, the ability to compare rank and scores against your friends, a way to see friends of friends, recommended friends, and game recommendations. There will now also be turn-based games in iOS, playable on multiple devices.
Safari: Apple's giving its mobile browser some improvements such as Reader, a little feature which will kick in when you're reading a story on a website. It will basically provide you with an option to make the content easier on the eyes and provide you with a link to email the story.
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