Although the iPhone 4S will not be available until Friday, Apple consumers with older products will begin to see changes before then. Apple, who is introducing iOS 5 today, is making the new mobile software available free of charge to individuals who own either an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3G. In addition to rolling out iOS 5 today, Apple is releasing the iCloud, which was the most anticipated new feature.
The iCloud, which Steve Jobs first announced in June, will allow Apple users to effortlessly synchronize all of their Apple devices over the web. The service will allow multiple devices to sync music, photos, emails, notes, reminders, contacts, and much more. Music that was purchased from iTunes will be available on up to ten devices and the “iTunes in the cloud” will make music available to users wherever they are.
In addition, the new iCloud service will allow people to “legitimize” their pirated music collection with iTunes Match, which costs $24.99 per year. iTunes Match will match your non-iTunes music with songs that are in the iTunes library and stream those songs to your devices.
In addition to the iCloud, iOS 5 will include a new encrypted instant messaging service named iMessage. The iMessage system is similar to the Blackberry Messenger service and will enable people to send messages, photos, and videos to other Apple devices with either a Wi-Fi or a data network instead of using the usual cellular network. Similar to the Blackberry system, people will be able to see when messages have been delivered and read.
Some of the other top iOS 5 features include: location-based reminders, Twitter integration, over the air sync and upgrades using Wi-Fi, news subscriptions, and a voice-activated “assistant” named Siri. The new software update offers an array of exciting new features and is sure to please Apple’s customers.