Apple launches iOS 5: iMessage, iCloud, Wi-Fi sync & OTA updates

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Along with the release of the iPhone 4s, Apple have also launched their latest update: iOS 5. Here's our roundup of the key changes to expect when you upgrade.

iOS 5's features
iOS 5's features

Notification Center

All the notifications are now displayed in one location under Notification Center. Apple already managed to take care of the annoying pop-ups that were present in the previous iOS versions, but you can still keep it the old way should you prefer.


All iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) can now communicate with each other using Apple’s new messaging service. With iMessage, you can send unlimited messages, photos, videos, locations and even contacts using your Apple device via Wi-Fi or 3G.


Do more wirelessly with iCloud. You can now perform backup and restore without a computer. You can also sync all your iDevices together at the same time.

PC Free

iOS 5 allows you to update your iOS device over the air ("OTA") making it PC-independent. So you can download all the necessary updates right to your device.


With iOS 5, you can compile all your favorite magazines in a single newsstand right through your iOS device. It is more convenient than having separate apps for all your subscriptions.


You can now organize all the things you need to do in lists. It also lets you set due dates and locations.


Tweet easily from your iPhone with the integrated Twitter account.


Access your camera right from the Lock screen with the new camera feature in iOS 5. Capture the perfect moment just by hitting the volume-up key.


Enhancing your photos just got easier as you can now edit them directly from the Photos app. Features include red-eye removal, cropping, rotating, etc.


iOS 5 brings better web-browsing experience as it now has Safari Reader feature, which was initially introduced in Mac OS X Lion. This is best for reading as it minimizes ads and gives a more text-oriented view. If you are using an iPad, you can also enjoy tabbed browsing for easier switching between sites.

Wi-Fi Sync

Sync your iPhone as if it is connected to iTunes over a Wi-Fi connection. It does it automatically every time the device is plugged into power.


iOS 5 allows you to format your text using bold, italic and underlined styles. You can now also search for a word definition. It also lets you indent paragraphs and look up for a word in the message body.


Enjoy weekly calendar view on iPhone and iPod Touch and yearly view on iPad. iOS 5 also enables you to rename, add and delete calendars on your iDevice.

AirPlay Mirroring

iOS devices with A5 processor can take advantage of AirPlay Mirroring feature of iOS 5. It allows you to display whatever is on your iPad 2 or iPhone 4S to any compatible device such as Apple TV – wirelessly.

Multitasking Gestures

iOS 5 also brought new multi-touch short-cuts for iPad users to enjoy. Swipe up to show the multitasking bar, pinch to go to the Home screen and swipe sidewards to switch between apps.

With all these new features integrated in iOS 5, there will surely be a lot to get used to. Nonetheless, iOS 5 is a great upgrade and there are many subtle new features (over 200!) which you'll find useful. Do not forget the most important iOS update rule: backup your iOS device prior to upgrading to avoid any loss of data!

About the author

Andy Coles has been building and documenting iPhone Backup Extractor since it was first released. He's made a number of discoveries in the field of data recovery, most notably techniques for transferring data between iPhone backups.

Reincubate's CEO at Buckingham Palace

Pictured above are members of Reincubate’s team meeting HM Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ at Buckingham Palace, after being awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work with Apple technology. Read our position on privacy, safety and security.

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