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iOS 5 is here!

After months of anticipation, Apple has revealed the features of its fresh and revamped iOS 5. Since the iOS 5 was first announced at June’s WWDC, we have been ticking down the days of the calendar, but at last it has arrived!

10am Pacific time thousands rushed to their freshly updated iTunes 10.5 to download the new software update. The update brought us over 200 new features; we will highlight a couple of the most exciting ones for you today!

Possibly one for the most anticipated release features is Apples version of BBM called “iMessage”.  The release could not be more ironic with RIM’s server crashing yesterday, leaving hundreds and thousands of dedicated Blackberry users (globally) questioning whether it’s time to make a change to an iPhone.  We think that Blackberry…

is the new, this:

iMessage is available to all Apple’s iOS 5 devices, including iPhone/iPad/iPod. Like RIM’s BBM, it’s an internal platform / free messaging system which is set-up using your phone number or email registered with Apple. It enables you to message your friends who use iOS devices completely free of charge (keep in mind it uses the Internet to do that, so check with your carrier regarding your data plans, especially when traveling abroad to avoid crazy fees).  The new iMessage threatens to put a lot of third party messaging apps out of business.

Another great feature that is brought to us in this update is “Notification Centre” which basically transfers the usual push-notification that interrupts you while using your phone (most of us are familiar with Facebook picture likes popping up every minute) into a neatly organized “banner” like interface. It organizes all your notification including messages, emails, tweets, Facebook notifications and others. Alongside the notifications, you have a choice of a weather and stock widget. Unfortunately, at the moment, third party apps cannot create widgets to go into your “Notification Centre,”  however, that feature will probably be available in the next update.

One of the more revolutionary features begging to be integrated into Apple apps is available today is the iCloud, which we mentioned in detail in an article titled: The iCloud and Apple’s Creativity

iCloud is basically a more advanced / fancy version of Mobile me, which includes over the air sync of Mail, Contacts, Calendar and Bookmarks with an add on of iPhoto sync and iWork suite.  iCloud spans all iOS 5 devices that you register to your iCloud account. 

This service will also let you back up your iOS devices in the cloud. iTunes recently underwent an iCloud makeover and will let you re-download content that was previously purchased across all your iOS devices!

iPhone 4 is known as a great way to make almost “SLR” quality images, and those of you who use your iPhone as a camera on a daily basis will appreciate the little adjustments that were brought to us today.

You can now take pictures a lot more efficiently and quickly by using the “volume up” button; this can be extremely useful when you are trying to capture something in its momentum and you don’t have much time to go through all of your apps and folders.

Other features include a grid option, that overlays your screen and helps you frame shots.  And an exposure lock, which you can use by tapping and holding a section of a photo.

And now you can have access to your camera without unlocking your phone by double tapping the home button, which brings out an iPhoto app, in similar to the way you can bring up you iPod!

iPhoto also underwent iCloud integration, which, once set up with your photo stream, will be automatically available on all your iCloud devices.

Other great updates include Twitter integration which features a “tweet” option to share a website or a picture. All you need to do to activate the feature is log in to your account by going to the Setting app.

Safari app also got an update with a “reading list” which lets you mark web-pages in a similar “bookmark” concept, however it organizes them far more efficiently.

Some of the other feature include Newsstand, Reminders and many more….!

Siri voice control is coming soon; to those lucky ones to get their hands on the iPhone 4S hardware which is going to be released this Friday October 14th, coming to Apple shop near you! Pictures after the jump!

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