Apple’s Scott Forstall has confirmed the release date of the upcoming iOS 5 software update for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It’ll be available on 12 October, and will be a free download.
Forstall revealed the date at Apple’s annual iPhone conference, where the iPhone 4S was also unveiled. iOS 5 is the first huge software update these devices have received since the release of iOS 4 in June 2010. iOS 5 will be available for iPad and iPad 2, third and fourth generation iPod Touch devices, and both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. Anything older is out of luck.
It’s a significant update, too. It offers a new notifications system, the BlackBerry Messenger-like iMessage iOS messaging tool, improved Twitter integration and a location-aware notifications app called Reminders. iOS 5 also overhauls the camera system, letting you use the volume up button or a double click on the Home button to take a photo.
iCloud will be fully integrated into iOS 5, giving you 5GB of data storage for free. Storage bolt-ons are available, but will cost you some moolah. iCloud will naturally let you sync-up things like calendar events between your Mac OS and iOS devices – a big plus for all you Apple obsessives out there.
A brand new feature we hadn’t seen working before the press conference was the Find My Friends app. This is rather like Google’s Latitude, and lets you see the location of your contacts who have agreed to share the location using the service. Apple also stressed that parental controls are worked into this app, which should hopefully negate the possibilities of anything untoward happening as a result of it. And if not, Apple's going to have a whole load of bad PR on its hands.