iOS 5 for iPhone: Everything you need to know

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Apple has just announced its new operating system iOS 5 will go live on the 12th of October and apparently contains a huge 200 new features. Wow.

Now admittedly some of these (OK all of these) features were expected and we’re not going to bore you with every one, but here are some that we’re excited about.

Notifications and the introduction of iMessage

Yep, we were definitely expecting this one. iMessage is the new iOS-based messaging service, allowing you to send messages between fellow iOS users, regardless of device. Text messages, photos, videos and contacts can be shared, and group messaging is also supported. Being cross-device compatible, all messages on an iPhone or iPod are mirrored on your iPad, and vice-versa.

Deep integration with Twitter

We were expecting the word “integration” to be wheeled out a few hundred times this evening and we haven’t been disappointed.

Scott Forstall said at the announcement earlier, “we’ve integrated Twitter into many of our built-in apps. Tweet photos, web sites, videos, locations from maps.” And then he gave a little shout out to Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo. How sweet.

A single sign-in menu will configure Twitter with all compatible apps, saving your credentials so you don’t have to re-enter them every time. Twitter will also be integrated into apps such as Camera and Photos, allowing you to quickly send snaps to all your Twitter contacts, as well as send Safari pages and Maps data.

Synced, slick reminders

This new feature lets you create simple lists of things you need to get done, assign them to dates in the calendar, and even add a location too, geo-fencing your to-do list. It will sync across all your iOS devices, pulling the info into your Calendar app if you so chose.

A few new camera features and photo editing

There’ll be a camera button on the lock screen making it much easier to quickly snap a photo and there are several new photo editing tools too, allowing you to crop, rotate and remove red-eye.

Safari with Reader feature

It looks like Apple is taking on the likes of Instapaper and Readability with Reader, which aims to “take the story on the page, we format it perfectly on the device, it’s all loaded so you can just scroll through and read it.”

Game Center gets an update

It’s mostly a social update, displaying scores of your friends’ friends, and also offering friend recommendations and game recommendations. Game downloads can now be made directly from Game Center, with turn-based games playing directly from the OS.

A PC free feature gets added

You no longer need to tether iPads, iPhones or iPods with a machine the very first time you use them, with a “welcome” screen running you through all the necessary set-up functions. Software updates are now available over-the-air, and as these are delta updates, only adjusting the specific changes made, you shouldn’t be left with massive downloads.

Siri Voice Assistant App

The iOS 5 will also feature deep voice recognition capabilities in the shape of the Siri app, acting like your phone’s own digital personal assistant. Asking questions to the iPhone 4S will give immediate, intelligent answers, giving you the abilty to (using Apple’s own example) just ask your phone what the weather is like today before being given a forecast, for instance.

Gerald Lynch

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