iOS 5 Release Date is October 12

iOS 5 has been available to developers for a few months now. A number of new features are included such as better notifications, reminders and various other features. When Apple [AAPL] took the stage today they announced the iOS 5 release date as October 12 which is this time next week.

Expanding a bit on the new features we first start with notifications. Apple has completely revamped notifications and now includes a slide down status screen that shows your upcoming appointments, reminders, emails, texts and a few other bits of information. On the lock screen you can reply to a message by sliding across the message.

Next up is Reminders. Apple has created a new notifications system that allows you to set up geo-fences. What that means is that you can tell it to sound the alarm when you arrive home or when you leave work for example. It gets the data from the aGPS and when you leave or enter a location the alarm is triggered. Very handy should you need to grab a present when you drive past a particular shop. We have heard that Apple is opening up the API to allow other apps to utilise geo-fencing.

iMessage is another handy update which brings text messaging to the iPad and iPhone. Rather than using up your SMS allowance you connect to the iMessage server and if the other person you are sending a message to is flagged as being online, the message will be sent over the data connection to that user. For those running an iPhone and iPad you also get an updates stream on each device so you can carry the conversation on on your iPad if needed.

Twitter has been integrated in to iOS 5 and now allows you to add your account details to the settings menu and then tweet various items from your phone. This could include a game, a place on a map and various other items around the phone.

Safari has received a much welcomed update which now allows you to open up a link in the background. On the iPad version you now get tabs rather than the previous tiled screen.

When activating a new iOS 5 device you no longer need to connect it to your PC/Mac. Now you can connect up to a Wireless network and activate on the device.

iCloud is also added to iOS 5 and automatically takes a backup of your iOS device each day. Should you need to restore your device you can now simply log in to iCloud with your Apple credentials and request the latest backup (or a previous backup) is restored.

Another handy update to the new iOS is OTA updates. Apple now allows updates to be done from the iPhone over wireless networks. In iOS 4 and older versions you needed to connect up your device to iTunes, click the Check for Updates button and then download the full package. iOS 5 uses delta updates which means the update package is a lot smaller and quicker to install with the added benefit of not needing to be tethered to iTunes.

A number of other enhancements can be found. The iOS 5 release date is October 12.

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