Apple on Monday introduced iOS 5, which will be released this fall A beta version is now in the hands of iOS developers. The software has more than 200 new features, and is less tethered than ever from the constraints of being connected to a Mac or PC.
[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]New features include Notification Center, a new way to manage notifications from various apps in one place without interruption; iMessage, a new messaging service for iOS users that combines text messages, photos and videos; and Newsstand, which organizes newspaper and mamgazine subscription.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has emphasized his “Post PC” philosophy since unveiling the iPad 2, and that comes into play with iOS 5 as well – users will be to set up and use iOS devices and get software updates without needing a computer for setup or synchronization.
iOS 5 also supports iCloud, a new, mostly free service from Apple that replaces MobileMe – iCloud integrates mail, contact, calendar, photo, app, book, and music synchronization without needing a computer.
Notification Center gathers text messages, missed calls, calendar alerts, app alerts and other notifications to the top of your screen, without interrupting what you’re doing.
iOS 5 integrates Twitter support, so you can sign in once and then tweet from Twitter-enabled apps, including Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps. Apple is also extending that support for third party apps by exposing an Application Programming Interface (API) that developers can use.
Safari has been overhauled with support for Reader, a feature first enabled in the desktop version of Safari, which lets you view text on a Web page without seeing ads and other distractions. Reading List lets you save articles to read later; tabbed browsing lets you flip between Web pages.
Game Center, Mail, Camera and Photos all sport new features, and AirPlay now lets you wirelessly mirror whatever you do on your iPad 2 on an HDTV using Apple TV. Many other new features have been added, as well – for a sample, visit Apple’s Web site.