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Download IOS 5 Now: IMessage Makes The New Apple IOS A Must-Have

Ios5 Download Apple Iphone

First Posted: 10/13/11 12:19 PM ET Updated: 12/13/11 05:12 AM ET

iOS 5, the new operating system for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, has been released by Apple, and it's a big one, folks. If you own a newer-generation Apple device, especially an iPhone, you need to download iOS 5 as soon as you possibly can. Do not delay. Run, don't walk. Get it.

Apple says that iOS 5 comes with over 200 new features; we've outlined the most important ones here. But most important of all, with a cherry on top, is iMessage.

Included within the familiar green "Messages" app of iOS 5, iMessage is identical in purpose and function to BlackBerry's popular BBM service: It is like a live chat room between you and your iDevice-owning friend, during which you can text back and forth in real time without using up any text messages. Unlike BBM, you don't need aynone's PIN to send them messages; iMessage immediately detects when the person you're texting has iMessage enabled and sends your text as an iMessage as a default when it can.

Now, iMessage sends your messages over Wi-Fi or your mobile network; so granted, using iMessage will eat up that data where no Wi-Fi is available. But if you were grandfathered in to unlimited data on AT&T or Verizon, or if you plan to sign up for an iPhone on the always-unlimited Sprint network, iMessage is a great, free deal.

Phone companies, especially those that have unlimited data plans like Sprint, are sure to hate iMessage. (Another reason to upgrade to iOS 5: To spite your mobile carrier.) Assuming each message sent or received costs the customer 10 cents, carriers mark up the cost of text messages somewhere between 5,000 and 6,500 percent per text, depending on whom you believe. iMessage could enable iPhone owners (with lots of friends who are iPhone owners) to lower the cost of their text messaging plan month over month.

So, not only should you be getting iOS 5 as quick as you can; you should also be telling your iPhone-owning friends to get iOS 5 as quick as they can, too.

iOS 5 pulled in the best feature from BlackBerry: Real-time Internet-based messaging. The new Apple mobile OS also aggregates many other great features from competing smartphone operating systems, like Google's Android OS and Windows 7.5 Mango. For completists, iOS 5 is a more fully fleshed-out operating system, one that makes iOS 4 seem weak in comparison.

The much-needed Notification Center, for example, is finally available on Apple devices. The Notification Center is a central hub that drops down from the top of the screen and will contain new activity and alerts that occur from the last time you checked your phone; it was one of the huge advantages of Android over iOS, and now that is gone. Reminders, calendar events, new emails with message previews, text messages, Facebook friend requests, turn notifications in Words With Friends, whatever -- all are combined into the Notification Center. And in another much-needed update (also cribbed from Android/Mango), new notifications will appear in minimized form on the lock screen. In iOS 4, a lone text message could take up your entire screen when the phone was locked; but iOS 5 lets you see digest versions of all of your notifications before you unlock your phone, that is, how many new emails you have, how many new texts you have, etc.

The Camera app has also gotten some much needed improvements that strike at Microsoft's Windows Mango OS. While iOS 5 won't make your camera load any faster on the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 (sigh), it will enable you to open the camera from the lock screen by double-tapping the Home button and then pressing the camera icon.. Photos also gets an upgrade, with picture cropping, red-eye removal and auto enhance features built into the app.

The little touch-ups, polishes and new conveniences are all over iOS 5. Email writers will now be able to compose messages using bold and italics. Wireless sync will allow users to update the music on their iPod without tearing apart their house looking for that darn USB cable. A larger Safari window with ability to open new tabs is a much welcome improvement to the iPad browser. At the price of free, there is no reason not to get iOS 5 as soon as you can; Apple has loaded iOS 5 with tons of goodies and features that do nothing but improve on an already solid and easy-to-use mobile OS; and with iMessage, they might even save you some money, too.


First, you'll need to download iTunes 10.5, either by opening iTunes and looking for an update or by going to the Apple website here. iTunes 10.5 is required for syncing your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad with iOS 5.

Once you've got iTunes 10.5, open iTunes and plug your device into your computer; Apple's software updater should notify you that a newer version of iOS is available. If it does not, then in iTunes, click on your iPhone, iPod or iPad under the "Devices" label on the Left sidebar; under "Version," there should be a button that says "Button" with something next to it like "A newer version of the iPhone software is available. To update your iPhone with the latest software, click Update."

If you click Update, the iPhone software will update (duh), and you'll have iOS 5. Some users were reporting incredibly slow speeds at first, but now that the rush has died down, downloads should be going much quicker.

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  • Virtual Assistant

    Apple debuted the <a href="" target="_hplink">Siri virtual assistant</a>, a voice-controlled interface designed exclusively for the iPhone 4S. Siri lets the user schedule calendar events and reminders, set alarms, find information about local businesses--just by asking. The hands-free system even talks back to you. <a href="!/nickbilton/status/121288597952405504" target="_hplink">The New York Times's Nick Bilton</a> notes that it sounds like "A female Hal who had too many vodka tonics at the bar." <a href="" target="_hplink">According to TechCrunch</a>, "Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • Faster Processor

    The iPhone 4S is built around Apple's dual-core A5 processor, which also powers the iPad 2. <a href="" target="_hplink">Apple claims that this new chip</a> "delivers up to twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than iPhone 4." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>

  • Better Download Speeds

    Although the new iPhone isn't a 4G device, Apple claims that it can rival high-speed devices. <a href="" target="_hplink">Writes Gizmodo</a>, "the new iPhone 4S runs on faster HSPA+ networks. That means that your telephone will download stuff faster from the Internet. Before it was up to 7.2 Megabits-per-second downloads." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • New Operating System

    Right out of the box, the new iPhone will run Apple's upgraded operating system, iOS 5. Apple says the new OS introduces over 200 new features, such as push notifications to all mobile devices, wireless upgrades, improved mobile browsing via Apple's Safari app, location-aware reminders, a webcam shortcut that's accessible from the lock screen, the ability to edit photos and many others. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • More Carrier Choices

    In addition to availability through AT&T and Verizon, the iPhone 4S will be offered by a new carrier: Sprint. "[T]he specs for Sprint's version perfectly match the Verizon model -- both have an EVDO radio for 3G within the US, and a GSM one for service outside the country," <a href="" target="_hplink">Engadget writes</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • 'World Phone'

    Apple's latest iPhone is a "world phone," which means users can use it to place calls and surf the web on different networks, an ideal feature for jet-setters and one that previous iPhones didn't offer. <a href="" target="_hplink">From Apple's official press release:</a> <blockquote>Improving on the innovative stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. iPhone 4S now supports twice the download speed with HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps and iPhone 4S is a world phone, so both CDMA and GSM customers can now roam internationally on GSM networks.</blockquote> <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • Pricing

    In the United States, customers can pick up a 16GB iPhone 4S for $199, a 32GB model for $299 and a beefy 64GB model for $399. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • Availability

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S begin on October 7</a>. The device will hit shelves in the U.S. on October 14. Consumers around the world will have to wait until December 2011, when the handset will make its way to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to Apple</a>. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>

  • Longer Battery Life

    Apple promises that the faster A5 processor won't degrade battery life but will actually allow the iPhone 4S to use energy more efficiently than the iPhone 4. Indeed, the company promises up to 8 hours of battery life when placing calls via 3G. "If you set your phone to 2G, you will get 14 hours of talk time," <a href="" target="_hplink">writes Gizmodo</a>. "3G web browsing will give you six hours of battery life, while Wi-Fi access runs up to nine hours." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>

  • Stronger Camera

    The new iPhone also comes with a camera upgrade. The device's rear-facing webcam has been bumped up from 5 megapixels up to 8 megapixels and will offer 1080p HD video recording. Images captured on the iPhone 4S will feature over 60 percent more pixels than on the previous handset, <a href="" target="_hplink">that's a resolution of 3264 x 2448</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • Airplay Mirroring

    A feature of iOS 5, <a href="" target="_hplink">Airplay Mirroring</a> allows the iPhone sync wirelessly to an Apple TV, letting the user watch videos or view photos from their phone on the big screen. <em>Images courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • Familiar Dimensions

    The new iPhone looks just like its predecessor, <a href="" target="_hplink">measuring</a> 4.5 inches high, 2.31 wide and 0.37 inches thick, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to Apple's measurements</a>. The 4S will weigh 4.9 ounces, just a hair heavier than its predecessor, which weighed 4.8 ounces. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>

  • Color Options

    The new iPhone will be available in white as well as black. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>