Friday marks the day for the iPhone 4S, but you can download the latest operating system, iOS 5, today! First, download iTunes 10.5 to get your system ready for update. Be sure to back up all your iPhone data — contacts, apps, and music — while you're at it. Once iOS 5 goes live, sync your phone and away you go!
Wondering what all the fuss is about? ICYMI, here are some of the awesome features coming with iOS 5:
- iMessage — Integration of a messaging service in iOS 5 gives all users text message capabilities via WiFi or 3G. Whether you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you can now send unlimited text messages to other devices using iOS 5. It includes group messaging and automated syncing across all your iOS devices. Hopefully this will be the end of pricey texting plans.
- Notification Center — Android users are already familiar with a similar Notification Center feature, which sends all push notifications into one central location on your device. Any new notification appears as an animation at the top of the screen and can be swiped down for more details. Notification Center even shows up on the lock screen so you're always in the know.
- Newsstand — Organize every digital magazine and newspaper app subscription in one place. Each new monthly, weekly, or daily issue is automatically delivered into the Newsstand waiting to be read.
- Reminders — A reminders or notes app may not seem groundbreaking, but iOS 5's Reminders feature syncs between all iOS 5 devices and a Mac OS X computer. It's also location-based, meaning Reminders will alert you to a specific task when you reach a corresponding location. For example, it will tell you to pick up the rent check to mail when you have arrived home.
- Cloud Syncing — The OS update removes the need to ever plug a device into a computer to sync up downloads and apps. Photo editing is built in to the iOS 5, and all device backup is courtesy of Apple's iCloud.
- Twitter Integration — Twitter is integrated system-wide within iOS 5. Send tweets directly from any app, like Safari, Photos, YouTube — everything, no need to open a Twitter client.
Four more cool features of iOS 5 after the break.
Update: iOS 5 has been released! Plug in your iPhone to your iTunes account to get started. Thankfully, this will be the last time you'll have to use a cable to sync!