iOS 5 Debuts Wednesday, Release Time Likely 1 p.m. EDT – International Business Times

The upgrade comes with a dazzling lineup of 200 new features including the Notification Center, the Newstand, iMessage, Twitter integration and wireless syncing.

The update aims to separate the iDevice from the PC, making it “PC Free.” Any iOS 5 device can be operated entirely without a computer, finally turning the iPad into a true netbook contendor.

To install iOS 5 on your current device, simply connect it to Mac or PC and follow a set of instructions in iTunes. once the update is complete, you won’t need to plug it into computers ever again, as iOS 5 is totally device independent.

The iOS 5 comes with 1500 new APIs and 200 new features. among them are the following updates:

Improved Notifications System – “Scaled beautifully,” the new push notifications system is no longer annoying or obtrusive and will be displayed on the lock screen together with stock and weather alerts.

News Stand – Similar to iBooks, News Stand will be dedicated to magazines and newspapers.

Improved Mobile Safari – the mobile Web browser now comes with a tabbed browsing feature even as the Safari Reader allows users to quickly save stories for later reading in the Reading List.

Reminders – the new Reminders app in iOS 5 now makes it possible to maintain multiple lists and save them with dates to alert you. Reminders has geolocation capabilities i.e. it can send reminders to users based on user location.

Camera – the camera can now be accessed faster as it gets a shortcut on the lock screen. To access, double tap the home button and then tap the camera icon. for taking photos, simply tap the volume up button. Other new camera features include crop and rotate, edit, red eye reduction, auto focus and auto exposure, and auto enhance (using iPhoto).

Mail – the new Mail feature in iOS 5 has seen some significant changes. It now comes with rich text formatting message flagging and draggable addresses. Now entire messages can also be searched.

There are also keyboard enhancements: Now it’s possible to drag the keyboard up, split the keyboard (to make it more ergonomic). the size of the keyboard can also be reduced to facilitate thumb-typing.

PC Free Function – the iOS 5 is “PC free” i.e. now there’s no need to hook up mobile Apple devices with PC to access iTunes. iOS updates are now possible over the air. An iTunes library can also be synced wirelessly via Wi-Fi. iTunes sync is now automatic and possible even while an iOS device is being charged.

Delta updates are also available i.e. software updates are now over the air and you can download only the necessary update and not the entire app/software.

iMessage – iMessage is perhaps the most important feature in iOS 5. the iMessage, which is only available to iOS users allows sending text and multimedia messages over Wi-Fi and 3G. It comes with read and delivery receipts and real time typing indication. the iMessages can be pushed out to all iOS devices a user owns, thereby allowing, for instance, the user to start a conversation on an iPhoneand continue the same on an iPad right where it was left off.

Twitter integration – While Android offers great Facebook integration, Apple has gone down the other social networking group and got into bed with Twitter. the result is that, once signed into the microblogging service, Twitter is available system-wide, letting you tweet links and photos from anywhere in the iDevice, and attach your current location, too. Any contacts who appear on Twitter and in your address book will be synced together, automatically attaching Twitter handles to the correct contacts.

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