iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad released today

Already got an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad? Beat the iPhone 4S hopefuls to the iOS 5 punch

iOS 5 is  available to download on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad today (Wednesday, October 12, 2011). Why Apple has chosen to unveil its now mobile OS two days before the release of its new flagship iPhone 4S handset is unclear, but if you've got a compatible iDevice and half an ounce of common sense you'll be jacking into iTunes today to get your iOS 5 fix.

The iOS 5 update introduces over-the-air updates and iCloud storage, meaning no need to connect to a computer ever again. Well, in theory. It also brings (some might say steals) a drag-down notifications menu – imaginatively called Notification Center – like (or exactly the same) as Android's drop down notification strap.

Then there’s iMessage, Apple’s very own version of BBM. There’s also Twitter integration meaning you can snap a pic and Tweet it immediately, without opening an app (similar to HTC's Sense 3.5). But with over 200 changes there’s bound to be some originality in there – like Reader, which lets you set web pages to read later offline – and since it’s Apple doing it, the updates will probably work perfectly (unlike Facebook’s recent iPad app).

The only thing it won’t have is Siri, that voice-activated assistant is reserved for iPhone 4S owners only. Have a glance at our Need to know – iOS 5 guide, then head to iTunes for your last ever wired update of your handset. Probably.


Apple iPhone 4S review

Need to know – iOS 5

Tim Cook's iOS 5 keynotes announcement video

iPhone 4S pricing guide

Facebook iPad app arrives

iPhone 4S Siri Raise To Talk feature