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Apple's free software upgrade for iPhone, iPad goes live; iCloud opens

UPDATE Oct 13: iOS 5 went live for download just after 6am this morning. Apple's free software upgrade gives your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch a range of new features (scroll down for a list). Simultaneously, was opened for busines. Scroll down for key features, and iCloud NZ pricing.

As of 9.30am, many New Zealand users were taking to social networks to complain about slow downloads. It seems Apple's servers are overloaded. (The issue seems widespread. The US edition of Computerworld has reported complaints about error messages and swamped servers). The best advice is to hold off upgrading this morning and let the crowd disperse a little.

Once you're game, if you're an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad user, plug your device into your Windows PC or Mac and, in iTunes, click on its icon then - if there's no automatic pop-up message - click Check For Updates to start downloading and installing iOS 5.

Your correspondent is currently upgrading to iOS 5. The whole process, including downloading, installation, synching and logging into iCloud using my Apple ID (what most of us know as our iTunes name and password). The iOS 5 download itself is north of 1GB. That is, movie huge.

ABOVE: Clogged traffic downloading iOS 5 didn't translate into any iCloud delays. I was able to log in, via, immediately. The screen shot above is on my Windows 7 laptop (click to enlarge). A key component - iTunes Match, that scans your music library then "matches" it on iCloud for streaming to any device - won't be available until the end of the month.

ABOVE (click screen shot to zoom):  "Find My Phone", a feature formerly only available as part of the $120/year Mobile Me service, is free with iCloud, accessed via I used it three times while at NBR Towers, aka Achillies House in downtown Auckland (the red X above shows my approximte corner location, with my iPhone 4 on my desk). I had three goes locating my iPhone 4, which only takes seconds via iCloud (like all high-end smartphones and tablets, the iPhone 4 has assisted GPS, aka a-GPS, which combines satellite and cellular systems to pinpoint a handset's location. One was bang on. Another (see screen above, click to enlarge) had me diagonally across the screen, another two blocks south. GPS signals can bounce off buildings and other obstructions, sometimes delivering slightly inaccurate results. If you're looking for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad in an open space, Find My Phone could be a big help. But if you think you've tracked your phone to a particular dwelling, you could be wrong, so think twice before throwing a punch.

A couple of disappointments: it seems iOS 5's tabbed browsing feature (a catch-up feature with Google Android devices) is only available for iPad, not iPhone.

And, as expected, Newstand - designed to make it easier to access and read e-versions of popular hardcopy titles - is bare by default (Aussies got a sprinkling of local totals, the US tons), with no New Zealand magazine or newspaper publisher's featured.

Early reviews
Ars Technica got its mits on iOS 5 early. Read its extended review here.

TiPb has a comprehensive, feature-by-feature illustrated walkthrough of iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad here.

The site has noticed one gotcha: it seems the new Photo Stream feature, which (when used in conjuction with iCloud) lets you automatically sync photos between devices, won't let you delete a photo until you hit the 1000-picture limit. However, NBR reader Michael Kress points out you can delete photos. The process is just a little tricky. Log-on to iCloud then choose Account/Advanced/Reset Photostream Turn off/on device settings).

Siri astounds
A signature feature of iOS 5 - its "Siri" natural language voice commands - is only available for the new iPhone 4S (released in Australia, the US and other countries at the end of this week; the NZ release date is still pending). Daring Fireball's John Gruber - one of the most respected reviewers in the Applesphere - makes Siri sound Space Odysseylevel amazing. read his review here. A sample:

I asked, “When was my last haircut?”, and it found that appointment from a month ago. I told Siri, “Play something by the Rolling Stones” and it played a random Stones song (“Gimme Shelter”, from Let It Bleed). I interrupted and said, “Play ‘Some Girls’ by the Rolling Stones”, and Siri played just that song.

I was out running errands today, walking through the city. I remembered, a mile away from home, that a screw had fallen out of my wife’s favorite eyeglasses over the weekend, and that she was waiting for me to fix them. Walking down a city street, I said, “Remind me to fix Amy’s glasses when I get home.”1 Half an hour later, within a few doors of our house, the reminder went off.


Oct 12: Apple has released iTunes 10.5, a free software upgrade that readies an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac or PC for iCloud – the companies new online synching and storage service (if version 10.5 does not appear as a pop-up software update option in iTunes, head to and follow the prompts. Your correspondent followed this route with no issues).

iCloud itself will be available for New Zealand customers from tomorrow (Thursday Oct 13), Apple Australasia spokesman Vispi Bhopti told NBR.

The first 5GB of online storage (for syncing email and calendars, and document storage and backup) will be free, with purchased iTunes content not counting toward the total.

Additional storage, via, will cost (in $NZ):

  • 10GB: $25 a year
  • 50GB: $50 a year
  • 100GB: $125 a year

iOS 5 tomorrow
Another piece of the software jigsaw, the free download iOS 5 software upgrade for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, will also be released tomorrow.

The new iPhone 4S, released in the US, Australia and other countries Friday, still has no local release date.

However, iCloud and iOS 5 will work with the current models, the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4.

iOS 5 key features

  • 'Cuts the cord', allowing syncing via wi-fi rather than plugging a device into a computer
  • Adds tabbed browsing (iPad only)
  • "Deeply" ntegrates Twitter into many iOS apps, including Photos
  • Camera now accessible from lock screen; red-eye reduction added; photo editing functions
  • Mail, calendar, txt notifications displayed on LockScreen
  • Newsstand feature makes publications from selected (US-centric) partners easier to read
  • New side-to-side swipe gesture for iPad multitasking
  • Works with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 1 and iPad 2, iPod Touch 3rd & 4th generation
  • The official Apple iOS 5 feature guide page is here (and scroll to end for full feature list present upon installation).


  • Music purchased on one device will be downloaded to all your iOS devices (e.g. iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
  • Sync email, calendar and files between devices (free service previously part of the $120/year MobileMe)
  • Previously purchased music, movies (or TV shows) can be accessed by any iOS device. TV show option will be US-only
  • Photostream. photos taken by one device will be pushed to all other iOS devices, as well as iPhoto on your computer
  • Find My Friends feature for locating iOS-device toting friends on a map
  • Find My Phone feature for locating your iOS device on a map
  • Should work with any device that can run iTunes
  • The official Apple iCloud feature page is here
  • Another new Apple service, iTunes Match, which will stream music stored online (with no need to upload songs featured in the iTunes catalogue), will launch at the end of the month.

The iOS 5 installation's full list of features:

  • Notifications
  • Swipe from the top of any screen to view notifications in one place with Notification Center
  • New notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen
  • View notifications from lock screen
  • VSlide the notification app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app
  • iMessage
  • Send and receive unlimited text, photo, and video messages with other iOS 5 users
  • Track messages with delivery and read receipts
  • Group messaging and secure encryption
  • Works over cellular network and Wi-Fi*
  • Newsstand
  • Automatically organizes magazine and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen
  • Displays the cover of the latest issue
  • Background downloads of new issues 
  • Reminders for managing to do lists
  • Syncs with iCloud, iCal and Outlook
  • Location-based reminders when you leave or arrive at a location for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
  • Built-in support for Twitter
  • Sign-in once in Settings and tweet directly from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari and YouTube
  • Add location to any tweet
  • View twitter profile pictures and usernames in Contacts
  • Camera improvements for devices with cameras
  • Double click the home button when device is asleep to bring up a camera shortcut on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
  • Volume Up button to take a picture
  • Optional grid lines to line up shots
  • Pinch to zoom in the preview screen
  • Swipe to camera roll from preview screen
  • Tap and hold to lock focus and exposure, iPad 2 and iPod touch (4th generation) only support exposure lock
  • Photo improvements for devices with cameras
  • Crop and rotate
  • Red eye removal
  • One tap enhance
  • Organize photos into albums
  • Mail improvements
  • Format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts
  • Indentation control
  • Drag to rearrange names in address fields
  • Flag messages
  • Mass mark messages as flagged, read or unread
  • Customize mail alert sounds
  • S/MIME
  • Calendar improvements
  • Year view on iPad and new Week view for iPhone and iPod touch
  • Tap to create an event
  • View and add event attachments
  • Game Center improvements
  • Use personal photos for your Game Center account
  • Compare your overall achievement scores with your friends
  • Find new Game Center friends with friend recommendations and friends of friends
  • Discover new games with custom game recommendations
  • AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S
  • Multitasking Gestures for iPad
  • Use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen
  • Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar
  • Swipe left or right to switch between apps
  • On-device setup, activation and configuration with Setup Assistant
  • Software updates available over the air without tethering
  • iCloud support
  • iTunes in the Cloud
  • Photo Stream
  • Documents in the Cloud
  • Apps and Books automatic download and purchase history
  • Backup
  • Contacts, Calendar, and Mail
  • Find My iPhone
  • Redesigned Music app for iPad
  • Hourly weather forecast
  • Real-time stock quotes
  • Wireless sync to iTunes
  • Keyboard improvements
  • Split keyboard for iPad
  • Improved autocorrection accuracy
  • Improved Chinese and Japanese input
  • New Emoji keyboard
  • Personal dictionary for autocorrection
  • Optionally create keyboard short cuts for frequently used words
  • Accessibility improvements
  • Option to light LED flash on incoming calls and alerts for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
  • Custom vibration patterns for incoming calls on iPhone
  • New interface for using iOS with mobility-impairment input devices
  • Option to speak a selection of text
  • Custom element labeling for VoiceOver
  • Exchange ActiveSync improvements
  • Wirelessly sync tasks
  • Mark messages as flagged, read or unread
  • Improved offline support
  • Save a new contact from a GAL service
  • More than 1,500 new developer APIs
  • Bug fixes
  • Products compatible with this software update:
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)

Normal carrier data rates may apply. Messages will be sent as SMS when iMessage is unavailable, carrier messaging fees apply.

If you're an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad user, plug your device into your Windows PC or Mac and, in iTunes, click on its icon then - if there's no automatic pop-up message - click Check For Updates to start downloading and installing iOS 5.
If you're an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad user, plug your device into your Windows PC or Mac and, in iTunes, click on its icon then - if there's no automatic pop-up message - click Check For Updates to start downloading and installing iOS 5.

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions

is the Author an iFan much?

If the ICloud was to hit just PC I suspect the author would do the same type of story. This is still a big deal in the tech world.

this is a yawn of epic proportions and people are tired of Apple hype

'PC or Mac', it states in the article. A Mac is a PC. It's a common mistake, but if referring to the operating system , then the difference is between windows or apple.

The fact that Apple can garner so much headline space with something that only just puts them on a par with Android/Google is pathetic

In short People are becoming increasingly tired of Apple hogging the headlines when there is so much other interesting stuff happening in tech...

Vert well said anon.

NBR is now iNBR - too bad if you own an Android or Windows OS based Smartphone - iNBR have no idea about "balanced journalism"!!!

I use to enjoy NBR articles - but now it's just an iNBR Fanboy site, what a shame.

Oh & writing about CRAPple suing Samsung & the latest shipping figures of various Smartphone & Tablets does not count!

What about Icecream Sandwich?? What about Nexus Prime?? Come on Chris & Co - get your act together & stop the iOS article flood!!

iNBR For sure I was just thinking this the other day about NBR, Maybe who ever owns this and runs this website has shares in Apple!.

Perhaps it's because Apple leads the way? This doesn't put them "on a par with Android". Android is a cheap imitation implementing stuff badly.

And Ralph: If you're going to correct someone at least get it right. For starters, "PC" has become synonymous with "Microsoft Windows". Their own adverts ("I'm a PC") and Apple's, even refer to this.

But even if you were right on that point, "Apple" isn't an operating system. MacOS is. D'oh.

If you knew your facts, which clearly you don't - you should know that Android are the dominant leader in Smartphone OS wars.

Regardless of what you might think, more people own an Android device & the OS is excellent & keeps on getting better.

The difference is the amount of plastic crap that android samsung and blackberry uses, built quality on a apple product is tight and it lasts, unlike the rickity counterparts its up against, besides the internal software between menues seems to be quicker compaired to a samsung galaxy S and the newest blackberry from personal experiance, i use a iphone 4 now and i wont be getting the i4s because its just another gimmick, just glad they gave us the update that was much needed

so gooood and faltu...