Apple iOS 5 hitting iPhones and iPads on October 12th

Apple’s iOS 5 will be released on October 12th for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad, iPad 2 and the last two iPod touch generations. We’re expecting the Gold Master to be released for developers later today. Apple’s free iOS 5 software update brings over 200 new features to the platform including some big ones like redone notifications, iMessage, built-in Twitter integration, Newsstand and more.

It will bring with it a long overdue and entirely revamped notifications system, that sees a drop down Android style menu combined with lock screen swipeable app icons.

On top of the new notifications setup, iOS 5 also includes more in depth support for iCloud, Apple’s cloud-based app and music service.

iOS 5 brings with it a new pinch to zoom feature for the camera app and the ability to tweet shots straight from the app. The camera also now has in-device photo editing, allowing you to do things like crop shots or use grid lines for composition. iMessage now makes an appearance in iOS 5, bringing cross-Apple device messaging.

Twitter integration is much deeper in iOS 5, with articles and various information being tweetable once your details have been entered into iOS 5’s settings. You can do things like tweet your location straight from maps or send a video straight to your Twitter feed.
Reminders is another new addition to iOS 5 and acts like an all-in-one Calendar and notifications combo. You can use the reminders app to keep yourself up to date on appointments and other to-dos.

Safari has also been improved, not only on the speed front, but also with a new reader function that does away with distracting web page clutter. It turns safari into a simple single imageless web page, where you can read just the text of an article; perfect for news reading.
Tabbed browsing is now part of the new look Safari. Apple was perhaps slightly late to the game with this one but just as with the rest of iOS and indeed Safari on the Mac, it behaves as slick as ever.

The last juicy iOS 5 feature is its entirely PC-free approach to both setup and mail. You don’t need to connect the iPhone to your computer to get it up and running, nor do you need to do any nasty email setup, both come with a much improved wizard.

Pages, Keynote and Numbers, Apple’s now rather beefy office style applications are going to get themselves a nice little revamp on iOS 5’s 12 October launch date.

Finally you can opt for wireless syncing with iTunes via iCloud using iOS 5. What does this mean? You don’t need a PC to send docs, photos or tracks between iOS-powered devices, just a Wi-Fi network. Backups themselves also occur wirelessly. This is big news for iTunes avoiders, sync once and then forget about it.

Lots to look forward to in iOS 5 land then. It means a major software revamp for iPhone 4 owners and an entirely new package to enjoy for those who opt to pick up one of Apple’s new iPhones.