Today Apple launched iOS 5. While the new iPhone 4S will come with iOS 5 out of the box, the update is also compatible with all current iOS devices. This includes the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch, and the iPad and iPad 2. The iOS 5 update contains over 200 new features, including the following:
Exchange ActiveSync improvements
Wirelessly sync tasks.
Mark messages as flagged, read or unread.
Improved offline support.
Save a new contact from a GAL service.
Year view on iPad and new Week view for iPhone and iPod touch.
Tap to create an event.
View and add event attachments.
Format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts.
Drag to rearrange names in address fields.
Mass mark messages as flagged, read or unread.
Customize mail alert sounds.
iTunes in the Cloud.
Documents in the Cloud.
Apps and Books automatic download and purchase history.
Contacts, Calendar, and Mail.
Find My iPhone.
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 the lock screen.
Slide the notification app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app.
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 networks and Wi-Fi.
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 and tweet directly from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari and YouTube.
Add your 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 supports exposure lock.
Photo improvements for devices with cameras
Crop and rotate.
Red eye removal.
One tap enhance.
Organize photos into albums.
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
Redesigned Music app for iPad
Hourly weather forecast
Real-time stock quotes
Wireless sync to iTunes
Split keyboard for iPad.
Improved auto correction accuracy.
Improved Chinese and Japanese input.
New Emoji keyboard.
Personal dictionary for auto correction.
Optionally create keyboard short cuts for frequently used words.
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.
More than 1,500 new developer APIs
A word of caution, you should always remember to backup your devices before you upgrade your operating system. In this case you need to backup both your iOS device and your computer.
During the process of upgrading, your device will be wiped out and restored. That means if you do not backup, you may lose all your information if the upgrade fails. If you are not sure whether your iOS device has been backed up recently, just launch iTunes on your computer and connect your device. iTunes will automatically perform a backup for you. You may also use Apples new iCloud that allows you to store backups directly on Apple's servers.