iOS and iPhone 5: What to expect

Cloud services, improved graphics, and powerhouse processor are all among the details seeping out about Apple's next updates.

With the iPad 2 out and in short supply, the rumor mill's attention is now shifting to what we could expect to see in the new iPhone and iOS 5, the next iteration of Apple's mobile OS. And while the new iPhone 5 is set to arrive some time this summer, a TechCrunch report suggests exciting developments for iOS are coming this fall too.

Computerworld Australia: iPhone 5 launch expected on October 7

"Two solid sources" told TechCrunch that Apple is likely to break its pattern of unveiling the latest features for iOS, which is set to move from a 4.X increment to version 5. This would mean that instead of getting a brand-new iPhone 5 this summer, along with a refreshed OS, "a major revamp" of iOS would be introduced separately later in the autumn (read delayed), possibly in September.

iOS 5 Moves To The Cloud

Assuming TechCrunch's sources are correct, what can be new in iOS 5? Apparently, it would be "heavily built around the cloud," with some new services added to iPhones and iPads. One of them is said to be a music locker service, basically a way of storing and accessing all your music (purchased from iTunes) wirelessly, without the need to sync with a primary computer (like it is the case now).

Another of these cloud services is expected to be a location-based service that would allow users to find friends and family members. On top of that, a revamp of Apple's MobileMe service is anticipated, potentially free (currently $99 per year), which would give every iDevice holder free access to Apple's cloud email, calendar, and storage service.

Next Up: iPhone 5

Details about the iPhone 5, expected either June or July, are just as sketchy as iOS 5 rumors. But if the iPad 2 is any indication, we can expect the new A5 dual-core processor powering the next iPhone, as well as an improved graphics engine. Repeat rumors say we can also expect an aluminum back too, again, like the iPad 2, including the tapered edges.

Also on the table for the iPhone 5, possibly a bigger screen (4-inch) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, allowing users to link payments through iTunes when waving the phone in front of a dedicated NFC reader. Now that Verizon is selling iPhones too, some say that the iPhone 5 could be a GSM/CDMA world phone, making it easier (and probably cheaper) to produce just one iPhone model that could handle almost any network.

What features would you like to see included in iOS 5 and iPhone 5? Sound off in the comments.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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