iOS 5 has arrived. It’s Apple’s biggest update yet to their mobile operating system and with it comes iCloud, a free service (up to 5GB) that can automatically backup your contacts, photos and more. For additional storage you’ll have to pay, though the price is some what reasonable. iTunes Match is a separate service all together, designed to sync your music to the cloud and is actually a rebranded and polished version of LaLa, a company Apple purchased a few years ago.
To download iOS 5 follow these steps:
1. Download iTunes 10.5
Unlike other iOS updates, Apple is making its customers download the latest version of iTunes. While there are no distinct changes to iTunes it has probably been modified to play nicely with their iCloud service. Without this update you will not be able to download iOS 5.
Update: Make sure you back up your contacts locally. Some iPhone users are reporting a loss of info, one of them being contacts. So when in doubt be cautious. After all, a healthy dose of skepticism never hurt anyone. Right?
2. Plugin your iPhone
This update is applicable to the iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. Once you plug it in, hit iTunes, select your device in the left menu and check for updates. If you’ve installed iTunes 10.5 the update should appear allowing you to download or download and install.
No action is needed on your part, though you’ll need to be patient since the update takes about 20 minutes to download and install on a decent connection. Some of you will probably start to notice delays since we’re getting close to lunch time in PST, which is probably when many people will grab the latest iOS.
4. Using the new iOS
After installing the new iOS your iPhone will walk you through a few screens. The most pertinent one will be logging in using your Apple ID. This is used to connect to iCloud. You’ll also be able to choose if you want to sync contacts and enable “find my iPhone”. To access the notification center, just drag your finger from the top of the screen down. Your iPhone will need to be unlocked for this feature to work. Other features you can use immediately are the new camera functions, which allow you to snap pics with + volume button, edit red eye out of the picture, crop and rotate photos. During initial startup of the camera your iPhone will ask you if you want to use Photo Stream. You’ll need to enable this in your setting’s menu. Photo Stream syncs your photos to the cloud and automatically pushes them to your other iOS devices and compatible computers. Check out our 30 Best iOS Features for more.
5. Using iCloud with your computer
In order to use iCloud you’ll need to have Apple’s lastest operating system, Lion. Additionally, you’ll need to download a rather large update to use the service, so again, you’ll need to be patient. You can always opt to download the Lion update at a later time since it’s not pertinent to using iOS 5.