iOS 5, the next iteration of the company's operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, will be released on October 12. Apple announced the ship date during a press event at its Cupertino headquarters.
Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president for iOS software, reminded the press assembled at the company's Let's Talk iPhone event about its hallmark features, which include: a revamped notifications system; iMessage, Apple's service for sending free text, photo, and video messages between iOS devices; a built-in, location-aware Reminders app; system-wide Twitter integration; Newsstand, for organizing iOS magazine subscriptions; a variety of updates to the Camera app; and the "PC-Free" ability to setup and sync iOS devices without needing to connect them to your Mac. Forstall also referenced significant updates to Safari and Mail.
Forstall said that iOS is the number one mobile operating system, with 61 per cent of the market. He indicated that more than 100,000 developers are already using the iOS 5 developer betas. Echoing Apple CEO Tim Cook, Forstall announced that Apple has sold more than 250,000 iOS devices. The App Store now offers more than 500,000 apps, he said, including 140,000 apps optimised for the iPad. Apple has paid out more than $US3 billion to developers from App Store sales.
If you're hungry for new insights into iOS 5, though, there was little in Forstall's presentation that wasn't discussed back in June, save for the October 12 release date. Still, we'll have more details on Apple's iOS- and iPhone-related news as it occurs throughout the day.