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Apple announces iOS 5: What you need to know

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Apple also pulled back the curtain on its next operating system, iOS 5. While we got a sneak preview of the system in June at the company’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, Apple had a few more tricks up its sleeve for today’s launch.

What’s new about this operating system? iOS 5 has a host of new features, including a centralized notifications center, iMessage (a multimedia group messaging service for the those using the operating system), Twitter integration, a shortcut that brings the camera up faster, a game center, tabbed browsing in Safari, and wireless updates. There’s also a new feature called “Find My Friends,” which gives you the option to share location data between you and friends. It also has access to iCloud, the suite of apps that will let Apple users push content to all their devices at once.

When can I get it? iOS 5 and iCloud will both launch on Oct. 12.

Will it work on my iPhone? iOS and iCloud will work on the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3Gs, the iPad, iPad 2, and 3rd and 4th generation iPod Touch music players. And, of course, it ships with the iPhone 4S.

How much does iCloud cost? iCloud is free for 5GB of storage, which does not include purchase music, apps, movies, TV shows or photo storage. To use iTunes in the Cloud’s Match service, which puts your music in the cloud, will match any music not purchased and lets you stream to your devices for $24.99 per year.

Any other announcements? Apple also updated and repriced its iPod line, adding an iPod Nano that starts at $129. The iPod Touch — which now comes in white will now start from $199.

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