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iOS 5 and iCloud Set to Arrive October 12th

At the iPhone 4S event last week, Apple revealed that the much-anticipated iOS 5 and iCloud would become available on 12 October 2011, but apart from the release date, only one new marquee feature was revealed: a geolocation app called Find My Friends. Apple also spent quite a bit of time showing the new Cards app for iOS 5, which lets you order and have Apple send customized greeting cards.

We covered iOS 5 and iCloud at their introductions, and no additional light was shed on either the mobile operating system or the new hosting service beyond available dates. Apple said that iTunes Match, the separate subscription service for uploading your own library of iTunes music not purchased from Apple, would come online in iCloud in late October. (See “iOS 5 Cuts the Cord and Addresses Numerous Irritations” and “iCloud Rolls In, Extended Forecast Calls for Disruption,” both from 6 June 2011.)

The surprise Find My Friends app lets you track the location of anyone who knows you well enough to share their current location in real time. It’s undoubtedly based on the same core code that powers Find My iPhone, which some of us have used in the past for tracking family devices. But using Find My iPhone for tracking someone else requires that you know their MobileMe password, whereas Find My Friends will provide simple privacy controls to avoid the creepiness factor, allow temporary sharing of location information for people you’re with for only a short period, and set blocks of time when location sharing is active so it can automatically turn off at the end of the day. You can also flip off all tracking with a single click. Parental controls will allow tracking to be locked on.

Without poking too much fun at Apple, spending nearly five minutes of a keynote showing how one could use an app to design and order a greeting card that Apple prints and mails on your behalf seemed a little excessive. You can take a photo and use the app to place it appropriately on a template, and then add text. Cards cost $2.99 to purchase and mail in the United States, and $4.99 to send outside America’s borders. The app works only with iOS 5 and will be available when iOS 5 ships. Apple has tried its hand at ecards and printed cards for many years — some executive must have an obsession with the matter.


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Comments about iOS 5 and iCloud Set to Arrive October 12th
(Comments are closed.)

Tom Smith  2011-10-06 21:15
I think I'm going to like the Cards app. I love getting cards, but never seem to get around to sending them. I've used some of Apple's printing service before (poster-sized photos and books) and never been disappointed.
Dakers Fleming  2011-10-08 11:54
I agree with Tom about the quality of Apple's print products. Excellent service.
Are US minutes longer than UK ones?
It did not seem like 5 minutes to me.
On another matter, I thought the reserved seat in the front row, particularly poignant; How prescient was that?
josephnichols  2011-10-11 21:09
Neat idea, but I can't help but think the pranksters (and sexters!) of the world are going to have a heyday with it. The poor people at the card printing side are going to have to weed out thousands of inappropriate "Wish you were here" cards.
Greeting cards are a girl thing. Almost all you techy writers are guys. The people who love to send cards are women. Get your gender blinders off and you might see this as a really cool thing.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-10-13 15:15
Perhaps, though I don't see that in the many iOS-using women I know.
Walt Potter  2011-10-13 05:52
Around Labor Day there were myriad rumors OS X 10.6.9 would be icloud-compatible. Software Update indicates 10.6.8 is most recent Snow Leopard version. Anybody know more than that?
Jeff Carlson  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-10-13 06:02
So far Apple is still saying Lion is required. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't include Snow Leopard initially so minimize the impact of millions of people switching over to iCloud at once. But, given the strong numbers of Lion installs that Tim Cook mentioned at the media event last week, I also wouldn't be surprised if Apple just sticks to Lion for iCloud.
Simon Bowler  2011-10-13 08:04
Do you know what will happen to existing iDisks that are part of mobile me?
Will they disappear
Do I have to back up my iDisk stuff to drive?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-10-13 15:17
You should always have a backup. :-)

iDisk will not transition to MobileMe. What I don't quite know is if you'll still be able to access your iDisk on MobileMe if you upgrade to iCloud.
Here is my question. I have a user who just bought a Macbook Pro with Lion, we now know it will not work with our Exchange 2003 email server but his iphone 4 does. Will icloud be able to sync his email from his phone to his Macbook without connecting the Macbook to our exchange server directly? In other words, use his phone to sync with Exchange 2003