Apple released six brand-new applications for its newest, most advanced operating system iOS 5, which launched Wednesday. The company's new apps include Reminders, Newsstand, Cards, Find My Friends, iTunes Movie Trailers and AirPort Utility.
Of the new apps, Newsstand and Reminders are the only two apps that come pre-loaded with the iOS 5 update. The other four apps are all available as free downloads from the App Store.
Here's a guide to the new Apple apps:
Reminders: Apple takes a stab at to-do lists with Reminders, which is a simple way to create lists, add tasks, and set up reminders. Users can also add notes or set a priority level for each task, and Reminders makes to-dos easy to navigate with a simple swipe from left to right. Reminders also has a location-based setting where the device can notify the user when he or she arrives or leaves a particular place. The app is also optimized for Siri on the iPhone 4S, so users can ask their phone to create to-dos or set reminders. Thanks to iCloud, Reminders automatically syncs and backs up across all iOS devices, as well as iCal and Microsoft Outlook.
Newsstand: Apple's Newsstand is a platform where readers can access all their magazine and newspaper subscriptions all in one place. The two-sided app features a shelf to display all the pretty publication covers, as well as a store where users can shop for subscriptions. Once a user downloads a newspaper or magazine from the store, new editions automatically upload to Newsstand as soon as they become available.
Cards: Greeting cards from the card store or pharmacy are passé; Apple's new Cards app is a refreshing way to design and send physical greeting cards to loved ones. The app offers 21 template designs across six categories, including Thank You, Holiday, Baby, Birthday, Love and Travel, but allows users to customize photos and text within the card. For $2.99, Apple will imprint your card with text, photos and all, on 100 percent cotton paper and send it to any address in the U.S. For $4.99, the same card can be sent anywhere in the world, and that price includes postage. Best of all, the Cards app notifies the user the exact moment the card's been delivered, thanks to integration with the U.S. Postal Service Intelligent Mail barcode. All cards are automatically saved to a history list, which allows users to resend cards to more than one recipient.
Find My Friends: Location-based sharing gets friendly with Apple's Find My Friends app, which lets users share their location and track others permanently or temporarily. The application has potential for big events or get-togethers, so as to help others find their way to the party. However, a big limitation is that the Find My Friends app only sees other users running the app on iOS 5 and iCloud, so don't expect to find many app users just yet.
iTunes Movie Trailers: Apple finally brings its library of HD movie previews to iOS devices with iTunes Movie Trailers, or Trailers for short. The application features big displays, popular and exclusive trailers, a movie calendar, and the ability to check showtimes at theatres nearby. Trailers is also integrated with Twitter and Rotten Tomatoes, making it easier for users to share the movies they're most excited about with their friends.
AirPort Utility: Trouble with your Wi-Fi network? With the AirPort Utility, users can adjust network settings and manage security and wireless channels directly from their iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. The app works with all Apple 802.11n Wi-Fi base stations, including AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and Time Capsule, and allows users to also restart, reset or update base stations remotely.
iOS 5 is Apple's most comprehensive system upgrade ever with more than 200 new features for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The update features an organized Notification Center, a free text messaging service called iMessage, an upgrade to the camera interface, parental controls, an overhauled Safari mobile browser, deep integration with Twitter, new lifestyle applications and the ability to sync apps, documents, contacts, calendars, music and photos across all iOS devices with iCloud.
All Apple devices sold after Oct. 12 have iOS 5 pre-loaded onto the hardware, including the iPhone 4S, which is set to debut at 8 a.m. local time on Oct. 14.