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Apple OS X Lion and iOS 5 – our need to know guide

There was no new iPhone 5 announced by Apple boss Steve Jobs last night in San Francisco but there was iOS 5.

The brand-new version of the mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch was revealed at Apple’s WWDC developers’ conference.

Also shown off there was the new Apple iCloud system and you can find out more about that in our related article. Back to iOS and this total refresh is due out in the autumn, more than likely alongside the matching iPhone 5, which is bound to be unveiled in the coming months.

WWDC also saw Mr Jobs and his team reveal details of OS X Lion, the new operating system for Mac desktops and MacBooks such as the Air and Pro.

It has more than 250 new features compared to the current Snow Leopard version and will be arriving next month. Here’s our guide to the best bits of both  operating systems to whet your appetite before you can get your own hands on Apple iOS 5 and OS X Lion.

Apple iOS 5

Due out in the autumn, the latest iOS, the software powering the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch boasts some really great additions.

For a start there’s deep integration with Twitter to ensure all of your photos, videos and tweets work perfectly together.

The Notification Center shows you any new emails, texts, missed calls and updates on one single icon while iMessage is Apple’s instant messaging system for iOS 5 users in a bid to rival the prolific BlackBerry Messenger.

Making The News

If you’re an avid reader of newspapers and magazines, then Newsstand puts digital versions of your favourites all in one place on a virtual bookshelf like in iBooks, and will download them ready for you to flick through each morning. It’ll be perfect for the iPad.

One clever move Apple has made is removing the need for iPhone or iPad owners to have a PC. It’s hoped this will mean more people will end up using the iPad as their only computing device. From now on it can be activated and updated straight from the gadget without plugging it in to a computer.

Of course, Apple iOS 5 works with the new Apple iCloud to wirelessly backup and store your contacts, calendar, music, apps and books. You can find out more about Apple iCloud in our related article above.

Faster Web Surfing

Browsing the web also gets easier and quicker with a Safari update that allows you to save articles to read later when offline and using iCloud they will be put into a list connected to other iOS 5 devices so you could save a link on the iPhone then read it on the iPad.

But my favourite new feature has to be the new Reminders app. You can create tasks and To Dos but as well as setting times when you need to be reminded, you can set locations.

So when you walk into your home after a hard day’s work it can pop up with what needs doing, or enter the supermarket and up comes your shopping list.

A couple of other cool changes include updates to Game Center and being able to mirror what you do on your iPad 2 on your TV wirelessly using Apple TV.

Mac OS X Lion

There’s not long to wait until Mac OS X Lion arrives. It comes out in July and will cost £20.99.

The best thing about it is you don’t need to buy any discs to install it. You simply download it to your iMac, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro from the Mac App Store.

And, even better, one copy works for as many authorised machines as you own – so if you’ve a desktop and laptop you’ll only pay one fee of £20.99.

Ahead of the PC

Apple bosses hope it will keep them ahead of PCs on the innovation front with chief Philip Schiller saying: “The Mac has outpaced the PC industry every quarter for five years running and with OS X Lion we plan to keep extending our lead.

“The best version of OS X yet, Lion is packed with innovative features such as new Multi-Touch gestures, system-wide support for full screen apps, and Mission Control for instantly accessing everything running on your Mac.”

Bringing the iOS experience to your computer, Lion includes some great Multi-Touch gesture support that works with the MacBook’s trackpad or the Magic Trackpad for desktops.

You can scroll through webpages simply by swiping left to right and pinch and zoom as if you were doing so on your phone.

Full Screen Apps

There’s also support for full screen apps, the Mac App Store built-in to the OS and a home for your apps called Launchpad.

Those used to Dashboard, Spaces and Expose will find the new Mission Control a breeze, it puts everything you’re using in one place showing thumbnails of all you have open.

And Mail users will get a new email experience with a widescreen layout, message Conversations shown in a timeline and a more powerful search. There’s also support for Microsoft Exchange 2010.

Finally Auto Save makes sure you never lose any work by continuously saving your documents and Versions lets you restore to any older file or copy and paste from them.

A Large Download

To use Lion, you must have an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. It can be installed on all your authorised personal Macs.

If you purchased a Mac after June 6, you’ll get a free upgrade to Lion when it is released.

But with a download size of 4GB, it may well be best to download it overnight – and maybe not on the first few days of release when it could be slow going as everyone rushes to see and hear the Lion roar.

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