It’s Out: Apple iOS 5 (and More) Downloadable Now

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Yep, iOS 5 is out, and you can grab it now if you’re an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone user with a copy of iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC. If you don’t have iTunes 5 yet (released last night), you’ll need to grab a copy of that first.

My iPhone 4 version download size, according to iTunes, is 781.9 MB, while the iPad version (provided by Techland’s Jared Newman) looks to be just 700.3 MB. I’m not sure why there’s such substantial disparity, but I’d guess it has to do with what the iPad was already packing, logic-wise, contrasted with the iPhone 4.

(MORE: Apple: iOS 5, iCloud Both Launching October 12)

If you’re a Mac user, you’ll also discover a Lion Recovery Update (it fixes a “Find My Mac” issue) and Mac OS X 10.7.2 are both available through OS X’s Software Update tool, the latter with “support for iCloud,” and by “support,” Apple means you’ll see an iCloud setup panel after you finish the update. 10.7.2 also adds Safari 5.1.1 and a bunch of browser fixes. The combined update sizes for those two is substantial, however, clocking in at 1.24GB. And Apple’s getting hammered, because my downloader currently says I’ll be waiting at least 12 hours to the finishing bell.

iOS 5 adds some 200 new features, according to Apple, the most notable including a one-size-fits-all Notification Center, something called iMessage that’ll let iOS-based devices chat directly over either Wi-Fi or cellular networks, a new Newsstand bookshelf-like view of papers and magazines purchased from the App Store, tighter Twitter integration, improved to-dos (and reminders), a more granular picture taking app, enhanced photo editing, a few Safari browsing/reading tweaks, and—last but not least—”independence for all iOS devices.” Yep, iOS 5 makes it possible to do everything over the air and kiss cable tethering (to a Mac or PC) goodbye.

iCloud plugs right into that equation, replacing Apple’s Mobile Me service and enabling wireless synchronization of email, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, to-do lists and more.

I’ll be back in a bit with hands-on impressions, though my initial one, watching the minutes-to-completion slowly increase in my download bar, would have to be “giant-sized ultra-anticipated updates kind of suck.”

Read more about the life and legacy of Steve Jobs in the tribute book from TIME—Steve Jobs: The Genius Who Changed Our World

MORE: Apple Accidentally Launches iCloud Early (in Email), Next iPhone Looms

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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