iOS 5 lands on 12 October

While all the attention was focused on the iPhone 4S launch, another important announcement might well have slipped under the radar – the arrival of iOS 5 for existing devices. The date for that is 12 October.

You will be able to refresh your existing iPhone for free of course, which makes the decision to upgrade your hardware even tougher, especially as there aren't really a lot of 'must-have' features on the new model. It's a better phone, that's for sure, but perhaps not good enough to jump out of an existing contract and pay again. But that's your call.

Once you do get what's likely to be a huge download for your current iPhone or iPad, the casual observer is unlikely to spot whether you have a new or old phone anyway – and both will share a host of new features. Over 200 in total. That includes a new notification centre that pulls together all your messages, the introduction of the BBM-like iMessage service, a Newsstand for picking up digital versions of your favourite media titles, deep Twitter integration, improved camera functionality and some tabbed browsing on the iPad.

Best of all, wireless updates come to your Apple devices too, so no more wiring up to a PC or MacBook everytime you need a security update.

More details here - all of which will be landing this time next week (or thereabouts).

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