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Huge demand buckles iOS 5 ‚ but not Apple’s image

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Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod users flocked to download sites yesterday to upgrade to the new iOS 5 operating system and access the iCLoud, slowing the system to a near-halt. But, in contrast to the woes of BlackBerry users, most were willing to be patient.

As millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod users flocked to iTunes to download and install the new operating system for their devices, iOS 5, after its 1pm (US Eastern Time) release, Apple’s servers ground to a halt. Those users that could get through found themselves waiting through a 4-hour download, even over high-speed lines.

Yet, in contrast to the global backlash faced by BlackBerry when its servers went down this week, most Apple users will willing to grin and bear the wait.

The reason was simple: Apple warned them before the release that the download rush on the first few days would inevitably lead to system errors, slowdowns, glitches and even crashes.

Indeed, it got so bad that the ‚Error 3200‚ message that marks failed installations became a trending topic on Twitter.

Knowing that the system was overloaded, and knowing that a little patience would reward them, users resorted to light-hearted humour.

Well-known writer and Apple aficionado Gus Silber quipped on Twitter: ‚The IOS 5 update is bombing out all over the world. If BB users had signal, they’d be roaring with laughter at us now.‚

The Guardian reported (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/13/ios-5-update-internet-traffic-spike) that the demand caused a gigantic surge in Internet traffic in Europe, and throughput in the UK jumped by 200 gigabits per second ‚ equivalent to more than a fifth of normal traffic. The spike lasted for roughly four hours.

Friday is expected to see another surge in traffic as the iPhone 4S is released, and a million pre-ordered units are activated, along with hundreds of thousands of additional units expected to be sold in the first days.

Part of the frenzy for iOS 5 is the free access it provides to Apple’s iCloud, also released yesterday.

It includes iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, all seamlessly integrated with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store content in iCloud and push it to all these devices.

‚iCloud stores your music, photos, apps, contacts, calendars, documents and more, keeping them up to date across all your devices. When content changes on one device, all your other devices are updated automatically and wirelessly,‚ said Apple in its iCloud announcement last week. ‚iCloud is the easiest way to manage your content, because iCloud does it all for you and goes far beyond anything available today,‚ said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. ‚You don’t have to think about syncing your devices, because it happens automatically, and it is free.‚ In addition, iTunes Match scans the songs in your music library, including music not purchased on iTunes, and matches them to the more than 20 million songs available on the iTunes Store, offering them in high-quality, DRM-free 256 kbps AAC encoding. Any unmatched songs are uploaded to iCloud so you can play songs, albums or playlists from your music library on your devices. iCloud’s Photo Stream service lets you take a photo on one device and have it automatically appear on other devices. A photo you take on your iPhone is sent to iCloud and automatically pushed to your iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. iCloud’s Documents in the Cloud keeps documents up to date across all your devices, automatically. For example, if you create a document using Pages on an iPad, that document is automatically sent to iCloud. When you use Pages on another iOS device, you can open the same document with your latest changes and pick up editing or reading right where you left off.

iCloud also lets you see your App Store and iBookstore purchase history and download those apps and books to any of your devices at any time. Purchased apps and books can be automatically downloaded to your devices, not just the device they were purchased on. Simply tap the iCloud icon and download your purchased apps and books to any of your iOS devices at no additional cost.

Apple announced last week that iCloud would be available simultaneously with iOS 5, ‚which includes over 200 new features including Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption: iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS 5 users: and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize your newspaper and magazine subscriptions‚ .

Newsstand will be formally launched in South Africa next week, and will become available locally.

* iOS 5 is available as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod touch (third and fourth generation) customers. iCloud is available worldwide. iTunes in the Cloud varies by country. iTunes Match and TV shows are US-only. iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match may be used on up to 10 devices with the same Apple ID.

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